Team - Group Behavior - Organizational Behavior

A team is a cooperative group whose members interact with each other towards the accomplishment of specified objectives. In many organizations, employees work in regular small groups called reams where their efforts must fit together like the pieces of a picture puzzle. When their work is interdependent, they act as a work team and seek to develop a cooperative state called teamwork.

Nature of work-team

A team may be defined as a group whose members have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose or goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable, the practice of working in teams for a coordinated is known as teamwork.

A work-team generates positive synergy through the coordinated efforts of team members. The team efforts result in a level of performance that is greater than the sum of the individual inputs of the team members. This is why many organizations structure their processes around teams. The team's members focus on collective, rather than individual efforts have common goals and are mutually accountable to each other.

Team vs. group: teams are specific kinds of groups; all groups can't be called teams. A group consists of a number of people who interact with one another, are psychologically aware of one another, and think of themselves as group. A team is a group whose members influence one another toward the accomplishment of organizational objective(s).

In groups, work performance primarily depends on the work of individual members. But performance of a team depends on both individual contributions and collective efforts of team members working in concert as in case of musical orchestra.

Not all groups in organizations are teams, but all teams are groups. A group qualifies as a team only if its members focus on helping one another to accomplish organizational objectives. In today's quickly changing business environment, teams have emerged as a requirement for success therefore; good managers should constantly try to help groups become teams.

Types of team

In many organizations, there are three types o team:

I.            Problem solving teams

II.            Cross-functional teams

III.            Self-managed teams


1)     Problem-solving team: a team set up to help resolve a specified problem within the organization is called a problem-solving team. The typical problem-solving team has 5 to 10 members and is formed to discuss ways to improve quality in all phases of the organization, to make organizational processes more efficient, or to improve the overall work environment. After about how to deal with the specified problem. Management may implement these recommendations with or without modification and the problem-solving team may be disbanded.

2)     Cross-functional teams:  A cross-functional team is composed of personnel from different functional areas (for example, finance, marketing, human resources, quality control and operations) of the organization who are all focused on a specified objective. For example, Hindustan sanitary wares ltd.  Uses cross-functional teams to reduce wastage and improve quality. Such learns are suitable to control product costs, to choose and implement new technology and to achieve effective coordination among different departments.

Cross- functional teams may not be self-managed, though self-managed teams are generally cross-functional. 6 because cross-functional team members are from different departments within the organization, the team possesses the expertise to coordinate all the activities within the organization (hat impact its own work. Even the problem-solving team in an organizational maybe composed of representatives of different departments, i.e., have the cross functional characters.)

Cross-functional teams are generally made up of employees from about (he same hierarchical level, but from different functional areas, who come together to accomplish a task. The common examples of such teams are taskforces and committees. A task force is just a temporary cross functional team whereas a committee is composed of members drawn from different departments.)

3)     Self-managed team: also known as self-directed work group, a self-managed team is set up to plan, organize, influence and control its own work "situation with only minimal intervention and direction from the top management. This creative team design involves a highly integrated group of several skilled individuals who are cross-trained and have the responsibility and authority to perform some specified activity. It is responsible for whole tasks in the area of its responsibility."

Self-managed team is an important way of structuring, managing and rewarding work. Such teams require only minimum attention of the top management which can concentrate on strategic planning. The activities  which may be delegated to the self-managed teams include setting of work schedules, establishing work-pace, determining the level of increase in the salary and perquisites, designing the performance appraisal system, etc. self-managed teams are being increasingly used un industrial organizations exposed to greater environmental changes. For the success of such teams, the members of such teams should be selected carefully and adequately trained.

Self-managed teams are catching on everywhere, India being no exception. Companies as diverse as titan, reliance, ABB, Tata information systems (TISL), GE plastics India and Phillips are empowering employees-both frontline as well as production staff. Wipro had 29 such team and their number was expected to go up to 130. Wipro InfoTech has 10 such and the plan was to like them to around 40 to 50.


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