Networking and Team Relationships
Management experts have argued that when team work together they have the possibility of achieving more than the sum total achievement of individual team members. To do this a team must have the necessary synergies to optimize collective efforts.
Synergies are realized where effective managers have managed to create the necessary relationships within and without the team. Team relationships are cultivated where effective networks have been created. The need for establishing team relationships has been is because of the changing face of modern management.
The reorganized management structures means that employees are gaining more power over their work place roles. This can be utilized effectively for the benefit of the organization as well as team members. But to realize this various type’s networks and relationships within the team must be properly enhanced.
There are various types of networks and relationships in effective teams. Social relationships are an important part of networking and socialization as they help team members to increase the level of collaboration, help in sharing work related experiences and the enhancement of trust amongst the team members.
Tacit knowledge is spread effectively through social relationships. Establishing social networks amongst team members is more beneficial in long term teams as member are aware that they will spend most of their working lives in various teams (Stirna & Persson, 2008). Independent task networks are relationships found in teams that are task oriented and where individuals have to complete a task by themselves.
In these types of relationships contact between team members is only guaranteed by the task that each of the members is performing. In this type of relationships, members successfully accomplish their individual roles which make up the overall team task (Dyck & Neubert, 2010). Formal relationships exist in teams in form of identifying the particular job description and job titles.
This type of relationships helps in establishing a sense of authority. It is through these relationships team leaders are able to rally the team to accomplish team task (Stirna and Persson, 2008).
Team managers can only realize effective network and relationships if they are able to rally the best human as well as social capital in behind their teams. Human capital has been described as the reservoir of capabilities, competences, abilities, skills and personalities.
An effective workforce must have a composite of these factors so as to ably perform valuably for the team. Examples of human capital include team leaders, strategists and managers who have gained the necessary human capital through education, professional training and on-the-job experience (Becker, 1993).
Field (2008) argues that it is difficult to explain social capital without touching on human capital. This is because social capital is the economic value attached to people as social beings. Teams must invest in people who have the right relationships within and without the team.
This will help the team access valuable resources out of those networks. A good example of social capital is a team member who is able to use his social influences to acquire a privilege for the team. Team managers have to empower such team members as they form not only part of the teams’ human capital but also social capital. Thus human and social capital complements each other.
The realization of the right relationships and networks within teams is the key determinant on the level of the team performance. The relationships between human capital and social capital determine how well networks and relationships are formed in teams.
Becker, G. (1993). Human capital: a theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dyck, B., & Neubert, M. (2010). Management: current practices and new directions Boston: Houston Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.
Field, J. (2008). Social capital. New York: Rutledge.
Stirna, J., & Persson, A. (2008).The practice of enterprise modeling: first IFIP WG 8.1 working conference. Stockholm: Springer