QuestionHow do individuals and groups work in an organised company?
AnswerWhile the distinction between individual and group work is apparent, for organisations, linking and understanding these two kinds of work to achieve business objectives are instrumental (Dreikorn, 2003). Both individual and group workers’ aim is to assist the organisation to deliver its strategy, however, they differ in terms of resources available to execute tasks (Franz, 2012). An individual employee usually works on a specific task designated to him or herself, and therefore is fully responsible for the work outcome. For example, a sole accountant in a smaller organisation (employing less than fifty people) may have the exclusive duty to keep the company’s book in order, without much collaboration from other members of the organisation. The only ‘group’ aspect of individual work is that data (such as invoices) comes from other members, however, the task execution remains solely with the accountant who could only rely on his or her knowledge to carry out work tasks. Organisations often arrange workers into groups, so in practice, fully individual work is becoming less frequent in an organisational setting (Finkelstein et al. 2008). The reason why group work is popular is that groups can have more resource than individuals (Franz, 2012). Whereas individuals only use their own expertise, groups have an opportunity to amalgamate members’ knowledge, to formulate better decisions and to diffuse responsibility (Mullen et al.1986). Thus, the main difference how individuals and groups work in an organised company is that while individual workers could only access their very own resource, groups have a better position as the inputs of all group members are utilised that results in a superior job performance.
ReferencesDreikorn, M. J. (2003) The synergy of one: Creating high-performing sustainable organizations through integrated performance leadership. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press. Finkelstein, S., Hambrick, D. C. and Cannella, A. A. (2008) Strategic leadership: Theory and research on executives, top management teams, and boards. New York: Oxford University Press. Franz, T. M. (2012) Group dynamics and team interventions: Understanding and improving team performance. United States: Wiley-Blackwell. Mullen, B., Geothals, G. R. and Mullen, B. (eds.) (1986) Theories of group behavior. New York: Springer-Verlag New York.
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