9: Understanding Work Teams

Report
Essentials of
Organizational Behavior, 10/e
Stephen P. Robbins & Timothy A. Judge
Chapter 9
Understanding Work Teams
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9-1
After studying this chapter, you
should be able to:
1.
Contrast groups and teams, and analyze the growing
popularity of using teams in organizations.
2.
Compare and contrast four types of teams.
3.
Identify the characteristics of effective teams.
4.
Show how organizations can create team players.
5.
Decide when to use individuals instead of teams.
6.
Show how the understanding of teams differs in a
global context.
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9-2
Why Are Teams So Popular?
• Increased competition forced restructuring
for efficiency and effectiveness
• Teams:
 Better utilize employee talents
 Are more flexible and responsive to change
 Democratize and motivate
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Groups and Teams
• Work Group –
A group who interacts primarily to share
information and to make decisions to help
one another perform within each
member’s area of responsibility
• Work Team –
Generates positive synergy through
coordinated effort; individual efforts result
in a level of performance that is greater
than the sum of those individual inputs
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Comparing Work Groups and
Work Teams
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Four Types of Teams
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Problem-Solving Teams
• Members often from the
same department
• Share ideas or suggest
improvements
• Rarely given authority to
unilaterally implement
any of their suggested
actions
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Self-Managed Work Teams
• 10-15 employees in highly-related jobs
• Team takes on supervisory responsibilities:




Work planning and scheduling
Assigning tasks
Operating decisions/actions
Working with customers
• May select and evaluate members
• Effectiveness is situationally dependent
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Cross-Functional Teams
• Members from same level, but diverse
areas within and between organizations
• Exchange information
• Develop new ideas and solve problems
• Coordinate complex projects
• Development may be time-consuming
due to complexity and diversity
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Virtual Teams
• Computer technology
ties dispersed team
together
• Special challenges:
 Less social rapport
 More task-oriented
 Members less satisfied
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Key Components of
Effective Teams
• Context
• Composition
• Work Design
• Process
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Contextual Components
•
•
•
•
Presence of adequate resources
Effective leadership and structure
Climate of trust in the team
Performance evaluation and reward
system that reflects team contributions
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Team Composition
Components
• Abilities of members
 Technical expertise
 Problem-solving
 Interpersonal
• Personality
 Conscientious and open-minded
• Diversity
• Size of teams
• Member preferences
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Work Design Components
•
•
•
•
•
Freedom
Autonomy
Skill variety
Task identity
Task significance
Enhances motivation
and team effectiveness
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Process Components
• Common plan and
purpose
• Specific goals
• Team efficacy
• Common mental
models
• Low levels of conflict
• Minimized social loafing
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Turning Individuals Into
Team Players
• Selection –
Need employees who have the interpersonal as well
as technical skills
• Training –
Workshops on problem-solving, communications,
negotiation, conflict-management and coaching skills
• Rewards –
Encourage cooperative efforts rather than individual
ones
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Teams Aren’t Always the
Answer: Three Tests
• Complexity of Work:
Can the work be done better by more than one
person?
• Common Purpose:
Does the work create a common purpose or set of
goals for the people in the group that is more than the
aggregate of individual goals?
• Interdependence:
Are the members of the group interdependent?
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Global Implications
Teamwork is less pervasive in the United
States.
Self-managed teams may be difficult to
introduce globally – power distance
problems.
Team cultural diversity creates difficulties in
the short run.
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Implications for Managers
Common characteristics of effective teams:
 Have adequate resources, effective leadership,
a climate of trust, and suitable reward system
 Composed of individuals with technical and
interpersonal skills
 Work provides freedom, autonomy, and
opportunity to use skills
 Members are committed to a common purpose
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Keep in Mind…
• Proper selection of members increases
likelihood of effective teams
• Team should be constructed based on
ability, skill, and applicable member traits
given the situation
• Non-personal conflicts can lead to better
team decisions
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9-20
Summary
1.
Contrasted groups and teams, and analyzed the
growing popularity of using teams in organizations.
2.
Compared and contrasted four types of teams.
3.
Identified the characteristics of effective teams.
4.
Showed how organizations could create team players.
5.
Decided when to use individuals instead of teams.
6.
Showed how the understanding of teams differed in a
global context.
Copyright ©2010 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall
9-21
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted,
in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior
written permission of the publisher. Printed in the
United States of America.
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9-22

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