Groups and teams

Pages: 3 (838 words) Published: October 14, 2013

Groups and Teams

All for One and One for All

Alexander Dumas in his book The Three Musketeers wrote (1844) “All for One and One for All”. This philosophy is what high performance teams are all about. Is it better to belong to a group or a team? Groups or teams can evolve into high performing, extremely effective, useful tools in any organization if developed and managed correctly.

Working as a Team

What is the importance of working together in groups and teams? A team or group is two or more people working together to achieve a common goal. An increasing body of literature distinguishes between groups and teams suggesting that teams are more effective than groups. Katzenbach and smith (1993) provided a clear distinction between work groups and teams. A work group is a collection of people working in the same area or placed together to complete a task. The group’s performance is the result of people coming together to share information, views and insight. The focus of groups is individual performance and actions within are geared toward it. All teams are groups, but teams are a special subset of groups. They establish a working definition. A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutual accountability where groups do not.

The Differences Between Groups and Teams

It is helpful to identify the characteristic of teams and group, nothing which are common to both. By understanding the difference between these two concepts we can begin to create an appropriate environment for each and determine the conditions in which each is effective. Group members are concerned with and are measured by individual accountability. Team members hold themselves to be mutually accountable. Likewise, both groups and teams have a sense of shared purpose. The group’s purpose is essentially that of the...


References: Katzebach, J.R. & Smith, D.K. (1993). The Discipline of teams. Harvard Business Review, 71 (March-April), 111-1146
Darling, J & Nurmi, R (1997) International Management Leadership. New York: International Business Press.
John M. Ivancevich, Robert Konopaske, Michael T. Matteson. (2008). Organizational Behavior and Management.
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