This report entails an analysis of the role of teamwork in ensuring that individuals are effective and efficient in attaining their goals. The report is composed of a number of sections. In the first section, a background study which illustrates the increased incorporation of teamwork in ensuring that individuals attain their goals is illustrated. The second section entails a literature review on teamwork.
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In the review, the report gives a definition of the concept of teamwork. It also considers a number of elements associated with teamwork. One of these issues relates to the factors that make teamwork to be successful. The various factors evaluated include clarity of goals, competence amongst team members, creation of a collaborative climate, incorporation of a result driven structure and ensuring unified commitment.
Other factors include ensuring external support and recognition, standards of excellence and principled leadership. The paper also presents a number of arguments for and against teamwork. In the third section a practical application of the concept of teamwork is illustrated. Finally, a conclusion and number of recommendations with regard to teamwork are outlined.
Background to the study
The success of organizations in different economic sectors is dependent on the effectiveness with which its workforce is managed. According to Price (2007, p.85), the 21st century is characterized by an increment in the number of challenges that organizations are facing. Some of these challenges arise from the high rate of globalization. Globalization presents a challenge to management teams.
This arises from the fact that it stimulates competition. In order to be successful in attaining their goals, individuals and organizations are considering developing their competitive advantage through incorporation of optimal management strategies. One of the aspects that are gaining prominence relates to human resource management.
Human resource management plays a significant role towards the employees attaining their goals. Human resource management entails bringing individuals within an organization together in order to meet the goals each individuals.
Price (2007, p.86) further asserts that human resource management enables employees to enhance their potential. Human resource management is aimed at ensuring that the employees are efficient and effective in executing their duties so as to improve organizational performance.
There are different human resource management strategies that can be incorporated in order to ensure that the employees are effective and efficient in attaining their goals. One of these strategies relate to teamwork. According Rupar and Rupar (2006, p.239), the concept of teamwork is increasingly gaining prominence in the operation of organizations.
In order to understand why this is so, the author of this report conducted an analysis on the concept that people working in teams always achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively than people working alone.
This report concentrates on the role of teamwork in ensuring that individuals attain their goals more effectively and efficiently.
According to Cohen and Bailey (2001, p.241), a team refers to a group of people who are mutually dependent on each other in executing their tasks. They also share responsibilities. Alternatively, teamwork can be defined to include the cooperative and coordinated efforts through which a group of individuals operate in an environment of trust and responsibility with the objective of attaining a common objective.
Over the few past decades, the concept of teamwork has been a core component of man’s effort to survive and attain personal development. According to Rupar and Rupar (2006, p. 239), the concept of teamwork is becoming prominent with regard to development of individuals.
Individuals have realized that it is difficult to survive by operating on their own. Individuals working together as a team are more effective and efficient in attaining their goals. This arises from the fact that the team members are required to surrender a certain degree of their self-interest and personal ego in order attain a common goal. The success of a team is regarded to be a collective success.
Factors that promote teamwork
Clarity of goals
According to Isaksen and Tidd (2006, p.186), the success of teamwork is dependent on a number of factors. Firstly, there must be a clear understanding of the common goals in addition to sharing a common vision amongst the group members.
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By having a clear understanding of the goals, each member is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that it the goal is attained. This arises from the fact that the benefits of the teamwork would only be achieved if the results are achieved. Having a clear understanding of the goal ensures that each member undertakes his or her task with a high level of clarity.
Competent team members and a collaborative climate
Porter-O’Grady and Malloch (2007, p.286) assert that the success of a team is dependent on the degree of competence and cooperation amongst the team members.
This opinion is also held by Isaksen and Tidd (2006, p.187) who assert that team members must have sufficient skills and a strong drive to collaborate with each other. Despite the existence of diversity amongst the members, teams should utilise the different talents and strengths positively. For this to be achieved, development of a climate of mutual trust is paramount.
According to Eugene (2008, p.38), teams within organisations incorporate a result-driven structure in an effort to achieve their goals. Isaksen and Tidd (2006, p.186) further assert that member of a high performing team are more productive.
This arises from the fact that there is a well implemented structure which defines various aspects that the team members have to adhere to. Some of the structures relate to implementing open communication structure so as to ensure that there is an effective and efficient provision of feedback, clarity of tasks and accountabilities. Additionally, the organisation has to ensure that performance is well monitored (Isaksen & Tidd, 2006, p. 186).
According to Reeves, Lewin, Espin and Zwarenstein (2010, p.51), every individual member of a particular group must have a certain degree of commitment so as to develop unity within the team. Team members should develop mutual support towards other members in order to achieve the desired goal. This results into a high level of motivation amongst the individuals.
In addition to the above factors, there are other factors that promote teamwork. These include; external support and recognition, standards of excellence and principled leadership.
Arguments for working in teams
There are a number of benefits associated with teamwork that contribute towards individuals attaining their goals more efficiently and effectively compared to people working alone. Some of these reasons are discussed below.
By working in teams, individuals’ level of creativity is enhanced. This arises from the fact that teams are composed of individuals who posses diverse knowledge and skills which are shared amongst the members.
Gupta (2007, p.212) asserts that working as a team contributes towards individual attaining continuous improvement. This arises from the fact that members gain knowledge from mistakes and experiences. As a result, a continuous learning environment is created.
For the teams to be successful in attaining their goals, the members are required to share information. West (p.11) asserts that teamwork contributes towards cross-fertilization of ideas. Working as a team also gives individuals access to diverse scientific tools and techniques which contribute towards attainment of efficiency.
Gupta (2007, p.212) asserts that the scientific tools and techniques incorporated in a team enhance resource utilisation. This arises from the fact that wastage of finances, time and materials in executing the tasks is eliminated.
Turner (2001, p.333) asserts that the resultant effect is that the individual team members’ knowledge is enhanced due to the high level of exposure to diverse view points. According to Gupta (2007, p.203), individuals working as a team are more creative and innovative compared to those who have adopted an individualistic approach in executing their duties.
Working as a team also develops individuals’ attitude towards risk. Gupta (2007, p.203) is of the opinion that working as a team motivates individuals to be more risk taking in order to attain their goals. Gupta (2007, p.208) further asserts that working as a team enables individuals to evaluate their strength in dealing with uncertainty, taking calculated risks and taking advantage of the opportunities.
In the event that the degree of risk is high, team members pool their efforts and resources in order to deal with the situation. By working in uncertain situations, individuals become more confident in taking risks.
Working as a team motivates individuals to be continuously innovative in performing their tasks. This enhances the effectiveness with which they attain their goals. Odgers (2005, p.311) asserts that working as a team motivates individuals to accomplish their duties effectively and efficiently. This arises from the fact that team members appreciate their colleagues’ contribution, knowledge and competence.
This creates an environment conducive for working. However, Odgers (2005, p.311) asserts that it is necessary to create a calculated conflict within a team in order to foster creativity amongst team members. Odgers (2005, p.311) asserts that conflict within a group can contribute towards the growth and development of the team members.
Working as a team contributes towards individuals accomplishing all the tasks requirements in addition to their human needs due to the high level of motivation. The resultant effect is that these individuals become more effective and efficient in executing their duties hence attaining their goals.
Working in teams also enables team members to be more committed in designing and implementing various operational strategies. For examples, some of the strategies which the team members incorporate are creative and flexible. Gupta (2007, p.210) assert that working in a team enables team members to be effective in eliminating possible hurdles that may limit attainment of the goals.
Teamwork enables individuals to be positive in countering challenges and taking advantage of the different opportunities presented. Additionally, teamwork leads to creation both formal and informal networks which enhances the effectiveness and efficiency with which individuals achieve their goals.
For a team to operate smoothly, Gupta (2007, p.208) asserts that integration of work standards is paramount. The standards create pressure to individuals to adhere to the standards. This has the effect of enhancing their operational efficiency and effectiveness.
In order to achieve ones goals, it is paramount for one to change. However, Gupta is of the opinion that it is difficult to change working as an individual. This limits the effectiveness and efficiency of attaining one’s goals. On the other hand, working as a team enables individuals to change by effectively identifying the need to change, designing and implementing the desired change (Kandula, 2006, p.118).
Arguments against teamwork
According to Isaksen and Tidd (2006, p.184), teamwork limits individual contribution. This arises from the fact that a group may be characterised by a number of dominant individuals who have a high influence on the decision making. The resultant effect is that the outcome of the team is affected. Additionally, working as a team may result to individuals being forced to conform to certain thoughts.
This means that teamwork enhances group think. However, the quality of decisions made by a particular team may be low thus limiting the effectiveness and efficiency of attaining their goals. Isaksen and Tidd (2006, p.184) further assert that working as a team may lead to conflicting individual biases. The resultant effect is that an unproductive level of competition may be created which may be emergence of ‘winners and ‘losers’.
Practical application of the concept of teamwork
Considering the efficiency and effectiveness associated with teamwork, there are a different ways through which the concept of teamwork can be applied in organisations. According to Mylonas, Harvey and Hodges (2007, p.22), organisational performance is determined by the degree of effectiveness and efficiency in executing different tasks.
In an effort to develop competitive advantage, organisations are increasingly incorporating project management. In order for project management to be effectively integrated in organisations, it has become necessary for firm’s to integrate project teams. The project teams are developed in accordance with the different projects.
Iceland and Ireland (2006, p.489), assert that firms in different economic sectors are facing challenges which require them to be more effective and efficient in executing their duties. One of the ways through which organisations can achieve this is by integrating teamwork in their projects.
Through teamwork, it would be effective and efficient for projects to achieve their goals. This arises from the fact that a high degree of creativity, collaboration, innovation and trust are developed in executing the various tasks.
Conclusion and recommendations
Despite the limitations of working as a team, the analysis has illustrated that teamwork contributes towards individuals being effective and efficient in achieving their goals. Teamwork enables individuals to become more creative in executing their duties. This arises from the fact that teams are formed of different individuals who possess different skills, information and knowledge.
For example, through collaboration which is a core component of teamwork, individuals’ knowledge and skills are improved. The resultant effect is that their level of competence in executing their duties improved. Additionally, teamwork enhances innovation and continuous improvement amongst individuals. This culminates into a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness of attaining the stipulated goals.
One of the factors that enhance this is the risk taking characteristic of teams. Teamwork also enhances a high level of commitment in attaining the stipulated goals. This is achieved through incorporation of a result-driven structure and standards which individuals are required to adhere to.
In order for individuals to be effective and efficient in attaining their goals, it is paramount for them to incorporate the concept of teamwork. However, the teams should be effectively managed to ensure that they do not deviate from the intended objective.
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