Team Building and Group Dynamics

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The purpose of this essay is to consider the various approaches to team building and group dynamics as well as to consider both conventional and virtual team building concepts. According to Maddux and Wingfield (2003), “groups provide the basis for family living, protection, warfare, government, recreation and work, (p. 4). Borkowski (2011) explains that individuals join groups to fulfill basic needs of belonging as described in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Yet, it is apparent that group members realize greater success and satisfaction when formed into productive team units. As team members, individuals feel a sense of ownership rather than on merely the group’s periphery of planning, involvement and decision making, (Maddux & Wingfield, 2003). Because organizations have progressively sought goal accomplishment through groups and teams, gaining an understanding of the concepts and principles underlying group effectiveness is essential. Within the healthcare sector, critical decisions affecting both healthcare outcomes and patient quality of life result from group processes in the areas of patient safety and risk management. Hence, in order to succeed at managing groups, managers must have a solid working knowledge of team formation both within and outside of the formal group boundaries. Groups have four basic characteristics, including: 1) being comprised of at least two people; 2) having structural stability; 3) possessing a common goal or interest; and 4) having group member perceptions of belonging within the group. Together, the members interact through verbal, (i.e., talking, listening, providing feedback), and non-verbal, (i.e., body language and gestures), communication. Occurring across various mediums, (i.e., in person within the same physical space, electronically by phone and computer, and via mail), group member communication attempts to influence one another in achievement of the group mission or goal. It is important to note that...
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