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The aim of this assignment is to make a report on our group work. My experiences and what I learnt while working in the group. In the MBA module, we have been allocated into different groups, and my group number is 4. We were put together by our tutor "Mr. Parry" to do group work. We were asked to finish a project on a team basis by using the information we learnt in this module.
During our 30 minute period for the plan and approach of the assignment, our group became a team, as defined by Belbin (Mullins 2002:468) that 'the quintessential feature of a small well-balanced team is that leadership is shared or rotates whereas large groups typically throw up solo leaders. 'As a large group we have chosen one leader.
Our group has the characteristic of Tuckman's model (Mullins 2002) of successive stages of group development and relationships: forming, storming, norming and performing. We also adopt the Brainstorming approach (Mullins 2002) in the discussion, where we were generating ideas without any criticism or rejection at the beginning and our objective was to complete our project within given period of time.
During the team work, I recognize that everyone had his/her own learning style, and got different result finally. Some people, with good learning habit, grasped the ideas easily and finished their work quickly, while some people were not so efficient. This makes me realize the importance of learning style and education. Through education, people can train their learning styles, in order to achieve a brighter life in future. It's just as my friend said: "When you graduate, you have learned how to study." I am aiming to achieve this during my study.
Our team has the characteristic of Belbin's team role (Boddy 2002). The roles of implementer, co-coordinator, shaper, plant, monitor-evaluator, team worker and completer has rotated within our group. Team leader was a team worker and I was finisher/completer within the team. Our team leader co-operated and listened to the ideas, tried to release the tension within the team and make sure we could complete the task on time. I was the shaper and plant during the beginning of the assignment, I drove and encouraged everyone to overcome obstacles, where people was having problem with their ruler, then our team leader turned into the co-ordinator's role at the end of the session, he solved the problem of Kay taking too long on measuring and re-organised the work task. Shervin was also the implementer and monitor-evaluator within the team, he is very reliable for his own task and very efficient, and he spotted that Kay was having problems measuring and he quickly helped out. I was also worked as the co-coordinator within the group, where I helped our team leader to organise the task for each one of us at the beginning, clarified what we want to achieve.
During the group discussions, we chose to write about different aspects of Employment discrimination, namely the Introduction and conclusion which is done by Raj, the Problems and issue in the organization of UK with current examples was done by Me, Psychological effect on employee this part is done by Zincy, solution and recommendation part is done by Shervin. Kay was assisting Sherving and I got Zeeshan as a helping hand.
Perception & Personality
Berne (Mullins 2002) identified and labeled the ego states as child ego state, adult ego state and parent ego state. They all appeared within our team during the assignment process. We were all in the adult stage when we were planning for the assignment; we generated many ideas and selected the most effective way to produce the presentation. Some people also had the parent ego stage when they saw Kay struggling with the measurement and we offered and organised help for him. Zeeshan was very quiet the whole time during the session therefore it was very difficult to tell anything him. Kay had the child ego stage most of the time, he had a personal problem and he was on the phone during the assignment process. It seems to me that his objective was to quickly finish the task and get away to solve his own problems.
Co-ordination & Cohesiveness
Mullins (2002) suggested there are many factors which affect group cohesiveness and performance:
Membership - Size of group, compatibility of members and performance.
Work Environment - Nature of task, physical setting, communications and technology
Group development & Maturity - Forming, storming, norming and performing
Organisational - management & leadership, personnel policies & procedures, success and external threat.
There were only 6 of us in the group therefore there was no problem in communications. We went through the stages in group development, we tried our best to help each other outside lectures, we supported each other, and therefore there was not much personality clash within our group. Although there is an age difference within our group, we treated each other equally. From all these factors, I considered that we were a strong and cohesive work group.
Raj was the leader in the group when we were planning for assignment, I would describe his leadership style as democratic (Mullins 2002). There was great interaction within the group and we all worked together as a team. We all had a say in the plan for assignment before the decision was made.
I took over the leadership in the assignment process. I had the laissez-faire (genuine) style (Mullins 2002), I allowed everyone to work freely, but stepped in when I thought help was needed.
Raj and I both have the leadership behavior of the Ohio State Studies suggested by Robbins & Coulter (2003). We were both a high-high leader where we combine the initiating structure and consideration. We searched for goal attainment and attempted to organise work and goals, but raj had a stronger consideration as I think the mutual trust and respect within the group is stronger for him.
We used the Brainstorming approach (Mullins 2002) to generate many ideas for the assignment, and then we gathered the ideas and discussed the most effective way of producing the cards. The decision was made by consensus, which we all agreed on, so there were no conflicts in the decision.
Formation and development of group
Our team went through the Tuckman's model of successive stages of group development. The forming stage occurred when we started in the same college, where we were tried to find out information from others. Lot of time was spent in the storming stage in the group as we do not get on well with each other; we were also not clear about our objective of the task. The Norming stage was straight forward, as we established our own skills and we agreed to carry out our task within the assignment process. We were very happy by outcome this is the result of the performing stage. The end of this activity is the adjourning stage because the task is completed.
Working process and group development
Initially I was really excited about this group work. As a foreigner, this was a good opportunity to practice my communication skills and group working skills. Consequently, I tried to contact our members by sending text messages and arranged the first informal meeting by the following week. Bass and Ryterband indicated that as "initial development of trust and membership" (Martin, J, 2002, P.191): when people meet up at first time, they always try to build trust and confidence to each other in order to prepare for the future work.
Based on Belbin's the nine-team roles theory, my group was dominated by certain people who took the responsibilities, such as our team leader. The rest of us were team worker, and responsible for researching and our team leader made the Website. Obviously, my group member built awareness of the group's aims and shared goals. In addition, every member also knew their established roles within the group and acted accordingly. Ideally, this should have been accomplished in the "storming' stage" of group formation. (Martin, J, 2002, P.192)
Communication & interaction
The communication structure of our team was the All Channel networks suggested by Robbins & Coulter (2003), where information flows freely amongst us. Since we were not a formal team the Chain and Wheel communication networks did not exist. We each had a role and maintenance function, we tried to solve problems quickly and we all encouraged and supported each other while we were in the assignment process.
MAKING A WEBSITE
We also made an website to communicate with each other where everyone was suppose to upload their findings on the website, once files are uploaded anyone could go on the website login with their particular user ID and Password and could see the content, have live chat with anyone who is online or leave comment on the content of the research of others.
The division of the work between group members. In most cases we achieved this target. We divided into five groups, and then pairs were delegated to investigate specific areas within the firm. The only problem that occurred was self-discipline of some group members.
Conflict Management & Problem Solving
There was many conflict in our group. Problems were solved quickly within our group. We were a little behind out time. After we have formed in a group by our professor there were so many problems came to chose topic and when our team leader came up with the topic of discrimination still there were cause of dissatisfaction amongst members of the group, as some of them were agree where some of them weren't. Personally speaking I was not agree too as this part of Diversification and Discrimination was not been discussed in our classesâ€¦ but after I was discussed by Team Leader I went home and gave my time had researched where I came to know so many things about the chosen topic i.e. Discrimination, and I realized that this would be an important issue which has to be looked upon asâ€¦ it may occur in any individuals career.
Difficulties and weaknesses
During the process, we also had many problems and difficulties. For example it was difficult to gather all the group members, the whole team lacked the ability to sit down and plan together efficiently. Especially, it was very difficult to set up the meeting time, because some people in the group did not always show up in the regular meetings. Even some of our members I met just once. Therefore, we needed to rearrange our meetings again and again. It can be identified as Belbin's description (Martin, J, 2002, P.237): people do not have enough morale. This inspires me that in real business team, e.g., hi-tech research and development team, the most important things is to bring people together. This is exactly what a team leader does. Everyone can program, but only a leader can bring team players together, inspire them, and encourage them. This is also the purpose of the course I'm taking - to understand and be leader for business management.
In addition, some members could not hand in their research on time, so the whole report was finished very late and we did not have enough time to do the PowerPoint. As mentioned by Laurie J Mullins "certain tasks can be performed only through the combined efforts of a number of individuals working together". (Laurie J Mullins, 2002, P.470)
What is more, some members were shy and embarrassed to speak out their opinion. I am a confident person, but I thought that every time I spoke out I was taking a risk because sometimes the group did not share the same views as me and they would laugh now and then, this could be very embarrassing, but nothing personal.
Challenges and benefits
I really enjoyed working as a team, and I felt I have contributed a lot, I am easily motivated and I always try my best to do my research. I felt that my confidence has increased by doing the group exercises, and I am a lot more comfortable within the group.
The most challenging part of the presentation is the Designing part, which has been done by me, when I saw no one is taking interest to work out on the presentation then I took this opportunity and make the presentation slides where after I did it every one was happy with it.
The title of this project was "employee discrimination." After we had decided, the title was separated into many parts and everyone needed to do one. My task was to find out the reasons why the discrimination existed in the UK. Firstly, I did some research from the Internet, I collected some articles and found several websites that I thought may be useful for our project, but I recognized that I had absolutely no idea as there were too many details and events under this title; I did not know where to start. Then I understood it was extremely difficult to get my task finished without any clear target. Therefore, I chose "metropolitan police "as my topic to start and I found it was easier for me to do the research again. Secondly, I had also read newspapers and try to find some more information relevant.
I researched the problems of Metropolitan Police and the various applicable issues of Private and public sector. In the group, my role was to explicate the discrimination issues in Private and government sectors of the UK. My part also included information on mostly in Metropolitan Police of London. How discrimination has been taking place and any employee who are working in the organization is been struggling to get right recognition and promotion within the organization, Problem in any Public, Privet or government sector's which will de-motivate the employee of any company and company cannot get highest productivity from each n every employee.
My role within the group of the four sections comprised of the companies issues and a point from the problem section in the presentation. Firstly, I decided to research the various employment issues of companies, and aimed to expand on a number of these issues. I investigated these certain aspects by using different types of research. I also introduced the facts of the employment issues of Private and government sector and showing up on researched data points in the graph, which was linked to the employee issues. I explained the several main issues to the class and why these points exist.
Our team had the characteristics of an effective group which was suggested by Pettinger (2002). The atmosphere was relaxed and informal, the objective of the task was cleared and there was little conflict. Most of the time we all respect each other's views and listen to others, this led to a high level of commitment between us and to the task. The decisions were reached by consensus and ideas were expressed freely and openly without not much criticism or rejection. The leadership was shared among us according to the nature of the tasks.