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After studying this chapter, you should be able to understand the concepts about…

A. Individuals

B. Groups

C. Teams


In this lecture, we will look at individuals, groups, and teams in organizations. We will explore the role and

functioning of groups within organizations and factor affecting the behavior. We will starts by defining a

team, discussing its key characteristics, examining its fit in the organization, and exploring the effect of

national culture and diversity on teams. Next, we will look at various types of teams in organizations

including simple work teams, administrative teams, cross-departmental teams, and process teams.

Organizations that use teams are facing with the critical challenge of making their teams effective through

team building, a process that is examined in detail in this chapter, followed by an in-depth look at teams in

context. The manager needs to understand why employees engage in some behaviors rather than others and

to predict how employees will respond to various actions by the manager. The emphasis will be on

employee productivity, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and increase job satisfaction.

A. Individual

Why to Focus on Individuals:

Individuals are important units of any organization. If we understand the behavior of individuals, we can

predict the outcomes; it will become easy to manage the behaviors of individuals in desirable directions.

We have to look at three individual variables—

biographical characteristics, ability, and learning.

Biographical characteristics are readily available to

managers. Generally, they include data that are contained

in an employee’s personal file. The most important

conclusions are that, age seems to have no relationship to

productivity; older workers and those with longer tenure

are less likely to resign; and married employees have fewer

absences, less turnover, and report higher job satisfaction

than do unmarried employees. But what value can this

information have for managers? The obvious answer is

that it can help in making choices among job applicants.

Ability directly influences an employee’s level of

performance and satisfaction through the ability-job fit.

Given management’s desire to get a compatible fit, what

can be done? First, an effective selection process will

improve the fit. A job analysis will provide information

about jobs currently being done and the abilities that

individuals need to perform the jobs adequately.

Applicants can then be tested, interviewed, and evaluated on the degree to which they possess the necessary

abilities. Second, promotion and transfer decisions affecting individuals already in the organization’s employ

should reflect the abilities of candidates. With new employees, care should be taken to assess critical abilities

that incumbents will need in the job and to match these requirements with the organization’s human

resources. Third, the fit can be improved by fine-tuning the job to better match an incumbent’s abilities.

Often modifications can be made in the job that while not having a significant impact on the job’s basic

activities, better adapts it to the specific talents of a given employee. Examples would be to change some of

the equipment used or to reorganize tasks within a group of employees. A final alternative is to provide

training for employees. This is applicable to both new workers and present job incumbents. Training can

keep the abilities of incumbents current or provide new skills as times and conditions change.

Any observable change in behavior is prima facie evidence that learning has taken place. What we want to



do, of course, is ascertain if learning concepts provide us with any insights that would allow us to explain

and predict behavior. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for modifying behavior. By identifying and

rewarding performance-enhancing behaviors, management increases the likelihood that they will be

repeated. Our knowledge about learning further suggests that reinforcement is a more effective tool than

punishment. Although punishment eliminates undesired behavior more quickly than negative reinforcement

does, but punished behavior tends to be only temporarily suppressed rather than permanently changed.

Punishment may produce unpleasant side effects such as lower morale and higher absenteeism or turnover.

In addition, the recipients of punishment tend to become resentful of the punisher. Managers, therefore, are

advised to use reinforcement rather than punishment.

Finally, managers should expect that employees would look to them as models. Managers who are

constantly late to work, or take two hours for lunch, or help themselves to company office supplies for

personal use should expect employees to read the message they are sending and model their behavior


Individual differences do not dictate people’s behavior. Instead, they limit a person’s behavioral range,

making some behavior easier than others.

B. Group

A group is defined as two or more interacting and interdependent individuals who come together to achieve

particular objectives.

Types of Groups

a. Formal groups are work groups established by the organization and have designated work

assignments and established tasks. The behaviors in which one should engage are stipulated by and

directed toward organizational goals.

b. Informal groups are of a social nature and are natural formations. They tend to form around

friendships and common interests.

Why Do People Join Groups?

There is no single reason why individuals join groups.

1. Security reflects a strength in numbers.

The group helps the individual to feel stronger, have fewer self-doubts, and be more resistant to threats.

2. Status indicates a prestige that comes from belonging to a particular group.

Inclusion in a group viewed as important provides recognition and status.

3. Self-esteem conveys people's feelings of self-worth.

Membership can raise feelings of self-esteem--being accepted into a highly valued group.

4. Affiliation with groups can fulfill one's social needs.

Work groups significantly contribute to fulfilling the need for friendships and social relations.

5. One of the appealing aspects of groups is that they represent power.

What often cannot be achieved individually becomes possible through group action.

Power might be desired to protect themselves from unreasonable demands.

Informal groups additionally provide opportunities for individuals to exercise power.

6. Finally, people may join a group for goal achievement.

There are times when it takes more than one person to accomplish a particular task.

There is a need to pool talents, knowledge, or power in order to get a job completed.

Group Roles

What Are Roles?

1. The concept of roles applies to all employees in organizations and to their life outside the

organization as well.

2. A role refers to a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone who occupies a given

position in a social unit.

3. Individuals play multiple roles.

4. Employees attempt to determine what behaviors are expected of them.

5. An individual who is confronted by divergent role expectations experiences role conflict.



6. Employees in organizations often face such role conflicts.

Following are the different types of group roles:

1. Task-oriented roles

2. Relationship-oriented roles

3. Individual roles

Task-oriented roles

• Initiator-Contributors

• Information seekers/providers

Relationship-oriented roles

• Encouragers

• Harmonizers

Individual roles

• Blockers

• Jokers

Characteristics of a well-functioning, effective group

A group is considered effective if it is having following characteristics.

• Relaxed, comfortable, informal atmosphere

• Task to be performed are well understood & accepted

• Members listen well & participate in given assignments

• Clear assignments made & accepted

• Group aware of its operation & function

• People express feelings & ideas

• Consensus decision making

• Conflict & disagreement center around ideas or method

C. Team

A team is a mature group with highly independent members who are completely committed to a common

goal. All teams start out as groups, but not all groups become teams. The elements that distinguish teams

from groups are …

• full commitment by members to a common

goal and mission

• interdependent

• mutual accountability

• shared leadership

• trust and a collaborative culture, and

• achievement of synergy

Differentiating Groups and Teams:

Groups and teams are different. All teams are groups, but a group is not always a team. A team is always

distinguished by the fact that its members are committed to a common purpose, a set of performance goals,

and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. A group is defined as two or more

persons who are interacting with one another in such a manner that each person influences and is

influenced by each other person.

Types of Teams

Organizations use four types of teams, which differ according to the complexity of their task and the

fluidity of their membership.

1. Self managed Teams



2. Cross Departmental Team

3. Quality Circles

4. Virtual Teams

Self-Directed /managed Work Teams:

A self-managed work team is a formal group of employees who operate without a manager and are

responsible for a complete work process or segment that delivers a product or service to an external or

internal customer. This kind of team has control over its work pace, determination of work assignments,

etc. Fully self-managed work teams even select their own members and evaluate performance.

As a result, supervisory positions take on decreased importance and may even be eliminated.

Cross Departmental Team

Cross-departmental teams work on simpler tasks, and their membership fluidity is high, which means that

members come and go over time. Process teams, which address complex tasks, have highly fluid


Problem solving Team

Problem solving also known as Quality circles, which are simple work teams, consist of eight to ten

volunteers from a common work area who meet to find solutions to specific problems about the quality of

work processes, products, or services. Quality circles have a clear and specific focus on quality improvement

within a single work unit. They meet regularly and have limited power to implement their ideas.

Organizations can establish quality circles without making major organizational changes, because they

operate in parallel to the rest of the structure.

Are Virtual Teams a Reality Today?

A virtual team is an extension of the electronic meetings; virtual team allows groups to meet without

concern for space or time and enables organizations to link workers together that in the past couldn't have

been done. Team members use technology advances to solve problems-even though they may be

geographically dispersed or a dozen time zones away.

Process Teams:

Today's team-based organizations rely mainly on process teams, which do not have departmental affiliation

but function independently to undertake broad organizational-level process improvements. In many cases,

organizations that implement process teams then partially or totally disband their traditional departments.

Self-managed teams (SMTs) are process teams of employees who have full managerial control over their

own work. Functioning without outside supervision, they have the power to manage their own work and to

implement their own decisions.

A team leader within the SMT provides internal facilitation to remove work obstacles and obtain needed

resources. As a team, members coordinate and cooperate with other teams and individuals who are affected

by their decisions and activities. Using SMTs requires a total change in organizational structure; not

surprisingly, lack of commitment is the common reason for failure.

Making Teams Effective Through Team Building

Team building—activities aimed at improving the internal work and relationship processes of teams—

requires attention to both task and interpersonal relationships. In team building, organizations apply the

principles of group dynamics to select complementary members, support more cohesion, manage stages of

group development, and establish constructive norms that foster high performance. Membership in teams is

based on expertise in areas that are necessary for task accomplishment. The shamrock team combines a

core of permanent members with part-time members and outside subcontractors.

Turning Individuals in to teams:

Productive teams require careful selection, training, and management. Guidelines for building effective

teams include: seek employee input; establish urgent, demanding performance standards; select members

for skill and skill potential; pay special attention to first meetings and actions; set clear rules of behavior;

move from “boss” to “coach;” set a few immediate performance-oriented tasks and goals; challenge the



group regularly with fresh facts and information; use the power of positive feedback; shoot for the right

team size; choose people who like teamwork; and train, train, train.

Turning Individuals In to Team Players

1. Introduction

a. Some individuals prefer to be

recognized for their individual


b. In some organizations, too, work

environments are such that only

the "strong" survive.

c. Creating teams in such an

environment may meet some


d. Teams fit well with countries that

score high on collectivism.

2. What Are the Management Challenges of Creating Team Players?

a. Employees' success, when they are part of teams, is a function of how well the team as a

whole performed.

b. To perform well as team members, individuals must be able to communicate openly and

honestly with one another, to confront differences and resolve conflicts, and to place lower

priority on personal goals for the good of the team.

c. The challenge of creating team players will be greatest where

i. The national culture is highly individualistic.

ii. The teams are being introduced into an established organization that has

historically valued individual achievement.

iii. This describes, for instance, what faced managers at AT&T, Ford, Motorola, and

other large U.S. companies.

d. In contrast, the challenge for management is less demanding when teams are introduced

where employees have strong collectivism values--such as in Japan or Mexico.

e. The challenge of forming teams will also be less in new organizations that use teams as

their initial form of structuring work.

Saturn Corporation, the ability to be a good team player was a hiring prerequisite.

3. What Roles Do Team Members Play?

a. High-performing work teams properly match people to various roles.

b. There are nine potential roles that work team members often can "play."

c. Creator-innovators are imaginative and good at initiating ideas or concepts.

i. They are typically very independent and prefer to work at their own pace in their

own way--and very often on their own time.

d. Explorer-promoters like to take new ideas and champion their cause.

i. They are good at picking up ideas from the creator-innovator and finding the

resources to promote those ideas.

ii. They often lack the patience and control skills to ensure that the ideas are


e. Assessor-developers have strong analytical skills.

i. They're at their best when given several different options to evaluate and analyze

before a decision is made.

f. Thruster-organizers like to set up operating procedures to get things done.

i. They set goals, establish plans, organize people, and establish systems to ensure

that deadlines are met.

g. And, somewhat like thruster-organizers, concluder-producers are concerned with results.

i. Their role focuses on insisting that deadlines are kept and commitments fulfilled


ii. Concluder-producers take pride in producing a regular output to a standard.

h. Controller-inspectors have a high concern for establishing and enforcing rules and policies.

i. They are good at examining details and making sure that inaccuracies are avoided.

ii. They want to check all the facts and figures to make sure they're complete.

i. Upholder-maintainers hold strong convictions about the way things should be done.

i. They will defend the team and fight its battles strongly supporting fellow team


ii. These individuals provide team stability.

j. Reporter-advisers are good listeners and don't tend to press their point of view on others.

i. They tend to favor getting more information before making decisions.

ii. They perform an important role in encouraging the team to seek additional

information and discouraging the team from making hasty decisions.

k. The linkers overlap the others.

i. This role can be "played" by any of the previous eight roles.

ii. Linkers try to understand all views.

iii. They are coordinators and integrators.

iv. They dislike extremism and try to build cooperation among all team members.

l. If forced to, most individuals can perform in any of these roles.

i. Most have two or three they strongly prefer.

m. Managers need to select team members on the basis of an appropriate mix of individual

strengths, and allocate work assignments that fit with each member's preferred style.

4. How Can a Manager Shape Team Behavior?

a. The three most popular ways include proper selection, employee training, and rewarding

the appropriate team behaviors.

5. What Role Does Selection Play?

a. When hiring team members, the organization should ensure that applicants can fulfill their

team roles.

i. Some job applicants lack team skills.

ii. If team skills are woefully lacking, don't hire that candidate.

iii. A candidate who has some basic team skills but needs more refinement can be

hired on a probationary basis and be required to undergo training.

6. Can We Train Individuals to Be Team Players?

a. Performing well in a team involves a set of behaviors, which can be learned.

b. People who were raised on the importance of individual accomplishment can be trained to

become team players.

c. Training specialists can conduct exercises that allow employees to experience the

satisfaction that teamwork can provide.

d. The workshops offered usually cover such topics as team problem solving,

communications, negotiations, conflict resolution, and coaching skills.

e. Outside consultants can provide a learning environment in which workers can gain

practical skills for working in teams.

7. What Role Do Rewards Play in Shaping Team Players?

a. The organization's reward system needs to encourage cooperative efforts rather than

competitive ones.

b. Lockheed Martin's Space Launch Systems has organized its 1,000+ employees into teams.

i. Rewards are structured to return a percentage increase in the bottom line to the

team members on the basis of achievement of the team's performance goals.

c. Promotions, pay raises, and other forms of recognition should be given to employees for

how effective they are as a collaborative team member.

i. Individual contribution is balanced with selfless contributions to the team.

d. Managers cannot forget the inherent rewards that employees can receive from teamwork.

i. Work teams provide camaraderie.



e. There are inherent rewards being on a team-it's exciting and satisfying to be part of a

successful one.

8. How Can a Manager Reinvigorate a Mature Team?

a. Effective teams can become stagnant.

i. Initial enthusiasm can give way to apathy.

ii. Time can diminish the positive value from diverse perspectives as cohesiveness


iii. Teams don't automatically stay at the "performing" stage.

iv. Familiarity and team success can lead to contentment and complacency.

b. Mature teams, also, are particularly prone to suffer from groupthink.

i. Mature teams early successes are often due to having taken on easy tasks.

ii. As time passes, the team has to begin to tackle the more difficult issues.

c. What a manager can do to reinvigorate mature teams, four suggestions.

i. Prepare team members to deal with the problems of team maturity.

ii. Remind team members that they are not unique.

iii. Offer refresher training.

iv. Provide them with refresher training in communication, conflict resolution, team

processes, and similar skills.

v. Offer advanced training.

vi. Mature teams can benefit from training to develop stronger problem-solving,

interpersonal, and technical skills.

vii. Encourage teams to treat their development as a constant learning experience.

viii. Just as organizations use continuous improvement program, teams should

approach their own development as part of a search for continuous improvement.

Key Terms

Individuals: Individuals are important units of any organization

Group: A group is defined as two or more interacting and interdependent individuals who

come together to achieve particular objectives.

Team: A team is a mature group with highly independent members who are completely

committed to a common goal.

Role: A role refers to a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone who

occupies a given position in a social unit.

Self Esteem: Self-esteem conveys people's feelings of self-worth.

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