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Team Effectiveness and Process variables

The final category to team effectiveness is process variables. These include member commitment to a common purpose, establishment of specific team goals, team efficacy, managed level of conflict and minimizing social loafing. Why are processes important to team effectiveness? One way to answer this question is to return to the topic of social loafing. We found that 1+1+1 doesn’t necessarily add up to three. In team tasks for which each member’s contribution is not clearly visible, there is tendency for individuals to decrease their effort Social loafing, in other words, illustrates a process loss as a result of using teams. But team processes should positive results. That is, teams should create outputs greater than the sum of their inputs. The development of creative alternatives by a diverse group can be one such instance. The points below illustrate how group processes can have an impact on a group’s actual effectiveness. Potential group effectiveness + Process gains – Process losses = Actual group effectiveness Social loafing for instance represents negative synergy. The whole is less that the sum of its parts. On the other hand, research teams are often used in research laboratories because they can draw on the diverse skills of various individuals to produce more meaningful research as a team than could be generated by all of the researchers working independently. That is, they produce positive synergy. Their process gains exceed their process losses. Common Purpose: Effective teams have a common and meaningful purpose that provides direction, momentum and commitment for members. This purpose is a vision. It’s broader than specific goals. Members of successful teams put a tremendous amount of time and effort into discussing, shaping and agreeing on a purpose that belongs to them both collectively and individually. This common purpose, when accepted by the team, becomes the equivalent of what celestial navigation...
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