Key Factors That Influence The Effectiveness Of A Group Or Team

Introduction

This essay is about teams that work in an organization. It has discussed the factors that are important for team development and that must be considered in order to enhance effectiveness of a group or a team. Team is a group of diverse individuals who share common objectives and goals. The persons who work in a team have clear perception that their success is totally mainly dependent on success of individuals who work in a same team. There is a need of cohesion in an effective team (Joo, et al., 2012).

2. Factors influencing team effectiveness

For understanding the ways of assembling team, there is a need of first creating an environment in which members of team can work in an effective way. By understanding the ways of creating effective team, the organization can get high level of success.

For successfully managing the team and to bring change within team, new team members must be recruited on regular basis. For the purpose of recruitment, the team leader should follow Belbin’s Team role theory. In accordance with this theory, the team leader should hire following kinds of people:

  1. co-coordinator: who has the responsibility of decision making
  2. Implementer: who sets goals and aims of company
  3. Shaper: who provides orientation
  4. Plant: who gives new and innovative concepts and ideas
  5. resource investigator: who is involved in research and development
  6. monitor/evaluator: who has the responsibility of evaluating
  7. team worker: who has high self esteem
  8. completer-finisher: attention to detail
  9. Specialist: expert advice/support

Therefore, to group an effective team, the team leader should analyze above mentioned features and characteristics for knowing the kind of person required for becoming the member of the team (Belbin, 1981)

 

Source: (Squire, 2012)

There are many factors which can have significant impact on performance of team. There is a need of understanding all the factors completely in order to make the team effective as well as efficient.

Cohesiveness means sticking together. The leaders can make the groups cohesive by assuring that there is an identification of membership by members of teams. The identification of membership means all the individuals feel proud to be a part of team. This is done when the individuals think about the goals and aims of group as their personal aims and goals. The groups that have high level of cohesiveness have lower turnover. The cohesiveness of team depends on the stay of members in team. Due to high level of retention of team members, the cohesiveness also increases (Zacher & Rosing, 2015). The longer retention of team members in team predicts that:

  • The team members give value to their whole group or organization
  • They get advantages from participation in team which cannot be gained from any other group
  • They have made huge investments in group so they cannot leave their membership

The team can gain many advantages through high level of cohesiveness in team;

  • The satisfaction level of team members would become high
  • There is more effective achievement of goals and aims of team
  • Cohesiveness results in high level of communications
  • There is high level of influence of team on its members (Oosterwal, 2010).

The term conformity is defined as "going along". Group conformity occurs when the participants of the group own a specific position opposed to other team members and groups in favour of most of the people’s view. This abandonment is know as conforming, which happens for a lot of reasons involving force to compromise, emotional or logical time constraints, personal frustration, time constraints, coercion or assuming the futility of any progressive argument. Many forces are presented in teams and groups for the conformation of individuals. It is important for all group members that they should advocate their position in a manner that others can understand their stance. Every idea should be accepted or rejected only on the basis of logic, evidence and critical analysis (LIN, 2008).

There is a specific role of every individual working in a team. These roles are set and communicated effectively to all members in order to make them engaged in activities of group. There is a need of developing clear goals when groups are forming. All the norms and standards must be formed with consent of all partners. It is the role of leader to set a plan for making an agenda and to set norms of team. Norms include different standards and values that all members of group accept. There are various kinds of norms like norms related to performance and norms related to appearance. The norms regarding social arrangement focuses on the acceptable links and there are also norms related to allocation of resources which depicts the way in which distribution of things is done (Mosser & Begun, 2014).

In 1920s and 1930s, Hawthorne research was conducted. Their results have extensively been used for understanding the interactions between group members. According to these research, there is a high impact of norms and values of group on behaviour of members working in a group. It has been found that in order to make a group effective, social behaviour and norms plays an important role. The Hawthorne research has undermined the importance of monetary rewards and it has become clearer that more important role is played by norms and values of the group.

Another factor that has an impact on decision making in teams is conflict among team members. There is a high possibility of experiencing conflict among team members. If the leader would not focus on conflict issues, then this would lead to decisions which cannot be evaluated thoroughly. The team members must be integrated by making them capable of understanding and accepting of others’ ideas (Northouse, 2013). This can help the team leader in making cooperative team. Conflicts foster the effectiveness of a group, for a shorter period of time. Although the conflict between two different groups can be motivating for shorter period of time, but for long term, it is not a good strategy to be followed (Azher, 2009).

In order to manage a group in an effective way, there is a need of strong leadership. Leadership is a process of influencing others where a leader inspires others using the leadership abilities. There are different directions and approaches to leadership which can be followed by leaders in order to make the team effective (Lindoerfer, 2008)

Shared leadership is very important approach that can be undertaken by a group. The function of leadership is shared by effective teams and groups. In shared leadership, there is a need of having significant communication among members of group with leader (Fahey & Herring, 2007). The members of team must be encouraged to contribute and participate effectively in team. All the members must speak and take part in decisions and discussions of team. The new and innovative ideas must be shared by each member of team. Through complete adaption of shared leadership, the team in an organization can be made effective (Parker, 2009).

Another factor that has significant influence on team effectiveness is intellectual stimulation. The intellectual stimulation can be provided by leaders through motivating followers for thinking about old issues in innovative ways. The innovative ideas must be prioritized and motivated by leaders. The leaders must ask different questions from members in order to stimulate their intellect (Pope & Blyth, 2008).

In order to make effective teams, there is a strong need of inspiring employees through increasing their interest in activities and tasks of group. With the passage of time, the members of team are served as a glitter for team. With the inspiration of team members, the awareness and commitment level of individuals can be increased. This can help in achieving the purpose and goals of organization. The leader must prove to be an inspiration for his or her followers. The leader must show importance to a task in order to make employees feel the same. Similarly, if leader through communication shows that task can be achieved through strong dedication of team members or employees, then the employees will also feel the same (Quinteiro, et al., 2014).

Charisma is developed by leaders when strong feelings are sensed by followers regarding identity and belief in leader. Charisma is a powerful aspect of shared leadership in organization. Charisma helps in transforming non-active followers to active leaders. When there is no dedicated leadership, there is no chance of survival of group or team. There is a need for a charismatic personality who could lead the team such that group effectiveness is ensured (Purvanova & Bono, 2009).

The followers must be convinced by leaders that there is more importance of long term needs then short term needs. There must be a clear distinction between long term and short term needs. Leaders have to identify those short term investments which result in long term outcomes. The employee must be given with long time in order to enhance creativity in their work. The morale of employees might be increased due to short term investments which result in long term enhanced production (Spaulding, 2008).

3. Conclusion

Teams are very important part of any organization. In this competitive business world, all the organizations have to focus on team development in order to ensure success of organization. It is not enough to just develop teams, but there is also a need of enhancing effectiveness of teams. There are different factors which must be considered by team leaders in order to influence team effectiveness. All the factors have individual importance, so proper focus must be given on all factors in order to enhance performance of team members. The most important factor is contribution of leaders in betterment of teams. So, leader must be capable enough to foster group effectiveness.

 

 

 

References

Azher, J., 2009. Team foundation server 2008 in action. Greenwich: Manning.

Belbin, M., 1981. Management Teams. London: Heinemann.

Fahey, L. & Herring, J., 2007. Intelligence teams. Strategy & Leadership, 35(1), pp. 13-20.

Joo, B., Song, J., Lim, D. & Yoon, S., 2012. Team creativity: the effects of perceived learning culture, developmental feedback and team cohesion. International Journal of Training and Development, 16(2), pp. 77-91.

Lindoerfer, D., 2008. Raising sensitive issues in a team. Greensboro, N.C: Center for Creative Leadership.

LIN, X., 2008. Team Personality Composition and Team Effectiveness:The Mediating Effects of Team Process. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 40(4), pp. 437-447.

Mosser, G. & Begun, J., 2014. Understanding teamwork in health care. New York: McGraw Hill.

Northouse, P., 2013. Leadership. housand Oaks: Sage.

Oosterwal, D., 2010. The lean machine. New York: American Management Association.

Parker, G., 2009. Team communication. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.

Pope, S. & Blyth, E., 2008. Team leader workbook. Amherst, Mass: HRD Press.

Purvanova, R. & Bono, J., 2009. Transformational leadership in context: Face-to-face and virtual teams. The Leadership Quarterly, 20(3), pp. 343-357.

Quinteiro, P., Passos, A. & Curral, L., 2014. Thought self-leadership and effectiveness in self-management teams. Leadership.

Spaulding, S., 2008. Team leadership in the game industry. Boston, MA: Course Technology, PTR/CRM..

Squire, L., 2012. Editorial Team Update. Middle East Development Journa, Volume 1, p. 4.

Zacher, H. & Rosing, K., 2015. Ambidextrous leadership and team innovation. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(1), pp. 54-68.

 

 


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