Comparative Analysis between
FIRO-B and Belbin Theory
Submitted by: Submitted to:
Ishaan Rattanpal Dr. Swarup Mohanty
Introduction to Team Roles
Personality of a person is the chief determinant of a team’s effectiveness. Individuals will tend to play a role within the team, dependent upon aspects of their personality. An understanding of the team roles members assume can lead to a greater understanding of team effectiveness and team development. Several rigorous approaches have been made to the understanding of the relationship between team effectiveness and the team roles members’ play. One approach has been through the work of William Schutz (FIRO-B). Another is the work of R Meredith Belbin. While significant differences exist between the approaches of Schutz and Belbin, both are solid in foundation. We explore the important points of both the theories one by one and then contrast them in order of their effectiveness in understanding the team’s effectiveness.
FIRO Team Roles
Will Schutz, a highly respected psychologist of note and one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement, developed a theory of interpersonal behavior and need. Schutz developed a short, yet powerful psychological instrument, the FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior), based on his FIRO theory, to help understand interpersonal behavior. FIRO B is based on the following 3 basic assumptions:
• People need people
• Basic human nature gives rise to inter-personal needs, thus needs to be satisfied • Need intensities varies
FIRO-B has been found useful in career coaching, management and leadership development, and in team building. It has also been used extensively in research, including the areas of educational administration, work-group compatibility, and interpersonal dynamics in groups. FIRO-B has been used extensively to predict how military personnel would work together in groups under battle conditions. According to FIRO theory, people play roles in teams depending on their own interpersonal needs in relation to the interpersonal needs of other team members. An individual’s FIRO-B scores can predict which team roles they are likely to play. These team roles, as outlined by Eugene Schnell and Allen Hammer, are shown in the table below. Most people will play at least one, and often more than one team role, depending on their FIRO-B profile and the interpersonal needs of the other team members.
|FIRO Team Role |Description | |Clarifier |Presents issues or solutions for clarification, summarizes discussion, introduces new members to the team, keeps | | |team members up to date, and provides the group with facts and data. | |Tension-Reducer |Helps move the team along by joking or clowning at appropriate moments, redirects the group at tense moments, | | |builds on common interests in the group. | |Individualist |Is not an active team player, sees meetings as unnecessary or distracting, may work on other tasks or hold side | | |conversations during meetings, may not follow through or cooperate with group decisions. | |Director |Pushes for action and decision-making, may interrupt others or monopolize the ‘air-time’ in meetings, may be | | |unrealistically optimistic about what can be accomplished....
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