What are the differences and similarities between groups and teams? Discuss norms, status, cohesiveness, and social loafing. Provide an example of one or more of these constructs. What makes a group or team effective?
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The principal difference between groups and teams is that the sense of identification among team members seems to be stronger. Moreover, it should be pointed out that teams possess more differentiated roles. Task interdependence, in its turn, seems to be greater with teams.
Team/group norms are stated to control team behavior. For instance, if a presentation is scheduled for 8 a.m., it depends upon the norms of an organization whether to arrive at the presentation room at 7.55 a.m. (as a presentation starts promptly at 8 a.m.) or at 8 a.m. (as a presentation starts at 8.10 a.m.); so, you are given some more time for socializing.
A team’s status is considered to be extremely important, as “even small differences in members’ status perceptions—differences that may not be apparent to the members themselves—can diminish coordination, generate task conflict, and weaken performance” (Gardner, 2010, p. 1).
Group goals/interdependence/activities/size/atmosphere, similarity among members, the attractiveness of members, leadership, and structural properties determine team cohesiveness.
The basic principle of social loafing is that an individual’s contribution is smaller because of poor coordination between the participants of a team. In other words, if one thinks that it is the reduction of a person’s effort, which causes problems, one’s assumption is wrong.
The basic points for effective team performance involve a clear objective and high-performance norms. The technical skills improvement and resources securing also influence team effectiveness. Planning and organizing are the key activities, which determine “optimal use of available resources” (Hughes et al., n. d., p. 15). Interpersonal conflicts minimizing is another key characteristic for effective team performance. Other constituents, which influence the effectiveness of a team, include task structure, group boundaries, norms, and authority.
According to Robins and Judge (2011), conflict can benefit an organization. In what ways does conflict within a group or team facilitate creativity, effectiveness, and product quality? How is it possible to differentiate the positive from the negative types of conflict within a group or team environment?
The conflict arising from heterogeneity is recognized to be one of the basic constituents, which influences team effectiveness. Thus, greater productivity, various approaches to problem solutions, enhanced decision quality can be regarded as some advantages of a conflict. While speaking about conflict and creativity facilitating, one is to keep in mind that according to Brown, “an expanded understanding of the issues for the team members, mobilization of party resources and energies toward problem resolution, and clarification of competing solutions and creative searches for alternative solutions to existing problems” (Bradford et al., 2001, p. 8) can be regarded as the positive outcomes of a conflict.
It must be noted that both relational and task-based conflicts affect the team. The positive and negative types of conflict can be differentiated on the basis of the following issues: according to conflict management, “if cooperativeness is regarded as an attempt to satisfy the other’s concerns,” a conflict will lead to pleasant consequences. On the other hand, “if cooperativeness is regarded as an attempt to satisfy one’s own concerns,” a conflict will lead to negative outcomes (Correia, 2008, p. 21). So, the most appropriate way to cope with a conflict is to take into account group interests (i.e., the interests of all members involved).
What is the meaning of communication style? What recommendations can you make for effective communication among coworkers who have contrasting communication styles? Do you ever change your style? Provide examples.
The meaning of communication style is considered to be extremely important, as the effectiveness of a team partially depends upon interpersonal relations between the members of a team and communication skills employees rely on.
To create effective communication among co-workers, who have contrasting communication styles, it is necessary to develop enduring systems of communication, prepare pro-active techniques in order to avoid conflicts, learn how emotion and reason influence communication and negotiation, and utilize strategic and intuitive techniques to improve both competitive and collaborative styles. For instance, employees who have contrasting communication styles must be rather flexible in order to make a compromise with each other. They are to realize the importance of their cooperation as well as mutual respect.
Bradford, K., Stringfellow, A., & Weitz, B. (2001). Managing Conflict to Improve the Effectiveness of Ad-Hoc Marketing Teams. Ufl.edu. Web.
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Correia, A. (2008). Team Conflict in ICT-rich Environments: Roles of Technologies in Conflict Management. Iastate.edu. Web
Gardner, H. (2010). Disagreement about the Team’s Status Hierarchy: An Insidious Obstacle to Coordination and Performance. Harvard Business School. Web.
Hughes, R., Ginnett, R., & Curphy, G. (n. d.). Leadership. Berkeley.edu. Web.