Teams, Groups and Teamwork
Article contrast paper based on the following articles:
Morgeson Frederick P., Reider Matthew H., Campion Michael A., Selecting individuals in team settings: the importance of social skills, personality characteristics, and teamwork knowledge', Personnel Psychology, 2005, 58, p583-611 Cooney Richard, Empowered self-management and the design of work teams', Personnel Review, 2004, Vol. 33 No. 6, p677-692 Fisher Bill and Boynton Andy, Virtuoso teams', Harvard Business Review, Jul/Aug 2005, Vol.83 Issue 7/8, p116-123
The choice of articles has been approved by L. Panayotopoulos on October 8th, 2007.
By Etienne Chassat
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The teams, their differences, their importance and their design
The design of teams depends on the objectives
The teams, their differences, their importance and their design Teams are used a lot by organization where they are set to improve efficiency by collaboration of people with different skills, knowledge, and abilities. So, the design of teams is of great importance for organizations. The chosen articles concentrate each on a different type of team and its design, i.e. the composition of the team, its internal rules and its interaction with the environment. Morgeson, Reider and Campion focus on the selection of individuals in traditional autonomous teams. They explore the impact of social skills, personal characteristics and teamwork knowledge on their functioning in order to assess a method of selection of individuals. Their study is based on the existing literature in order to define the important traits needed for teamwork. The correlation between the presence of these traits and the performance of individuals in teamwork is then assessed through a study carried out in a Midwest mill of a national steel corporation. Cooney, on its side, explores how empowered self-management is different from autonomy and how it can be considered in the design of teams. The objective, beyond performance, is to extend teams' functional responsibilities toward frontline management. The employee, through his work role in the team, therefore finds himself better accountant of his work and of the achievement of the goals. As a consequence, the performance of the individual and the team are improved. Up to Fisher and Boynton, a traditional team is composed of too similar members and they build too easily common norms without getting into a profitable enough storming phase. And outcomes are not sufficient. For exceptional result, you require a special team, a virtuoso team. They include the best people in their field, work frenetically, and have ambitious goals and outstanding results. The design of teams has an impact all over the life of the team. It is therefore of interest to compare these three types of team and the vision of the authors through each phase of the team development and relationship as described by Tuckman: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. For the study by Morgeson, Reider and Campion, the hypotheses based on the literature agree with the study result and every possible care has been taken in order to avoid any bias in the study. Therefore, we will not discuss here the relevance of the methodology but base our discussion on the attributes of the individuals needed for the teamwork and why, according to the authors, these traits are important. Forming
Individuals are brought together for some reason during this phase, consisting of an attempt to build a structure, consider individual roles, responsibilities and establish personal identities within the team. Morgeson, Reider and Campion confirm by their study that social skills, personality characteristics and teamwork knowledge should be considered when selecting individuals for composing an autonomous team. More specifically, social skills allow the individual to...
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