Teamwork

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Teamwork, IESE, University of Navarre
  • Pages : 14 (4404 words )
  • Download(s) : 140
  • Published : January 14, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Occasional Paper
OP no 07/10-E
December, 2006

TEAM WORK

Pablo Cardona
Helen Wilkinson

IESE Occasional Papers seek to present topics of general interest to a wide audience.

IESE Business School – University of Navarra
Avda. Pearson, 21 – 08034 Barcelona, Spain. Tel.: (+34) 93 253 42 00 Fax: (+34) 93 253 43 43 Camino del Cerro del Águila, 3 (Ctra. de Castilla, km 5,180) – 28023 Madrid, Spain. Tel.: (+34) 91 357 08 09 Fax: (+34) 91 357 29 13 Copyright © 2006 IESE Business School.

IESE Business School-University of Navarra - 1

TEAM WORK
Pablo Cardona*
Helen Wilkinson**

Abstract
One might assume that whenever a group of people works in pursuit of a common goal, we have team work. It is rather more complicated than that, however. Bringing a group of people together to pursue a common purpose does not always produce the kind of results to be expected from team work. That is why the challenge today is how to make team work effective, that is, how to ensure that people really do work as a team. To work as a team is to work together in an organized manner to achieve a common goal. This requires understanding the interdependencies among team members and using them effectively in order to achieve the common goal (mission). Each team member has his own personality and brings to the task particular skills, knowledge and experience, which are different from those of other team members. That is to say, each team member has a certain aptitude and position. All these aptitudes and positions must be manifested and brought into play, so that they interact with one another in a coordinated way in pursuit of the goal. All are necessary for team work to be effective.

* Professor, Managing People in Organization, IESE
**Research Associate, IESE

Keywords: team work, common goal, interdependencies

IESE Business School-University of Navarra

TEAM WORK

What a team is and what it is not
There is a lot of talk about team work nowadays. People say, for instance, that football teams are a good example of team work, that the members of the government work as a team, that associations and NGOs team up with one another, or that business and industry are unthinkable without team work. There is no question that team work is an essential tool for tackling increasingly complex tasks in an ever-changing environment. In fact, one of the features of organizations in the last two decades of the twentieth century was their emphasis on team work1. Teams are created in specific areas of the company to achieve common goals. There are supervisor teams, management teams, cross-functional teams, etc. Presumably, whenever a group of people works in pursuit of a common goal, we can say we have team work. However, it is rather more complicated than that. Bringing a group of people together to pursue a common purpose does not always produce the kind of results to be expected from team work. That is why the challenge today is how to make team work effective, that is, how to ensure that people really do work as a team. Accordingly, it may be helpful to first stop and consider what team work is and what it is not.

To work as a team is to work together in an organized manner to achieve a common goal. This requires understanding the interdependencies among team members and using them effectively in order to achieve the common goal (mission). Each team member has his own personality and brings to the task particular skills, knowledge and experience, which are different from those of other team members. That is to say, each team member has a certain aptitude and position. All these aptitudes and positions must be manifested and brought into play, so that they interact with one another in a coordinated way in pursuit of the goal. All are necessary for team work to be effective.

If people use their aptitudes and positions in an isolated way without taking other team members’ aptitudes and positions into account, they are not working as a...
tracking img