Work Groups versus Work Teams Paper Douglas Williams MGT307 May 16, 2010 Dr. Daniel Lewis In today’s competitive global business market organization are restructuring. Organizations are doing more with less. Organizations with their diverse workforce utilize both work groups and work teams. This paper will answer the following questions. What is the difference between a group and a team? Which is better for a particular organization? What is the importance of diversity in the workplace? How does diversity affect team dynamics in the workplace?
Groups versus Teams A common definition of team comes from the book Wisdom of Team “A team is a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to a common goal and approach for which they hold each other accountable”. A group as defined by businessdictionary. com is a “collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction, mutual influence, common feeling of camaraderie, and who work together to achieve a common set of goals”. Many people incorrectly use the words team and group interchangeably.
A team and group have many differences. “A team’s strength depends on the commonality of purpose and interconnectivity between individual members, whereas a group’s strength may come from sheer volume or willingness to carry out a single leader’s commands”. (Pollick, 2010) The formation of a group is often easier then the formation of a team. During a convention people can be grouped together based on age, gender, specialization, or another common factor. The groups’ leader sets the goal and the way to achieve the goal and the group follows the leaders’ direction.
A group’s leader success’ is based on the compatibility of the group and the group’s interpersonal dynamic. The formation of a team is more difficult. A flight crew is a team is made up of people with different specialties. Each flight crew member has a purpose and a function on the crew and passengers’ safety directly depends on the crews’ interpersonal dynamic. On a team, roles and responsibilities are shared, members developing new skills to help team performance and reach team goals. Teams decide goals and the approach need to achieve the goal, rather than follow a leader.
During a trial the jury is a group, not a team. One member of the jury is selected as the foreperson who is the leader. The foreperson leads the other members of the jury to one unanimous decision. The jury’s verdict is a result of group cooperation. When a commercial airliner crashes an accident investigation team is assembled to determine the cause. Team members investigate different aspects of the accidents cause. The team members use separate skills and abilities work together to achieve the goal of determining the cause and prevent future accidents.
Diversity in the Workplace Organizations today are comprised of a more diverse workforce than any time in history. Diversity in today’s economy has become more complicated, going beyond just color, sex, or age. According to Harris Sussman “Diversity is about our relatedness, our connectedness, our interactions, where the lines cross. Diversity is many things; a bridge between organizational life and the reality of people’s lives, building corporate capability, the framework for interrelationships between people, a learning exchange, and a strategic lens on the world. (Lindenberger, 2010) According to Helium “A benefit of a diverse workforce is the ability to tap into the many talents which employees from different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities and disabilities bring to the workplace. ” (Helium, 2010) Team Dynamics TeamTechnology. com describes team dynamics as the following “Team Dynamics are the unseen forces that operate in a team between different people or groups. Team Dynamics can strongly influence how a team reacts, behaves or performs, and the effects of team dynamics are often very complex. (TeamTechnology, 2010) The team’s success can be impacted by personal skill levels and the difficulty of the task. Team dynamics focus on interpersonal skills within the group. Conclusion Which is better a group or a team for a particular organization? The answer depends on the situation. In situations in which a strong leader or quick consensus is required, group dynamics are better suited. In most work places and in organizations where efficient decision making and effectiveness of tasks is required a team structure is better suited.
Proper management of diversity and team dynamics allow an organization to be successful in today’s global economy. References Businessdictionary. com (2010) The Definition of Group Retrieved from http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/group. html Lindenberger, J (2010) Diversity in the workplace. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles. com/? Diversity-in-the-Workplace;id=14974 Morris, C. G. , Maisto, A. A. (2005). Psychology: An Introduction. (12th ed. ). In Social Psychology, (pp. 590-591). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Naturesencore (2010) Team Dynamics: Conflict Resolution and Time Management Retrieved from http://hubpages. com/hub/OrganizationalTeamwork Pollick, M. (2010) What is the Difference Between a Group and a Team. Retrieved May 16, 2010 from http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-team-and-a-group. htm Robbins, S. ; Judge, T. (2009) Organizational Behavior (13th ed. ) Pearson Education, Inc. Schermerhorn, J. , Hunt, J. , Osborn, R. (2008) Organizational Behavior (10th. ed. ) John Wiley ; Sons, Inc TeamTechnology. com (2010) Team Dynamics Retrieved from http://www. teamtechnology. co. uk/team-dynamics. html