Leadership is an important element for the success of any organization. Leadership allows an organization to possess good and efficient working staff. To increase performance, leaders in different organizations have opted for diversification strategies.
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These diversification strategies may involve team diversification. Teams can be diversified on the basis of gender, culture, ethnicity or experience. There are advantages and disadvantages of team diversification. This paper intends to analyze the benefits and shortcomings of team diversification and how leadership styles could be used to be used to build a team.
A team in an organization refers to groups that work close together to realize a similar objective or common goal. These groups are also accountable to each other. There are certain disadvantages that arise from team diversification.
One of the common disadvantages of team diversity is the inability of the team members to reach an agreement. Since all the individuals in these teams have different perceptions of how problems are supposed to be handled, reaching an agreement is quite taxing.
This might slow down the progress of the business due to the lengthy discussions and arguments that have to be undertaken in order to reach a conclusion.
Another disadvantage of team diversification is miscommunication. Communication among various team members becomes difficult due to different opinions.
These different opinions and self interests of different characters within the teams may create hostility among the team members such that communication cannot take place effectively within the teams.
This is a setback since communication forms an important element in the success of any origination. Lack of communication between members of a team does not enhance the realization of a common goal since there is a break in communication.
There is also the problem of agreement on a similar course of action. This is another area where different people in different teams and also individuals within a particular team find difficulty.
Each group may have its own perspective of what should be done and what action to take which may result to conflicts. Solving the conflicts and reaching a conclusion can be a lengthy process (Stevens, 2002, p.212). There is also ambiguity in team actions since some individuals escape the responsibility of making decisions. They sit back and leave others with the task of decision making so that they escape responsibility in case the actions agreed upon have negative consequences in future.
Despite the disadvantages, there are also benefits of team diversification. There are multiple perspectives which are as a result of increased creativity by the different members in the teams. This creativity creates a wide pool of ideas from which different decisions and strategies can be arrived at.
Since the members of the different teams have different experiences, different interpretations of the problems at hand results to diversified conclusions and solutions that could be used to the benefit of the company. These different perceptions result to competition which increases individual levels of commitment and determination.
There is also increased flexibility since there are people of different cultures, race and experience. Therefore, the approaches to different problems and challenges are solved by teams of people who have different perceptions. This increases problem-solving skills since the teams may be open to different and new ideas.
The decisions arrived at are much more concrete than decisions that would have been made individually since team diversity increases accountability (Barnes, 2008, p. 329)
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As a leader, the most effective way of leading a team is by employing all the leadership styles by assessing the different qualities and situations of the respective teams and team members. Depending on the situation, I can use either authoritarian leadership, participative or delegative (Hofstede, 1977, p. 81).
When teams are having problems reaching a conclusion, I will employ the participative leadership style so that decisions can be arrived at without lengthy discussions that result to time wastage.
When I want a problem to be worked on by amassing different ideas from different teams then I will employ my authoritarian leadership style where the team members will be motivated to work on the problem. When a new procedure needs to be implemented, I will use my delegative leadership style to give different teams various tasks.
Its important for a leader to choose team members who have particular skills that would enable them to work in harmony with each other to achieve the organizations goal.
When forming my team, I will use different criterion such as gender, ethnicity, age and experience to group the individuals into different teams. These individuals also possess leadership qualities. Therefore, I will make sure that each group has fair distribution of different individuals with different leadership qualities to enhance competition and creation of ideas.
Team diversification is important in order to succeed in business. Diversification has both benefits and shortcomings but this cannot hinder leaders from utilizing team diversification in business since the benefits out number the disadvantages. Leadership styles must be considered when designating teams and team members for successive outcomes.
Barnes, D. (2008). Operations management: an international perspective. Bedford Row, London: Thompson Learning.
Hofstede, G. (1977). Culture and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Stevens, M. (2002). Project Management Pathways: Association for Project Management. Buckinghamshire: Michael Heath Limited, Reigate.