Teamwork in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry-A case study of Labadi Beach Hotel-By HELENA ODOI INTRODUCTION
Organisations are described as social entities with a common goal of providing goods or services to their clients on a profit or not-for-profit bases. As social entities, organisations are made up of groups of people who must work together and coordinate their efforts to achieve a common goal. This calls for the creation of groups or teams within organisations with their individual or collective goals to achieve. The relevance of groups or teams cannot therefore be downplayed. A group is a set of people who interact with one another and with a common purpose. Zander and Cartwright identified some features that groups must possess. Some of these are: i.
Frequent interaction between members
An identity of membership
Other people see members as belonging to the group
Members play interlocking roles
Members pursue interdependent objectives
Find group rewarding
Have a collective responsibility
Groups and teams are usually used interchangeably, but there is the need to strike a distinction between teams and groups. Belbin distinguishes teams from groups using the following perimeters: i.
Size:-groups can constitute any number of people, for example, a political party; teams on the other hand have a limited number of membership. ii.
Selection: The members of a team are carefully selected to cater for the various roles while the members of groups have no restrictions on selection of the group. For example, political parties. iii.
Leadership: some leadership positions are situational and rotate among the members depending on the task. On the other hand groups may have solo leaders. iv.
Style: Teams have their roles spread among the members with a certain degree of coordination. Groups, on the other hand have their roles limited to a particular number of people, for example, an executive body. v.
Spirit: teams have a spirit of constant and intimate interaction than groups. In effect teams are more structured than groups. While all teams are groups not all groups are teams (Mullins L, J, 2007). THE STRUCTURE OF TEAMS
The structure of teams in organisations can take several forms depending on the nature of the organisation, the tasks involved and the purposes of the teams. Groups/teams can be structured as: i.
formal or informal
Directed or self-directed.
Formal groups could be structured as;
Functional groups are usually structured based on the organisation structure. They usually consist of various units/departments of the organisation, with a manager or supervisor as the leader. Roles and duties are clearly defined with lines of authority and responsibilities. For example, in a hotel, there may be the Personnel Department, the Finance Department and many others. Task groups are mainly created for the execution of specific tasks or operations. For example, there could be a project team to work on market segmentation and positioning. These teams are usually made up of people with different and varied levels of skills, qualifications and competencies, and may be coming from different functional areas of the organisation. They are usually smaller and stand out as real teams tasked with executing a particular duty/task. Management teams and committees tend to assume permanent status because their mandate covers activities that are on-going and directly linked to the strategy and policy of the organisation. Informal groups are those formed to satisfy individual needs. They are formed out of the working relationships and interactions among employees. For example, a kind of informal relationship could exist between the Concierge Team in a hotel. These teams usually form their own norms and values. Directed teams usually have a well defined leader with laid down lines of authority. For example, the Front Desk Supervisor in a hotel is the...
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