In the beginning, God made an individual - and then he made a pair. The pair formed a group, together they began bringing others and thus the group grew. Unfortunately, working in a group led to friction, the group disintegrated in conflict and Caian settled in the land of Nod - there has been trouble with groups ever since. When people work in groups, there are two quite separate issues involved. The first is the task and the problems involved in getting the job done. Frequently this is the only issue which the group considers. The second is the process of the group work itself: the mechanisms by which the group acts as a unit and not as a loose rabble. However, without due attention to this process the value of the group can be diminished or even destroyed; yet with a little explicit management of the process, it can enhance the worth of the group to be many times the sum of the worth of its individuals. It is this synergy which makes group work attractive in corporate organization despite the possible problems (and time spent) in group formation. The key is that the group should be viewed as an important resource whose maintenance must be managed just like any other resource and that this management should be undertaken by the group itself so that it forms a normal part of the group's activities.
[...] Team management is seen as a shared function, and team members are given the opportunity to exercise leadership when their experiences and skills are appropriate to the needs of the team Each team member is capable and willing to contribute information, skills, and experiences that provide an appropriate mix for achieving the team's purpose The team develops a climate in which people feel relaxed and are able to be direct and open in their communications Team members develop a mutual trust for each other and believe that other team members have skills and capabilities to contribute to the team Both the team and individual members are prepared to take risks and are allowed to develop their abilities and skills The team is clear about its important goals and establishes performance targets that cause stretching but are achievable Team member roles are defined, and effective ways to solve problems and communicate are developed and supported by all team members Team members know how to examine team and individual errors and weaknesses without making personal attacks, which enables the group to learn from its experiences Team efforts are devoted to the achievement of results, and team performance is frequently evaluated to see where improvements can be made The team has the capacity to create new ideas through group interaction and the influence of outside people. [...]
[...] It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts. The major task function of stage three is the data flow between group members: They share feelings and ideas, solicit and give feedback to one another, and explore actions related to the task. Creativity is high. If this stage of data flow and cohesion is attained by the group members, their interactions are characterized by openness and sharing of information on both a personal and task level. [...]
[...] The study aims to identify the main causes for these different outcomes, developing a preliminary analysis of modes of group behaviour, and influences on them. The study identifies three modes of group behaviour: one which secures members' adherence to the group objectives via power and control, in a hierarchical way; one which operates by the use of financial incentives; and one which operates through co-operation among members to achieve the often shared objectives. It is suggested that external norms, and other conditions in the society in which the group is located, are an important influence on mode of behaviour. [...]
[...] Self-managing Teams in Service Organizations to Achieve Best Performance Results A study of customer service workers in the telecommunications industry proves that work groups organized into self-managing teams produce more sales volume and better customer service. This is especially true when teams are adjusting to new information technology. Teams gained a whooping 26% sales increase and a customer service quality increase over work- groups using the self-managed team/team-based organization and TQM (total quality management) approaches Options for Organizing Work Often large organizations have customer service call centers in which employees interact with customers to sell products and services and that handle customer concerns. [...]
[...] He is not the world's easiest writer, and his psychoanalytic (Kleinian) approach does not make him any easier, but at the risk of offending purists, we can mine his ideas for practical models which are relevant to the classroom: 2 Bion's Basic Assumption Theory Bion postulates that groups operate simultaneously at a number of levels: the Work Group: this is the manifest level of the group's performance, and readily understood by group members. Most of the other stuff about groups on this site is about Work-group level performance. [...]
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