The paper 'Individual Evaluation' is a good example of a Management Assignment. Lembke and Wilson (1998, p. 928) note that “ research has often focused on how teams can be managed effectively without describing what teamwork really is” . Indeed the terms “ teamwork” and “ group work” are often used synonymously so are they different? Sundstrom et al. (1990, p. 120) describe teams as ‘ small groups of interdependent individuals who share responsibilities for outcomes for their organization’ . However, it has been suggested that the process by which individuals become team members is not just behavioral but also a cognitive and emotional process of alignment (Turner, 1987).
This cognition and emotion engender the team members’ understanding and commitment and it is this that differentiates the ‘ team’ from the ‘ group’ . Thus, Tajfel and Turner (1979) propose a model for a ‘ group with a social identity’ , a term which describes ‘ a collection of individuals who classify, define and evaluate themselves in terms of a common social category membership’ (Hogg & Abrams, 1993, p. 184). It was a group work within the five teams who were working for one company on a quarterly basis from which only one company will win at the end of the simulation.
Among the five teams, our team was the winner, as we made the effort. Our team faced specific problems in our group projects are a lack of leadership, scheduling conflicts, lack of team development, free-riding or social loafing, and students who prefer to work alone. Hansen (2006) made a list of suggestions in order to improve the effectiveness of teamwork. The suggestions include: emphasizing the importance or relevance of teamwork, teaching teamwork skills, conducting team-building exercises, determining the best method of team formation, assigning a reasonable workload and clear goals, requiring groups to have specific or assigned roles, providing some class time for team meetings, requesting multiple feedback points for monitoring typical team problems, requiring individuals to keep a personal contributions file, and using detailed peer evaluations as part of grading. First, our group faced some barriers to the effectiveness of the teamwork.
The team did not clearly understand the division of labor among the group. It was not written statement on the division of labor but in our team meeting, verbal assignments were given to the team members.
Some did understand whereas others did not clearly understand the assignments by the team leader. Therefore, it was necessary for the team leader to re-explain the individual assignment after the team meeting. Second, the team members faced how to integrate their finished assignments. It was not clear for them when and how they could integrate their completed work together. The team leader did not explain well about what they need to submit their completed assignment and how they could submit it. It seems that the team leader has to initiate effective means of communication among team members. Third, team members seem to lack group cohesion.
Team members meet once a week. In the meeting, team members receive their assignment to accomplish. However, as soon as the meeting is over, all team members went back to their homes. This left all members having no time for socialization among them. Therefore, with insufficient socialization, group cohesion seems to be weak. As a result, the team leader has to make great efforts for coordinating among team members.
Drake, Robert; Goldsmith, Geraldine; Strachan, Rebecca. 2006. A novel approach to teaching teamwork. Teaching in Higher Education, Jan2006, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p33-46,
Hansen, Randall S. 2006. Benefits and Problems With Student Teams: Suggestions for Improving Team Projects. By:. Journal of Education for Business, Sep/Oct2006, Vol. 82 Issue 1, p11-19
Hogg, M. A. & Abrams, D. (1993) Group motivation: social psychological perspectives (New York, Harvester Wheatsheaf).
Lembke, S. & Wilson, M. G. (1998) Putting the ‘team’ into teamwork: alternative theoretical contributions for contemporary management practice, Human Relations, 50(7), 927-944.
Mattick, Bonnie; Miller, D. Glen. 2006. Teamwork Pays. Journal for Quality & Participation, Winter2006, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p30-33,
Sundstrom, E., De Meuse, K. P. & Futrell, D. (1990) Work teams: application and effectiveness, American Psychologist, 45(2), 120-133.
Tajfel, H. & Turner, J. (1979) An integrative theory of intergroup conflict, in: W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds) The social psychology of intergroup relations (Monterery, CA, Brooks/Cole).
Turner, J. C. (1987) Rediscovering the social group: a self-categorisation theory (Oxford, Basil Blackwell).