Organization Behaviour

Topics: Management, Sociology Pages: 13 (3933 words) Published: April 15, 2013

Characteristics of effective teamwork
Organisational structure | Individual contribution | Team processes| Clear purpose| Self knowledge| Coordination|
Appropriate culture| Trust| Communication|
Specified task| Commitment| Cohesion|
Distinct roles| Flexibility| Decision making|
Suitable leadership| | Conflict management|
Relevant members| | Social relationships|
Adequate resources| | Performance feedback|

Organisational structure
Many theorists offer recommendations about the structural characteristics of teamwork, by referring to relatively stable procedures of coordination and control. Seven of the most commonly described structural characteristics include a clear purpose, appropriate culture, specified task, distinct roles, suitable leadership, relevant members, and adequate resources. They will be described in turn below.

Clear purpose

Organisations are pervaded either explicitly through mission statements or by particular assumptions or behaviour. West (1994) emphasised the need for organisations to have a clear vision, which encompassed their underlying values. Mission statements communicated and synchronised these shared values across the organisation, thus engaging and motivating individuals (Beatty 1987; Headrick, Wilcock & Batalden 1998). Clear and measurable team goals could be derived from the mission statement. As team members participated in setting and prioritising goals, they better understood the task requirements and were more motivated to achieve them (Kirkman & Rosen 1999). Goal agreement in healthcare is often achieved through a common commitment to patients’ needs (Bassoff 1983; Headrick et al. 1998). Having a superordinate goal beyond professional goals motivates team members to emphasise their similarities without diluting unique professional contributions (Ivey, Brown, Teske & Silverman 1988; Loxley 1997). It follows that healthcare teams need to identify appropriate patient goals and link these with both team and professional goals, while upholding the organisation’s mission (Maple 1987).

Appropriate culture

Teams should be recognised and integrated within their organisations (Pearce & Ravlin 1987). Organisations need to clearly define their expectations and mechanisms of accountability for all teams (Sundstrom, De Meuse & Futrell 1990). Organisational culture needs to transform shared values into behavioural norms (Brill 1976; Blechert, Christiansen & Kari 1987). For example, team success is fostered by a culture that incorporates shared experiences of success. In times of economic rationalism, there may be cultural conflict and inconsistency between norms of maintaining clinical standards and adhering to the healthcare organisation’s mission (FirthCozens 1998). Team members with higher status also have less regard for team norms and may exacerbate internal conflict (Kane 1975).

Specified task

Teams require tasks that make a tangible contribution to the organisation and are consistent with the team’s purpose, abilities and attitudes. Tasks need to be sufficiently motivating for team members to share responsibility and accountability for achievement (Sundstrom et al. 1990). Healthcare teams need to clearly define the specific aspect of complex and inter-related patient care which they address (Firth-Cozens 1998).

Distinct roles

Within a team, individual roles need to be clarified and understood by all. However, role construction can be influenced by personal expectations, and by organisational and interpersonal factors (Maple 1987). Therefore, roles need to be flexible enough to accommodate individual differences, personal development needs and membership changes (Blechert et al. 1987). Ideally, individuals should be able to negotiate their roles to perform unique and meaningful tasks...
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