Topic 13: Teams Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Topic 13: Teams Deck (38):

What is a team?

A group of people who:

  • Have a clearly defined common objective.
  • Must interact, communicate and collaborate to achieve it.
  • Are collectively accountable for achieving the objective.
  • Have a clear social identity.


What is a co-acting group?

A group of people who have:

  • Common location
  • Might have common supervision
  • No collective accountablility.


What kind of teams are in organisations?

  • Work teams: Traditional or self directed.
  • Parallel teams: Not in formal hierarchy, no formal authority, usually make recommendations. e.g. quality circles, process improvement committees.
  • Project teams: temporary, fixed life cycle.
  • Executive teams: At the top of organisation, e.g. senior management group.


What are self-directed work teams?

  • Perform relatively complete work process
  • Autonomous; responsible for managing their own inputs, processes, outputs.
  • Receive team level feedback and rewards.


What are the theoretical benifits of work teams?

  • Improvement of coordination and control  over complex interdependent work processes.
  • Enhanced motivation and commitment.
  • Better skill utilization.
  • More effective problem-solving.


Show the team effectiveness model.

The test for effectivess involves. See below.

  1. Organisational and team environement.
  2. Team design.
  3. Team processes.
  4. Team effectivness.

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What are the componenets of team design?

  • Team characterstics.
  • Team size.
  • Team competition.


What are the components of organisation and team environment?

  • Reward systems.
  • Communication systems.
  • Organisational structure.
  • Organisational leadership.
  • Physical space.


What are the components of team effectivess? What are they linked to?

  • Accomplish tasks. -> Productivity
  • Satisfy member needs. -> Social processes
  • Maintain team survival. -> Employee experiences


Explain what good task characteristics are in team design.

  • Tasks should be interdependent.
    • Share common resources.
    • Interact to execute effectively.
    • Outcomes dependent on performance of others.
  • Tasks are intrinsically motivating.
  • Task goals are clearly defined.
    • What (goal)
    • How (pathways to achieving)
    • Who (role clarity)


What are the components of team processes?

  • Team development.
  • Team norms.
  • Team cohesion.
  • Team trust.


Discuss team size.

  • Increasing team size increases resources for the team.
  • But communication and coordination suffers.
  • Tasks become more complex and unpredictable.
  • Team becomes more diverse.
  • Subgroups and factions may form.


Outline the ideal characterstics of team composition.

  • Stable teams.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • Homogenous in demographics. technical expertise and job experience (for short term projects).


What are the ideal elements of a firms organisational and team environment?

  • Leaders coach rather then manage directly
    • Create conditions that promote team effectiveness
    • Clarify path-goal relationships rather than controlling member's interactions or directing activities.
  • Team excellence is recognized and rewarded.


How can we evaluate team productivity?

Sum of individual member productivities, plus process gains, minus process losses.


What are the models of team development we consider?

  • Tuckman's 5-stage model.
  • Gersick's punctuated equilibrium model.


Outline Tuckmans 5-stage model.

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing.
  5. Adjourning


Outline Gersick's punctuated equilibrium model

Phase 1: Unproductive, group follows basic agenda.

Transition: Occurs at mid-point of allowed time. Triggered by awareness of passage of time with respect to deadline.

Phase 2: Team-related activities addressed vigorously due to time awareness.


What is the evidence on the Tuckman vs Gersick Debate.

Data supports both:

  • Micro level consistant with Tuckman model, within two macro-level phases
  • References to time in groups increased significantly as the deadline approached. Matched findings of Gersick.
  • Transition in suggested by Gersick occurs but not necessarily at mid-point.
  • Groups do most of productive work in the second of the two main phases of their task time.
  • Process losses in early phases are substantual.


What are norms? Are they valuable?

Informal rules and expectations used to control behavior. Value relate are dependent on their productivity.


How are norms maintained?

  • Peer pressure to conform.
  • Reward and punishment from high status team members.


How are norms developed?

  • When team members learn what behaviors help them become effective.
  • Critical events in team's history.
  • What takes place when a group is first formed.
  • Prior values, beliefs and experiences of team members.


How can dysfunctional norms be fought?

  • Explicitly discuss early in team formation.
  • Review norms periodically.
  • Select team members.
  • Modify team composition.
  • Introduce team-based rewards.


What factors effect team cohesion?

  • Membor similarity.
  • Time size. (smaller is better.)
  • Member interaction. (more regular the better.)
  • Somewhat difficult entry. (better when tough to get in.)
  • Team success.
  • External competition, challanges. (good in dealable doses.)


What is the collective effort model?

Application of expectancy theory to groups. Says that individuals will only put effort on a collective task if they expect their efforts to be instrumental in obtaing outcomes they personally value.

Explains social loafing.


What is the traditional explination for social loafing?

  • Task percieved to be unimportant, simple or uninteresting.
  • Individual output thought to be unidentifiable.
  • Co-workers are also expected to loaf (dysfunctional norms).
  • Members have individualistic values.


What is the traditional solution to social loafing?

  • Keep groups small.
  • Specialise tasks and hold members individually accountable.
  • Measure individual and team performance.
  • Challenging and interesting tasks.
  • Select members who value collective outcomes.


What is group think?

The tendency of highly cohesive groups to value consensus at the price of decision quality.


What can be the antecedents to groupthink?


  • High cohesiveness.
  • Insulated.
  • Partisan leadership.
  • No set procedures.
  • Homogenous.


  • External threat.
  • Stress.
  • Pessimistic forecast.


What are the symptoms of groupthink?

  • Inflated view of group worth
    • Illusion of invulnerability.
    • Assumption of morality.
  • Close-mindedness
    • Rationalisation.
    • Stereotyping of outgroups.
  • Unformity pressure
    • ​Pressure on dissentors.
    • Self-censorship.
    • Illusion of unanimity.


What are the effects of groupthink?

Little consideration of:

  • Options.
  • Goals.
  • Cost-benifit appraisals.
  • Use of expert knowledge.
  • Making contingency plans.


What techniques can be used to counter groupthink?

  • Form subgroups to investigate alternatives and debate them. (Dialetical approach.)
  • Appoint a devils advocate.
  • Self criticise.
  • Last chance meetings.
  • Nominal group technique.
  • Independent advisors / reviews.


What is the nominal group technique

In groups of 7-10 people:

  1. Everyone silently and independently records ideas.
  2. Each member presents ideas.
  3. Summarized and recorded on whiteboard without review of merits.
  4. Discussion of all ideas held.
  5. Vote on each idea to rank / rate.


Explain how conformity conformity operates under uncertainty.

  • With more uncertainty, people conform more to the views of others. ("Maybe they know something I don't").
  • The more difficult the problem the greater the conformity.
  • The greater the payout the greater the conformity


How to groups and individuals compare at solving tasks?

  • Groups do better on average when there is actually a correct answer (greater chance that someone in the group discovers it).
  • Groups may do better on average when there is no 'correct' answer. Only when social gains exceed losses.


What are the social gains to group decisions?

  • More knowledge and expertise
  • Cross pollination of ideas


What are the social losses to group ideas?

  • Off-task social behavior.
  • Production blocking.
  • Evaluation apprehension.
  • Group polarisation.


What is group polarisation?

The tendency of groups to make more extreme decisions than individuals would make working alone.