‘The role of communication in team building and in the creation of positive group dynamics in a project environment, and the implications of this relationship for project performance’
BRC: ACADEMIC PAPER
BRC: ACADEMIC PAPER
Communication is widely recognised in the literature as being important to modern management. In the case of the BRC project, communication was often an issue, and was relatively poor for the author’s project team. This paper analyses the role of communication in team building and group dynamics, in order to understand how communication can be improved in the future in order to ensure future project success. The results of the analysis imply that communication is a major issue for teams, with good communication being vital to ensure team performance in a project environment, whilst poor communication can create a number of issues, all of which can lead to poor levels of project performance and significant conflict in a project team.
This academic paper will analyse the role of communication in team building and the creation of positive group dynamics. This topic has been chosen due to the nature of the consulting project as a team based exercise; and the important role that communication, team building and group dynamics played in the creation of the project team. The group project undertaken was significant both in its scope and complexity, which in turn created issues for the project team, all of which had not participated in such a large research project before. As a result of this, the project members initially found it difficult to obtain much traction, with relatively poor team performance and unhelpful group dynamics in the early phase of the project. As a result of this, early performance levels were not particularly high, and the team took some time to gain much traction. Whilst these issues were eventually resolved, this took some time which reduced the ability of the team to perform at a high level for the duration of the project task. As a result of this, a better understanding of communication, and how it can assist in team building and the creation of positive group dynamics in project environment will be valuable for the author, to assist them in avoiding such issues in future.
In general, the theory of team building and group dynamics was defined and encapsulated within Tuckman’s (1965, p. 384) seminal ‘orming’ model of team development. This model focuses on four stages of team building, each of which incorporates different dynamics, referred to as the forming, storming, norming and performing stages. The forming stage occurs when the team is first formed, which generally occurs during the initial stage of the project. In this situation, group dynamics focus on building relationships with team members, and avoiding the creation of conflict, which can reduce levels of effectiveness. The second stage is the storming stage, where group dynamics become more task focused and conflicting opinions can lead to poor performance and a lack of agreement. The third stage is norming, where team roles and objectives become more established, reducing levels of conflict. Finally, in the performing stage the team begins to function better as a whole, with group dynamics being more supportive and driving higher levels of performance due to a strong level of task focus and recognition of the interdependencies in the team (Tuckman, 1965, p. 384). According to Sahu (2010), communication is vital to moving through the stages of this model quickly and effectively, in order to ensure performance levels are high and conflict is resolved as quickly as possible.
This basic model of team work does, however, hide some more specific and contextual forms of group dynamics....