Teamwork Effectiveness

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Despite the idea that teams are not always effective than individual working alone, several modern and prudent organizations realize that the best way to achieving business goals, effectively and efficiently, is to organize work in definable units by pulling together various talents and skills. This paper will discuss the question whether individuals become more efficient when working in teams. Also, a number of theories of team development will be examined and applied to analyse a practical case study to provide a better understanding in how teams can be established effectively. Literature review

Team effectiveness
It has been noticed that although positive impacts of teams are addressed in many laboratory studies, most of them suggest either null or negative ones (e.g., Mitchell 1982; Mudrack 1989; Steiner 1972; Widmeyer, Brawley and Carron 1992; Worchel, Cooper and Goethals 1991; Summers, Coffelt and Horton 1988; Tziner 1982). They have argued that teams cost more resources and often more time than individual because teams generate more demands for communication, more meetings to be held and more conflicts to be resolved. There is also the danger of compromise and decisions being made in line with the “highest common view” (Widmeyer, Brawley, and Carron 1992) and the phenomenon of the so-called risky-shift (Kogan and Wallach 1967). Moreover, the efficiency of teams problem solving depends somewhat on the types of tasks assigned (Thorndike 1938). This means there are some tasks which are handled more effectively by individuals rather than teams. Further, the strong and consistent evidences relating to the efficiency of teamwork are not revealed in the deep examination of empirical field research (e.g., Beekun 1989; Hackman and Morris 1975; Macy and Izumi 1993). Allen and Hecht, indeed, concede that “overall, the evidence regarding the effectiveness of teams must be described as modest, at best” and the obvious mismatch between “this evidence and the enthusiasm with which team are greeted” (2004, p.444). This point is also confirmed by other researchers (e.g., Naquin and Tynan 2003). All these arguments indicate the fact that working in teams is not necessarily more effective than working individually. However, and critically, it must be accepted that there are various situations facing organizations in which they do not have any other possible approaches to get the work done rather than teamwork. As Chong (2007) put it: {draw:frame}

Mullins asserts that some particular jobs can be carried out only via the combined efforts of numerous individuals working together (2004, p. 527). Many projects within the workplace or at school are too large or complex for one individual to complete alone. For example, giant projects such as Sydney Opera House or Paris Eiffel Tower are not possible to be finished by only one individual. Further, teams, to a large degree, are more effective than individuals working alone at specifying problems, generating alternatives and selecting from those alternatives thanks to varied backgrounds, talents and perspectives of team members (McShane and Travaglione 2007, Mullins 2004, Robbins et al. 2004, Wood et al. 2006). Another concern is that “people potentially have higher motivation to complete complex tasks in a team because the effort-to-performance expectancy would be much lower if performing the entire task alone” (McShane and Travaglione 2007, p. 268). {draw:frame}

Improving team effectiveness
IPO perspectives
A majority of research examining the variables that impact team performance has been considerably affected by the IPO (input-process-output) framework and several key inputs and process factors appear to be connected to team effectiveness (Williams and Allen 2008). Input variables

The most common discussed team input factors include characteristics of team design and team composition. Team design variables such as task interdependence and...
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