This is a€?Teams in the Workplacea€?, chapter 9 from the book An Introduction to Organizational Communication (v. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. In your college experience, one of your professors will most likely assign you to work on a group project. John Baird defined groupTwo or more people that think they are a group, have a common goals, structure, and interactions to achieve their desired goals. On the other hand, groups might include people that have similar roles or tasks, such as all medical nurses.
Unlike the previous group where conflict was present, the group moves toward more open and accepting styles of communication. We are sure that you can think back on group projects that you have worked on and recognize the storming and forming phases are real. Many times, team leaders will try to form groups using ice breakers, enforcing the idea of professionalism, assuming that norms will counteract the groupa€™s differences, and relying solely on agendas, and activities to compensate for the group negativity or dissatisfaction.Lee, G.
In this beginning phase, group members come together and ascertain the about the task or directive at hand. Once the orientation stage is settled, then group members are in the process of becoming a team. In this stage, team members are trying to figure out the teama€™s ultimate goal(s) and their agenda. After the group is clear in their goal, there needs to be some communication about certain roles.
Once the decision is made on how each person will contribute to the groupa€™s goal, then there will be a better sense of the execution of that goal.
When all group members know when and who is doing what towards their teama€™s goals, a group reaches a state of high performance.
After the team has completed their task, they may ask whether it is worth it to continue or add new members. The benefit of this model is that it allows us to understand the communication situations that can occur during each phase.
The team developmental model showcases seven stages that groups go through before they can work efficiently and effectively as a team. When you think of work teams, you might think back to Chapter 3 "Classical Theories of Organizational Communication" when we talked about workers who were shoveling coal or on assembly lines trying to complete a task. Susan Cohen and Diane Bailey analyzed work teams and discovered that are many elements to their organizational performanceCohen, S.
Effectiveness is not just the outcome of the task, but also the perceptions of satisfaction, commitment, retention, and absenteeism. Cohen and Bailey noted that work teams are viewed as the most ideal way to make decisions in organizations. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)a€”this person focuses on the financial aspects of the organization. Overall, the organization management team has many key individuals that maintain the organizationa€™s mission and goals. Work teams are integral for an organization because they have the have the objective of completing certain outcomes.
Thinking back to your most recent job, what types of groups did you have and what did you do?
What management team members did you see at the organization that you worked for in the past?
Not only are there different types of groups and teams, there are also different types of outcomes and challenges that groups can encounter. Instructions: Below are several descriptions dealing with the extent to which you are now aware of the crisis that occurred. Janis noted that groupthink as a€?a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when membersa€™ striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to realistically appraise alternative course of action.a€?Janis, I.
Individuals might feel tension before a meeting begins due to the following reasons:Zaremba, A. An uncertainty about the topic of the meeting and the possibility for uncomfortable topics.
The task might involve written or speaking skills and they do not feel competent in those skills. They have communication apprehension, which means they are nervous about communicating in that context.
Procedural tensions originate from group membersa€™ perceptions that the group is not productive. Instructions: This survey includes a number of statements about how you may feel about your current working condition. Groupthink occurs when there is a crisis and none of the group members stop to analyze the pros and cons of the solution. Risky shift occurs when group members are more likely to make a riskier decision as a group rather than individually. Social loafing happens when group members do not work as hard in a group context compared to when they work by themselves. Think of a time when youa€™ve been in a group, what are the advantages and disadvantages with working in a group?
Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheats created a scheme for understand the functional roles of group members.
The first type of roles that individuals can take-on within a group are all centered around the tasks that the group needs to accomplish. The initiator-contributor is all about providing new and keen insight and ideas to the group.
The information seeker focuses on ensuring that the group has accurate and relevant information as it goes about problem solving. The opinion seeker is not concerned with the accuracy of information, but is more interested in understanding the groupa€™s values.
The information giver is someone within a group that has some kind of authoritative understanding or specific expertise that can help inform a groupa€™s decision making process.
The opinion giver, like the opinion seeker, is concerned less with the facts surrounding a specific problem, but is more concerned with ensuring the group sticks to its values. The elaborator takes the ideas that other people have had within a group and tries to flesh out the ideas in a meaningful way. The coordinator tries to find the common links between the various ideas that group members have and combine them in some kind of succinct package. The evaluator-critica€™s job is to help assess the actual functionality of the group and the decisions that it makes. Often groups get worn down by the decision making process because some decisions may take months or years to come to fruition. The recorder, often called a group or teama€™s secretary, is the individual who takes copious amounts of notes in an effort to help a group or team understand its own decision making process. The compromiser is someone who realizes that her or his ideas are in conflict with another person or faction of the group or team. In a group or team setting, the gatekeepera€™s job is to ensure that all participants are freely and openly involved in the groupa€™s decision-making.
The standard setter or ego sets out to ensure that the group or teama€™s decision making processes meet a certain quality level. The group-observer and commentator watches how the group goes about completing its purpose. The final category of group roles identified by Benne and Sheats are generally very destructive and can harm the group decision-making process.
The authors recommend that when groups face these self-centered roles, it becomes very important to ascertain why they are occuring and take steps to prevent their reoccurance.
The aggressor tends to be an individual who feels the need to improve her or his own standing within the group by taking others down. The blocker is someone who simply either hates everything the group is doing and rejects everything the group recommends or he or she keeps rehashing group or team decisions that have been long since decided.
The recognition-seeker seeker is all about showing how he or she is such a vital person in the group by trumpeting her or his achievements (whether relevant or not).
The self-confessor sees the group or team as the setting to air her or his own feelings, ideology, insight, or values. The help-seeker tries to get the group to be sympathetic by stressing that he or she is insecure or confused.
The first form of group roles proposed by Benne and Sheats are tasks roles or roes that individual group or team members embody that help a group accomplish its basic task(s). The second form of group roles proposed by Benne and Sheats are group building and maintenance roles.
The second form of group roles proposed by Benne and Sheats are self-centered roles, or roles that individual group members embody that focus on the individual desires of group members and not necessarily on what is best for the group or its decisions. Morgan, an organizational consultant, was approached to serve as an executive coach for a work team in a new organization called Sankaya. How would you handle the unethical ideas, especially if you do not have the power to stop or prevent them from happening? After 40 years in the same building, Corporate Communications built a new building to attract more customers. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
Tips and skills to become morem efficient when it come to time management and having better organizational skills. Don’t Forget – without the Regular Actions (Habits), all the Structures (physical Tools) in the world will Not help you to become more organized! See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed.
Sometimes, your professor will allow you to pick the other members of your group and sometimes you are not allowed to pick your group members.
Think about all the teams and groups that you belong, such as family, friends, work, church, etc. Individuals are trying to figure out the climate and the types of communication that would be appropriate. Because they have been able to solve the groupsa€™ problems, they can direct their energy towards the completion of the task.
If you are involved with groups where forming and storming are preventing you from accomplishing the task at hand, you need to address your group and their concerns before you can move forward.
Most of the time, these individuals do not have a work history with the other people on the team.
Everyone in the group has a new perception of the group as a team, they use terms like a€?us,a€? feel a connection with the groupa€™s purpose, and think about the teama€™s possibilities for achievement. Group members need to collectively decide how resources, such as time and effort will be allocated and utilized for maximum efficiency.
They may realize that the methods have been performed well, then they can be more flexible. Group stresses individual outcomes, whereas team stresses individual and collective outcomes.


What differences do you see between these two lists and the types of organizational accomplishments theya€™ve had? The CEO has to execute the board of directorsa€™ decisions and to preserve the organizationa€™s functions and goals.
The CFO reviews and evaluates all financial data, budgets, and costs associate with the organization. This person is mainly accountable for the technological advances and matters in the organization. This person is accountable for all of the workplace learning and human performance improvement activities within the organization. This persona€™s duties include assessing, cultivating, defining, and nurturing cultural diversity as an organizational resource. These individuals must communicate with each other so that the organization can run effectively and efficiently.
Parallel teams look at specific items that the organization might overlook or not perceive accurately. There are many different people with specific tasks to keep the organization running in an efficient and effective manner. If no one, then what management team position do you think is most important at your current organization? Think about a group meeting that you had to prepare for, did you have any of these primary tensions? These tensions can be classified into four types: procedural, equity, affective, and substantive.
Conflict here can turn into problem solving moments, creativity, increased information sharing, and provide a better perspective of the opposition. Dan Rothwell argued that social loafing can be prevented by collaboration, content, and choice.Rothwell, J.
You will probably find that you agree with some of the statements and disagree with others, to varying extents.
If you had the ability to change it, what could you have done or do differently to prevent these downsides? Based on the results from your analysis of your group experience(s), what areas do you think you could improve upon? Participant roles here are related to the task which the group is deciding to undertake or has undertaken. This category does not classify member-roles as such, since the participations denoted here are directed toward the satisfaction of the participants individual needs.
These roles are all pro-social and help the group strive towards achieving the group or teama€™s goal.
This person may help the group brainstorm new and novel ways to go about understanding or looking at a particular problem. This person asks to see relevant data to ensure the accuracy of the information the group uses while attempting to problem solve.
This person can often use her or his own knowledge or personal experiences to help inform a groupa€™s decision making process.
This person will offer suggestions and insight on how the group can employ its values while making specific decisions. The evaluator can also help a group understand specific rationales for the decisions it has made, or think through how the implementation of a specific decision would practically work. Furthermore, the coordinator tries to coordinate the various activities that the group or team must accomplish along the way. This persona€™s role is to show where the group has been in an effort to understand where the group is right now. This individual ensures that the group is meeting predetermined standard levels and not just a€?getting bya€? with quick and easy solutions to complex problems. The energizera€™s primary role is to help pull groups out of a rut and encourage them to make decisions or take action.
Whether ita€™s rearranging a room into a circle or photocopying the agenda and minutes from the previous meeting, the procedural-technician ensures that the routine tasks of the group get accomplished.
These notes ultimately become the groupa€™s memory of where they have been and where they are going, so the recorder is a very important role in any group or team. This person encourages people to come up with new ideas and then praises group or team members for the ideas they generate. Instead of holding her or his ground refusing to budge one inch in her or his ideas, the compromiser tries to seek out a compromise between her or himself and the conflict parties.
The gatekeeper will encourage people who are on tangents to bring it back to the decision at hand while encouraging those who are more reticent in their communication to actively participate in the decision-making.
This role is similar to the opinion giver under the task roles, but this roles is specifically focused on how the group goes about making decisions and then holds the groups to those standards. This individual will take notes about the groupa€™s functioning and then periodically inform the group about how well it is working as a group or team. Benne and Sheats called these roles self-centeredRoles that individual group or team members embody that focus on the individual desires of group members and not necessarily on what is best for the group or its decisions. However, Benne and Sheats cautions against the outright suppression of self-centered roles because the suppression can prevent groups or teams from going through the self-diagnosis necessary to fix the group or team. Aggressors can enact a number of behaviors that ultimately impact group morale and the basic functioning of the gorup itself. This person may simply say a€?noa€? to anything the group likes and is often a giant stumbling block for groups. Often this person acts in this fashion for fear that the group or team will see her or him as irrelevant. This person sees the group or team as her or his own therapy session and has no problem self-disclosing inappropriate information to group or team members during meetings. This individual is often highly manipulative and will attempt to coerce those in subordinate status positions to her or his stance within the group.
Benne and Sheats identified twelve different task roles: initiator-contributor, information seeker, opinion seeker, information giver, opinion giver, elaborator, coordinator, orienter, evaluator-critic, energizer, procedural technician, and recorder. Group building roles are roles that help build a group-centered identity for the members; whereas, maintenance roles are roles that help keep that group-centered identity over the lifecycle of the group or team. Statistics show the average worker loses at least one hour of productivity each day due to disorganization. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (8 MB) or just this chapter (2 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). Unless you are very fortunate, you probably did not have a very good experience working on the group project.
More team members feel better due to the fact that the communication has changed from a confrontational style to a non-confrontational style. Group members feel a better sense of shared responsibility and a sense of personal accountability.
Thus, group members have to be able to give up control and reliance on others so that they can execute their task.
Each member realized that their comments were important so they worked harder to accomplish the goal.There will be group members who will become dependent on others to complete their task, which will delay the outcome. They are more likely to say a€?Wow!a€? at their progress and possibly surpass expectations. This individual usually has a background in education, instructional design, and adult learning. Moreover, they must be able to handle crises and resolve problems successfully for the organizationa€™s prosperity and future success.
In this section, you will learn about the downside to teams and ways to prevent them from happening.
On the other hand, equity issues may stem from feel that there are more controlling members that dominate and their opinions are worth more than others. Substantive conflict is beneficial because everyone gets a different perspective of the same topic.
Their purpose is to facilitate and coordinate group effort in the selection and definition of a common problem and in the solution of that problem.
They are designed to alter or maintain the group way of working, to strengthen, regulate and perpetuate the group as a group.
Their purpose is some individual goal which is not relevant either to the group task or to the functioning of the group as a group. Benne and Sheats identified twelve different task rolesRoles that individual group or team members embody that help a group accomplish its basic task(s).
When a potential solution to a problem is solved, the opinion seeker will ask for clarification of whether the solution is in sync with the groupa€™s purported values.
Furthermore, this person will point out when the group has gotten completely off topic and try to refocus the group back to the decision at hand. Like the evaluator-critic, the energizer also attempts to help groups reach a higher quality of decision making. At the same time, you want to make sure that the recorder is skilled in taking notes and can quickly transcribe those notes into some kind of formalized minutes. This person also encourages the group to seek out alternative ways of seeing a problem and fosters an environment where alternative ideas and suggestions are welcomed.
Compromising does not mean this individual is a doormat, but rather compromising is a strategy to help groups build better, more informed decisions.
This persona€™s focuses on ensuring the group or teamsa€™ processes for decision making do not leave out minority voices, prevent poor brainstorming, or jump to decisions too quickly. Instead of being an active participant in the groupa€™s decision-making, he or she will serve as an audience for the decision making process during group discussions.
Some of the behaviors identified by Benne and Sheats are, a€?deflating the status of others, expressing disapproval of the values, acts or feelings of others, attacking the group or the problem it is working on, joking aggressively, showing envy toward another's contribution by trying to take credit for it, etc.a€? (2007). So instead of becoming a relic of the group, he or she feels it is necessary to show how vitale he or she is to the group by wasting the groupa€™s time while seeking recognition. Often these people will see their own position within the group or team as more superior than other group members and will make this very clear while asserting that her or his ideas are more superior because of her or his elevated position within an organizationa€™s hierarchy.
This work team was trying to figure out ways to generate sales, maximize profits, and minimize resources.
After everyone was able to communicate and share their opinions, they were able to really produce quality results for finding the right candidate for the job. From group to team: Skilled facilitation moves a group from a collection of individuals to an effective team.
For that reason, team members must be informed about how the group was formed and the reason why each person was selected for that task. Think about all the people you trust and how over time this trust has allowed us to know the other person even more. In the previous example, it was at this stage that certain group members were wary about their comments and were worried that their comments would not be taken seriously. There will also be some resistance from group members who may have different perceptions in how their time and effort could be used best. The team needs to take time to celebrate the completion of their goals and recognize key team members. The CFO presents this information to the board of directors and governmental regulatory affiliates such as the Securities and Exchange Commission. The impact of crisis communication on levels of acute-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Such participations are, of course, highly relevant to the problem of group training, insofar as such training is directed toward improving group maturity or group task efficiency. However, when conflict becomes person-focused instead of task-focused, the harmonizer will help alleviate the tension of the group and help conflict parties solve their conflicts pro-socially.
According to Benne and Sheats, when self-centered roles are noticed by group members, ita€™s very important to quickly diagnose why these roles are appearing within the group.


Sankaya encouraged the work team to think outside the box and figure out innovative ways to increase sales. All the employees were able to interact with each other because there was only one entrance and one exit into the building. 1 hour x one worker's hourly salary = 10 $ lost today 5 days a week x 10$ lost today = 50 $ lost this week 48 weeks x 50$ lost this week = 2400 $ lost this year 100 of employees x 2400$ lost this year = 240,000$ total! To be more specific, most people do not know how to interact or communicate in groups and teams. Your participation and the degree to which you contribute will often depend on the communication interactions in that group. The main difference is that in a team each individual is not only responsible for their efforts and contributions to the group, but also for the collective outcome of the group. If the group can confront and solve the problems, then they can move towards the next stage. In the previous example about the group analyzing graduate programs, each person in the group had a specific task and a deadline. The team leader had to meet with the group again to reassure them that their comments were valuable for the success of the organization.
Disgruntled team members may feel disharmony or overburdened, so it is important that the team be able to adapt and accommodate all group members to be able to perform effectively. In the previous example, the team leader took everyone out to dinner to celebrate on a job well done! These are groups that are usually created a€?outside regular authority and communication structures to identify and work on problems that the formal organization is unwilling or unable to deal with.a€?Fisher, D. These teams consist of employees who have the highest organizational management levels and have the duty of maintaining the organization. Remember, in smaller groups or teams individuals could take on multiple roles and ita€™s entirely possible that multiple group members take on the same roles as well. Moreover, many of the employees were collaborating and interacting with other employees because they were not separated by their job. That's the total amount of money an organization loses each and every year due to poor organization and inefficiency!
Often times, there might be what Andy Hargreaves and Ruth Dawe identify as a€?contrived collegialitya€?, in which everyone works on similar jobs as quickly as possible, they dona€™t discuss anything, make poor judgment decisions, and are more concern with completion than quality.Hargreaves, A. Formal groups can include: sales teams, work teams, problem-solving groups, management teams, and unions. In other words, each person on the team recognizes that every person is valuable and knows what needs to be done to accomplish their goal.Lee, G.
After the group leader was selected, conflict arose in who we thought we should hire and why. In the previous example, after the members understood their roles and their agendas, then the group was more cohesive in terms of determining what to do next. Each member had to trust the other members to complete their task otherwise the group would fail and not be able to accomplish their goal. There may be team members that will miss deadlines and may feel non-allied in the teama€™s main object. After the group gets into a groove, and is completed to finishing the task, the group will be amazed at the ending results. Project teams often use individuals with specialized skills to achieve a goal in a set predetermined amount of time. Irving described groupthinkThe groupa€™s inclination to defer critical thinking and accept solutions without much consideration. In other words, technicians would work right alongside people in human resources and advertising. Hence, the communication is different, because in teams, people want to discuss and come to a conclusion about how to solve the problem.
Moreover, if certain members feel a disconnect from the group, then they will focus on this disconnection and possible make the other group members feel uncomfortable. Some examples of project teams might include creating a new model or determining the best application for technology. Youa€™ll notice that all of the organizational positions below start with the word a€?chief.a€? Because the word a€?chiefa€? is listed in all of these positions, the group of executives who embody these different roles are often referred to as the a€?C-suitea€? in organizational literature. This results in what is known as risky shiftThe result that happens when individuals are more likely to make riskier group decisions than individual decisions.. Social loading happens when certain group members do not put forth as much effort in the group compared to when they are working independently. He noted that competitive situations will not get group members motivated and motivation can impede social loafing. The development, reliability, and validity testing of new measures in organizational communication. In the new building, each employee was place in a distinct location so that all the human resources employees could be found in the same office. Informal groups can include: Christmas office particies, coffee breaks, poker night, car pooling, and complaining sessions. In essence, a group is two or more individuals who communicate with each other to attain their goal.
In groups, the main reason why people communicate is to share information without much discussion. This model addresses the groupsa€™ need to examine and resolve certain questions before the group can work together effectively. The key factor in this stage is to make sure all group members know the goal or expected outcome for the group. Groups that encounter groupthink misjudge their own resources, find supporting evidence, and evade analyzing opposing ideas.
Isenburg found that individuals are more likely to make riskier group decisions than individual decisions. This new building has cause more tension and stress among the employees who may sense a feeling of professional jealousy and competition. Paths of professional development: Contrived collegiality, collaborative culture, and the case of peer coaching.
Informal groups do not have specific rules about membership or the types of communication in that group. Because this is a book on organizational communication, a group in this context will have specific goals, influence, and interactions. This model is important for any team member to recognize that before the team can move forward from one stage to another they need to make sure that the core issues are being met before they can advance. In some conditions, the disconnected group member might provide some uncalled-for comments and possibly never attain much value in the teama€™s mission. If teams lack trust, then they will be more guarded of others, and not be willing to communicate the truth. Robert Keller discovered that teams with challenging tasks were more likely to process information more resourcefully, in turn creating a better quality outcome. For instance, in a group discussion, there are members that may advocate for an extreme position more than they would in other circumstance, because they are part of a group.
Sometimes you will get the best work when group members work by themselves because they dona€™t have to report or communicate with anyone else. If everyone feels like they are special and are given meaningful tasks, then they are more likely to contribute. Also, some group members were even implying to do unethical means to increase sales, such as not pay their workers for constructing their garments and even giving themselves raises for working on the team. If the team does not move forward, then it means that certain issues are not being satisfactorily met. For instance, one of the writers of this book was asked to be on a group analyzing other graduate programs. Teams that lack trust will also lack integrity because group members are not expressing their true feelings and opinions. For instance, an organization like a university can hire a parallel team to create better advertising and marketing campaigns and let them focus on educating students. Think back to an organization that you were involved with and how the crisis was dealt with. People do this all the time because the person who offered the idea might be a highly powerful member, others dona€™t want to disagree, or there is not a huge stake in the decision. Daniel Isenburg illustrated that risky shift has occurred in jury decision making processes.Isenberg, D.
In other words, primary tensions are ones that often happen before the group meets and secondary tensions often happen after the group meets. Think about a group that you were involved in, did someone a€?ride your coat tailsa€? or became a a€?free-ridera€?? Influences that groups might have may be to help management understand the importance of having a day care facility onsite or assist managers in acquiring potential resources for employees. This model also helps team leaders identify signs that issues need to be address appropriately before the team can actually perform their task effectively. It was very nerve-wrecking because none of the group members knew each other or why they were put together. Parallel teams can be very beneficial because it usually happens outside the organization itself. Often times, these group members do not have time to spend on getting to know the other members. At times people will not offer resisting ideas or be a devila€™s advocate on an idea because there may be consequences or the person is fearful of what others may think. People are more likely to contribute if they are informed with the knowledge about their task and other group members are informed about that group members contribution.
The team leader explained that we were selected based on our experiences and we could provide the best input.
At the same time, lack of trust will prevent cooperation and collaboration among the group members. Groupthink can cause frustration to individuals who feel that their voices are not heard and their time was not valued.
Third, choice is helpful for social loafing because it provides group members to pick the task that they are better apt or skilled to complete. Hence, it is important to provide opportunities for all group members to speak so that groupthink does not occur. In order to have effective work teams, organizations must allow for empowerment.Einsenberg, E. Mock jury members were more likely to choose punitive damages that varied significantly from individual juror members. However, each person is not influencing the other and they do not have to communicate with each other. The findings revealed that when individuals would support a low award, group discussion would influence the juror to a more compassionate result.
At the same time, if the juror wanted a harsh penalty, after group discussion, the juror would be more likely to give a harsher punishment. Risky shift maintains that a groupa€™s decision tends to be more risky than the individual group membera€™s decision before the group convened.
Risky shift is an important concept, because it not only illustrates how one group member cannot affect the entire group, but also how it impacts the individuala€™s own decision. As you can imagine, if a group is given a task to solve an organizational dilemma, but not allowed to execute it, then it does nothing but frustrate the group.



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