The purpose of this essay is to illustrate how I have observed two Group Task roles and two Group Maintenance roles in my work organization. Group Task roles assume that the task of the group is to solve a common problem. Everyone in the group takes on a specific task role or sometimes more than one task role. Group Maintenance Roles serve the purpose of building and maintaining group-centered attitudes and behavior. For this example we will observe the small group at the Malt-O-Meal Company. The Regional Team will be considered the group. The group consists of a Team Director/Manager, Account Reps, Retail Operations Managers, and Retail Sales Reps.
The Team Director often takes on the role of Initiator-Contributor almost by default as part of his/her job description. Team Directors develop the common goals and objectives of his team/group. The Team Director strongly suggests ways in which he expects the group to accomplish goals or solve a common problem of the group. In this instance the goal is to sell in a new brand of cereal to all accounts covered by the group. The Team Leader would introduce this objective over a weekly conference call and the group would discuss obstacles or objections they face may encounter. Those objections may includes not enough promotional funding to support the new brand of cereal, or not enough shelf space to cut the product in at store level. The Team Director would then offer up suggestions on how to handle these potential objections. He would also provide the team with “tools” to help accomplish the goals he has set. The tools would sometimes include additional funding to support advertising for the new line, and suggested planograms for the stores to show where the new product would fit in order to solve the task at hand.
Another Task Role I have observed at Malt-O-Meal is the Information Seeker. This role is generally taken on by the Account Reps. The reps are charged with gathering more specific...
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