Modern TeamworkingIntroductionMeredith Belbin’s team roles are considered “one of the most popular and widely used analyses of individual roles within a work group or team” (Mullins, 2010, p. 342). According to Mullins, a team role can be defined as a pattern of behavior which is characteristic of the manner in which a team member interacts with another for the purposes of facilitating the team’s progress. In spite of their popularity, the nine team roles invented by Belbin have raised possible doubts. This paper is a critical reflection of the following statement with regard to Belbin’s theory of team roles: ‘Belbin’s evolved team roles serve little practical value.
Behaviour does not fit into neat categories and most people do not acknowledge allowable weaknesses. The two most important roles for effective teamwork are, firstly, a strong and decisive leader and secondly, the humourist to make people laugh and reduce tension’ (Mullins, 2010, p. 344). The paper will critically reflect on this statement and will also consider the relevance of this theory to the modern, de-layered UK workplace. Literature ReviewThe statement above asserts that the first most important role for effective teamwork is a strong and decisive leader.
The benefits of a strong and decisive leader are numerous. For a team to be effective, at its helm is usually a strong and decisive leader who can communicate various objectives to his or her peers, allowing his or her actions be the ultimate example of how to be effective at the workplace. Without a strong leader, a team faces the risk of become indecisive, and can result in poor results and faltering progress (Goethals, Burns, & Sorenson, 2004, p.
689). A consideration of the modern, de-layered UK workplace, however, raises important controversial concerns with regard to the statement above. Worth noting is that the present-day UK workplace relies heavily on teamwork and requires various leadership approaches. Many leaders in the present-day organizational environments can be regarded to as strong and decisive. However, the modern-day de-layered UK workplace environment raises the question of whether these leaders are sensitive to the needs of other colleagues and employees and whether they recognize the benefits of interpersonal relationships. After the Kremlin dubbed Margaret Thatcher ‘the iron lady’ in 1976, she claimed in a speech that she stood before the people in her green Chiffon gown and her fair hair waved in a gentle manner with her face softly made up.
Being interpreted as an iron lady of the western world was acceptable, she said, if referred to her defense of values together with freedoms supreme to way of life. The ‘iron lady’ reference was to signify her strength and decisiveness, which is contrasted with her ability to be a sensitive leader.
With regard to the notion that the leadership abilities of Margaret Thatcher may have been abilities that she was born with, she considered herself a good leader because she had the ability to remain at a job and stick to it when other people walked off and left it (Goethals, Burns, & Sorenson, 2004, p. 690; Chhokar, House, & Brodbeck, 2007, p. 511).