Read Chapters 11, Groups and Teams, and Chapter 7, Organizational Structure and Design in your textbook and complete the Chapter Quizzes 11 and 7 on Blackboard.
Summary – Groups and Teams
It is important to understand the difference between groups and teams.
- A group is defined as a set of people, limited in number (usually from 3 to 20 or so), who have some degree of interaction and shared objectives.
- A team is a type of group. A team has additional characteristics beyond a “mere” group, including a higher degree of coordinated interaction and, especially, a stronger sense of members’ personal responsibility for achieving specified group outcomes.
Also, groups that become teams typically have created a high level of identification with the group on the part of each member.
After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
- Describe the similarities and differences between groups and teams
- Identify and compare different types of groups
- Name the factors that influence group formation and development
- Analyze the various structural and behavioral characteristics of groups
- Identify the advantages and disadvantages of self-managing, cross-functional, global and virtual work groups and team
- Explain the differences in the various types of team competencies
- Distinguish between the two major types of group conflict, and discuss their causes and consequences
- Explain how managers can help their work groups develop into high performing teams
This Checklist for Leaders of Groups is also particularly practical.
How well do you:
- Encourage members to learn from each other?
- Recognize and praise members for their contributions?
- Keep key people outside the [group] informed about its accomplishments?
- Promptly inform members about major developments that [may] affect them?
- Give [group] members authority to make [at least some] important decisions?
- Openly accept and respond to feedback from [group] members?
- Review the [group’s] performance at the end of major tasks?
- Offer specific and concrete suggestions for how members can improve?
- Understand what motivates members to work hard
Managers’ Responsibilities for Encouraging Group Effectiveness
- Develop appropriate group structures
- Develop appropriate support from the organization
- Obtain appropriate coaching and consultation assistance
WHAT: Make certain you have read the section about virtual teams in Chapter 11 and then head to the forum for Lesson 4 and post your reply to the questions:
Would you want to be a member of a virtual team? Why or why not?
As always, your participation by commenting on others’ responses is encouraged.
- Explain the concepts of organizational structure and design.
- Explain the concepts of differentiation and integration and their role in organizational structure and design.
- Describe the concepts of formalization, informalization, centralization, and decentralization and discuss their interrelationships.
- Identify the common structures used by organizations and describe the strengths and weaknesses of each of these structures.
- Understand how network structures help firms manage their value chain activities and contribute to achieving a competitive advantage.
- Describe how environmental factors and the organizations strategy influence organizational structure.
- Explain the types of organizational structure important for firms to use when operating in international markets.
For additional information on the Effects of Organizational Structure, watch the video below.
The Boston Consulting Group has an active practice focused on organizational design. For additional information, you can visit their site and watch interviews with the practice leaders.
My final word on organizational structure and design is that companies large and small can and do adjust their structures to fit the capabilities of their key employees. If someone is capable of more responsibility, frequently their position is enlarged to allow this growth. An organization that allows high performing people a better opportunity to “fit” will be more successful than a rigid organization that expects people to conform to an inflexible design. You may have seen examples of this in your work experience. If so, please share them in the forum.
There is no activity associated with this part of Lesson 4.
You can use the forum to post questions or comments on organizational structure and design or to comment on the additional resources accompanying this Lesson.