12Teams When the work to be done is difficult, complicated, and important—such as building a bridge, flying a spacecraft to the moon, or performing cardiac surgery—people turn to teams. When a group becomes a true team, it is transformed into a complex, adaptive, dynamic task-performing system. Teams are groups, but not all groups are teams. • Are teams groups? • How does the team’s composition influence effectiveness? • What group processes mediate the input-output relationship? • How effective are teams, and how can they be improved?
The first documented use of the word team to describe groups of humans working collectively did not occur until the 1600s: Twerelike falling into a whole Shire of butter: they had need be a teeme of Dutchmen, should draw him out” (Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fayre) Team: from the old English and Norse word “for a bridle and thence to a set of draught animals harnessed together” (Annett & Stanton, 2001, p. 1045). History of teams
Half of the workers in the United States now belong to at least one team at work. Data Source: Devine et al., 1999
Teams are “extreme” groups, for each of the qualities of a typical group are exhibited, to an extreme degree, in a team What is a team?
Hackman identifies four types of teams based on responsibility for setting procedures and goals Manager-led Self-managing Self-designing Self-governing Types of teams Cross-functional teams (project groups composed of people with differing types of functional expertise) are common in many organizations, but they tend to be unstable and not particularly effective.
Task Demands Psychological & Interpersonal Demands When teams? How difficult is the task? How complex is the task? How important is the task? How monotonous/dull is the task? Desire for company (work partners) Diffusion of responsibility Social loafing “Romance of Teams”
The I-P-O Model of Teams Systems model
Example: The 1980 US Hockey Team • Strong composition effects (fit of members) • Presence of “team players” • Individual level of skill and experience • Low diversity and high cohesion • Outstanding leadership Team Performance Building the Team Working in Teams The Nature of Teams The team player KSAs Diversity Men & Women
Teamwork and Personality .25 .24 .16 .05 .12 Emotional Stability Extraversion Openness Agreeable-ness Conscien-tiousness Dominance Dependability Adjustment Flexibility Trust Affiliation Dutifulness Self-esteem Cooperation Social perceptiveness Achievement Efficacy Expressivity Building the Team The team player
In general, great teams require great group members Additive effects Synergy effect Weakest link effect Bad apple effect KSAs
Stronger social identity, fewer schisms, subgroups • More cohesive • Reduced conflict, misunderstanding Broader range of KSAs Increased creativity, less traditional solutions and outlooks
Dealing with Team Diversity • Surface diversity easy to deal with, deep diversity more difficult • Organizational support • Reduce tendency to subgroup • Mixing Men and Women in Teams: bonding effects, sexism, tradition, “civilizing” effects, tokenism, etc.
Team Processes: How well do members combine their knowledge, skills, abilities and resources through a coordinated series of actions Building the Team Working in Teams The Nature of Teams Team Performance Cognitive Processes: Do members share an understanding of the team’s tasks, resources, and procedures? Cohesion: Is the group unified? Team processes Cognitive processes Cohesion
High performing teams • Capitalize on transactive memory processes: different members are trusted to know specific areas of information • Train as a team, rather than individually • Review their work regularly and identify methods to improve Transactive memory: a process by which information to be remembered is distributed to various members of the group who can ten be relied upon to provide that information when it is needed Team Cognition
Sources • A teams’s cohesiveness derives on a number of sources, such as attraction, commitment to a task, and so on. Team Cohesion
Building the Team Working in Teams The Nature of Teams Team Performance Team Performance Evaluating teams Evaluating teams Suggestions Suggestions Is he right?
Case studies and field studies generally support the effectiveness of teams • Experimental studies identify a number of limitations for working in teams • Surveys of workers find widespread dissatisfaction with teams (and leaders) • Suggestions: • Make certain that so-called teams actually are teams • Train individuals to work in teams and to lead teams • Provide organizational (and financial) support to teams (Remember the quality circle!) Empirical evidence is mixed Hackman maintains that teams should: Meet standards of quantity, quality, and timeliness The team should improve over time. The team should contribute in positive ways to members’ well-being and learning