Team Based Approach to Achieving Managerial Goals: Why Teams? - 10001603

Topics: Management, Team, Quality management Pages: 10 (3710 words) Published: March 30, 2011


The emphasis on the adoption of groups or teams by organizations and firms for the provision of competitive advantage in the face of diversified workforce is building rapidly (Rau and Hyland, 2003) same issue mentioned by Elmuti, (1997) identifying the globally competitive environment as the reason for employing self managed teams by corporate outfits, even high reliability organizations like the aviation, health care etc. are not left out of the team adoption business in simplifying their tasks for the reduction of errors like accidents resulting to death, (Salas et al. 2001). In simple terms, as a result of the complexity of organizational or managerial goals and the ever dynamic environment that influences the objectives in achieving these goals, the need for the use of work teams or group is necessary, (Mullins, 2007). Teams and Groups

In as much as both words are very alike in meaning, some authors have identified a number of distinguishing elements between the terms. A group has been differentiated from a team in many ways, for instance, (Katzenberg and Smith, 1993 cited in Sheard and Kakabadse, 2004, p.13) describes “a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”, it has also been mentioned (Michalski and King, 1998 cited in Al-Rawi, 2008) that every team is a group but not every group is a team due to the distinguishing feature of cohesiveness possessed by teams. Also, according to (Larson and LaFasto, 1989 cited in Conti and Kleiner, 1997) describes a team as the coordination of activities among two or more individuals with specific performance objective or recognized goal for the purpose of attaining common goals. From various definitions of various authors, (Higgs, 1999 cited in Sheard and Kakabadse, 2004, p. 13) identified seven common elements that a team must possess in order for it to perform effectively: * Common Purpose

* Interdependence or Complementary Skills
* Clarity of Roles and Contributions
* Satisfaction from Mutual Working
* Mutual and Individual Accountability
* Realisation of Synergies
* Empowerment
But recently, the features of an effective or performing team has been further reviewed and listed below as; * Common Sense of Purpose
* Comprehensive Understanding of team’s objectives
* Resources to achieve those objectives
* Mutual respect among team members, both as individuals and for contributions each makes towards team’s performance * Valuing members’ strength and respecting their weaknesses * Mutual Trust

* Willingness to share knowledge and expertise
* Willingness to speak openly
* A range of skills among team members to deal effectively with all its tasks * A range of personal styles for the various roles needed to carry out the team’s tasks CIPD, (2010) Upon briefly discussing teams and highlighting their characteristics above, the subsequent paragraphs will focus on the reasons, benefits and problems for and of the use of teams in achieving goals in an organization. This will be done by discussing various models of team development, roles of team members, problems associated with working in teams and finally proffering solutions based on the problems discussed, to improve cohesion in teams, thus increasing team performance.


It has been said that in order to build an effective team, it has to go through the stages of ‘forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning’ where;

* Forming is...
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