Team Spirit And Team Work Management Essay

3887 words (16 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Management Reference this

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Introduction

The team is a dynamic set of people that has a particular purpose. Under certain conditions conducive to unity, the team is developed into an organized system of interdependent roles, institutions, common goals, values, attitudes and homogeneous behavior, which satisfies the needs of its members.

Although Western culture promotes independence, people in today’s organizations do not work in isolation but in teams so team working is very important.

According to Guzzo & Shea (1992:90) a real (not an artificial) team should have the following characteristics:

It is recognized as an existing entity from its members but also from members who know the team.

It provides a degree of interdependence among its members.

It provides differentiation of tasks and roles.

Human society is based on teams. From a practical standpoint, people participate in teams because:

They feel the need to build social relationships.

Teams are a source of information.

Teams provide compensation (e.g. friendship, recognition, material goods).

Participation in a team enables the individual to achieve goals that could not be achieved at his/her personal level.

People are asked to join a team, a fact that occurs mainly in the workplace. In this case, it concerns formal groups, which vary from the informal groups that are created spontaneously based on common interests, friendships, etc. In the typical workplace, the formal (e.g. department of a business) groups and the informal groups coexist.

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Team Spirit – Team Work

All companies that want to achieve high productivity ensure that there are team spirit and cooperation among employees. In particular, many experts argue that teamwork is very effective in companies where the requirement for dissemination of information is very high. Thus, a connection is seen between information management and teamwork.

For this reason, it is imperative to create effective teams, which should be motivated either through monetary and non monetary rewards to produce the best possible result.

An effective team has clear objectives, is consisted of people with similar skills that match the team’s goals. Members should trust each other, trust should be encouraged by an open, honest and cooperative business culture (Beer et al. 1984:66).

Human Resources Management is one of the key factors for creating such culture. Good cooperation requires good communication and good leadership.

Furthermore, companies should offer incentives, especially, team incentives, which will help increase cooperation. Apart from monetary incentives, companies must provide non-monetary rewards such as employee involvement and empowerment.

Effective teamwork can be achieved through the proper organization of the teams. It is particularly beneficial for businesses because it increases flexibility and speed. A project is carried out by several people with different skills so it is possible to have more innovative ideas and decision making will be more effective due to the heterogeneity of the group. The most important thing is that the team should be encouraged and supported in order to increase productivity to a much greater extent than if the work was performed on an individual basis (Robbins & Coulter 2002:255).

The role of Human Resources Management is seen as particularly crucial to achieve this goal, i.e. the creation of efficient teams.

Myths regarding teams

Mature individuals compose mature teams.

The team is the sum of individuals.

Effective procedures, methods and rules of the team have universal application.

The effectiveness of the group depends primarily on the quality of its leader.

The individual must sacrifice his freedom to belong to the group.

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επιφώνημα

heigh

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

Theory of group creation

Among the theories that explain the formation of groups, the dominant and most prevalent is the one suggested by George Homans (Albanese and Van Fleet and 1985:250). According to this theory, the creation of a team is the result of three interrelated forces that constitute the environment in which every social system exists. These forces are the technology and know-how (technological environment) of the organization, the elements of the natural environment (place, facilities) of the organization, the training / culture of the environment or of the organization (norms, values, beliefs). These forces affect more people and require certain actions and interactions among them. These imposed actions and interactions in turn create emotional situations (emotions) and attitudes among individuals. The actions, interactions and emotions are interdependent with each other. For example, the more contacts (interactions) exist among individuals the more positive the emotions become and vice versa. This combination of these three parameters, Homans calls it “external system” because it is caused by the environment of the individuals. This combination leads to the initial creation of the group.

After the initial creation of the group, its operation leads to internal dynamics i.e. developing new attitudes, norms and common benchmarks that are certainly not caused by the environment. These parameters of the internal dynamics of the group are according to Homans (Albanese and Van Fleet 1985:252) the “internal system”. Of course, between the internal environment of the group and its “external environment” there is a dynamic interactive relationship.

The formation of a formal team/group

The formation of a formal group follows four successive stages (Tuckman 1965:385, Tuckman & Jensen 1977:421):

The forming stage, which tries to determine the position and status of the team members. At this stage, a group of people form a team which has a very low level of maturity. The objectives and rules are not yet defined. The members do not know the behavior of others in the group, and the tasks are vague. At this stage members get to know each other and define the reasons for creating the team. Typically here, the members make efforts to ensure the existence and identity of the group or to create impressions. Communication is superficial, and people mostly think how to behave and invest the time, knowledge and skills within the group. There is skepticism, distrust and uncertainty.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

there in

The storming stage where the first signs of conflicts and objections appear as the differences among the group members become apparent. This phase lasts up to the setting of a hierarchy within the group.

At this stage, most members try to maintain their individuality in the group. This mainly involves the creation of sub-groups (cliques) among members with common main characteristics (age, characters, skills, etc.). These processes, however, lead to a more realistic definition of goals and procedures.

Unfortunately, several teams remain long enough at this stage or they never get over it.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

The stage of establishing standards (norming), where the team, after the conflict, begins to make its own rules of conduct, which should refer to the roles and status of the members as well as to the rules that should be followed.

The stage of performance (performing), where the team is involved in the project assigned. At this stage, the team having made clear its goals and tasks and having determined the procedures and rules of operation, focuses on achieving its objectives. The members develop initiatives and make efforts towards this direction.

It is basically a stage of maturity of the group meaning its structure and operating procedures are crystallized, the relationships among its members are developed as well as its consistency.

Thus, the team’s efforts are focused on delivering results. Of course, the team periodically assesses its performance, which may lead to a redefinition of goals, roles, tasks, procedures and rules.

It should be stressed that the maintenance of the team at this stage needs constant effort from all members and of course from the leader. It is also important to understand that the group may, for various reasons (e.g. changes in the environment, new members, etc.) go back to previous stages.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

The stage of dissolution (adjournment), where the team has done its work and stops all activity. This stage is not always displayed, while a characteristic example concerns the various committees that are formed.

Group decision making

Many times the effective team function encounters certain problems that managers must be aware to identify and treat them successfully. Koontz and O’ Donnel (1968:327) suggest the following team problems: the high cost in time and money,indecision,the reconciliation of members to a lowest common denominator,the dominance of an individual on the team,the division of responsibility and the tyranny of the minority.

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

many times

According to Janis (1972), when a very coherent, hierarchical and disconnected from the social environment group must decide, it is possible that a mechanism is activated to protect the group from internal dissension, in which everyone tries to ensure unity and consensus and avoid conflict, which significantly reduces the quality of decision.

Janis (1972:168) suggests the following symptoms of group thinking:

The illusion of the perfection of the team

The rationalization of everything and the depreciation of facts and objective information

The illusion of moral underpinnings

The devaluation of external environmental factors

The pressure for compliance and strong patterns of thinking

The illusion of unanimity

Self-censorship

The obstacles in the minds of others

Small number of alternative solutions and refusal to reexamine decisions that have been taken or alternatives that have been rejected.

Ignore or underestimate risks.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

ουσιαστικό

being

creature

άρθρο

the

The opposite of “group thinking” is “brain-storming”. “Such an approach means that the team takes a” liberal “stance and generates as many ideas as possible’» (Mullins, 1989:409) because its members believe that quantity of ideas mean quality of ideas. One could expect that a group of ‘brainstorming “would generate more ideas to solve problems rather than if each member worked independently. Nevertheless, researches have shown that this is not true, and that such groups can inhibit creative thinking.

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Whatever promotes social interaction among all team members removes the chances of compromise and favours the appearance of opinions that no one dared to express in the group. The conflict is even more efficient (leading to more polarization) in groups where relationships are less formal, the hierarchy is less authoritarian and in groups having flexible rules of operating i.e. they focus more on the discussion rather than procedures (Isaacs 1993:99). These conditions are not far removed from those that play a positive role in creativity.

Conflicts

Team performance is sometimes impeded by conflicts. A conflict is associated with two or more sides, which may be individuals, groups, departments, companies, political parties, or even whole nations. The conflicts between the two sides may have the following types (Stoner 1989:59):

Individual conflicts: the conflict in the individual decision-making.

Organizational conflicts: the conflict of individuals or groups within an organization.

Conflicts among organizations: the conflict among organizations or groups.

These three categories generally arise from rather different basic mechanisms, although there are some overlaps. From an organizational point of view, the conflicts could be categorized as:

Hierarchical conflict, i.e. conflict among different hierarchical levels, e.g. between the Board and the General Manager.

Operational conflicts among different functions or departments of the business, e.g. between sales and production.

Conflicts of executive – fist line employees.

Conflicts between the formal and informal organization.

The conflicts among individuals and groups are a common and everyday phenomenon in the workplace. Typical symptoms of conflict are reluctance, hesitation, aggression, apathy, anxiety and distress (Hellerieger & Slocum 1992:222). Individuals and groups with different values, experiences, knowledge, skills, attitudes, responsibilities, needs and goals, must coexist and cooperate in an organizational environment characterized by uncertainty and complexity in terms of structures, procedures, techniques, rules, etc. Therefore, conflicts are a natural consequence of this situation.

The Classical School of Management (Taylor 1947:89, Fayol 1949:245) considers conflict as a negative phenomenon that should be avoided because of the malfunction caused and the negative effects on efficiency. For example, Elton Mayo (1933:87) and Peter Drucker (1974:220), in essence, argue that conflict and tension are only a “perversion” from the normal state of human actions, and therefore, should be allowed to disappear through training.

In particular, the traditional concept featuring an even larger number of managers’ belief, supports that:

-Conflicts can be avoided.

-Conflicts arise from personality problems of individuals and from unsuccessful leadership.

-Conflicts cause malfunctions in the organization and generally have explosive consequences

– Conflicts are solved with the physical removal of the conflicting parties or with the involvement of senior managers.

However, unlike this traditional view, the development of social sciences, led to the development of the modern concept of management regarding conflicts and which supports the following (Robbins 1998:251):

Conflicts are inevitable and are neither good nor bad, i.e. they may have either negative or positive consequences.

These conflicts are mainly due to the complexity of organizational structures, procedures, rules, techniques and systems.

The conflicts can be addressed positively by removing the reasons that cause them and by solving the problems.

So, according to the modern perception, conflict is an inevitable and natural phenomenon. Besides its negative consequences that are more or less obvious, it can have positive ones like enabling people for more action, becoming a driving force for positive changes in the organization or becoming a developmental experience. It is therefore, obvious that it is more realistic to believe that conflicts have both positive and negative effects. In the positive ones belong new ideas, innovations and changes, better decision making, increased participation, a possible increase in productivity as well as the strengthening of relations if the conflict is solved positively by both sides. In the negative ones belong the waste of energy, the reduction of morale (less job satisfaction), the creation of mistrust and polarization between the conflicting parties, reduced productivity, making biased decisions, and the creation of irresponsible behavior.

It is important therefore to find the appropriate level and intensity of the conflict, so the company can reap the highest benefits.

According to Robbins (1998:280), an excellent level of conflict is the one that does not create stagnation, but on the contrary it stimulates creativity and relieves tension, in order to increase productivity and create conditions for change, without causing disruption and detuning or staff dissatisfaction and trends for leaving the company.

From the above, it becomes obvious that the handling of conflict is one of the main tasks of the leader and of the other team members. The effectiveness of these controls undoubtedly contributes to the overall effectiveness of the team and the company (cast 1994).

Prevention of inter-organizational conflict

The main reason of appearance of conflicts in the organizational context is the segmentation of organizations (segmentation of departments, tasks and operations), which, however, is essential for their functionality. Given. therefore, the existing segmentation, Schein (1980:88) recommends the following methods to prevent conflict:

• Emphasis should be given on the efficiency of the organization, while stressing the role and the contribution of the individual parts to the whole performance.

• There should be communication and cooperation among the groups of the same organization.

• There should be a circular rotation of the members in various departments to promote greater understanding of the particular problems faced by each department or each group.

• Competition among departments or groups should be avoided. Emphasis should be given in coordinating the forces and actions aiming at the overall performance of the organization. The rewards should be allocated equally among the departments and they should be based on effort and contribution and not on the result.

Characteristics of effective teams

Sense of common mission and vision and understanding of the interdependence.

Comfortable,informal atmosphere and positive climate.

Existence of commonly accepted and optimistic goals, members’ commitment to them and the ability to redefine them as necessary.

Align individual and team goals.

Ability to select, correct methods, procedures and rules and change them when it is needed.

Open and effective communication.

Free expression of feelings, ideas, opinions, etc.

Capability of achieving consensus through debate and arguments.

Ability to self criticism and definition of minimum tolerable efficiency.

Team learning through sharing of knowledge and experiences, successes, failures and mistakes.

Exploiting the knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes of all members.

Satisfaction and motivation of members.

Ability to ensure consistency of the team.

Encourage risk-taking initiatives and creativity.

Commitment and accountability of members.

Mutual respect, self-respect and mutual trust among members.

Energy – dynamism.

Effective leadership.

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επιφώνημα

heigh

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επιφώνημα

heigh

Conclusion – Team performance

Regarding the productivity of individuals and groups based on experiments, observations and theoretical positions of social psychologists, the following conclusions can be drawn:

It is not certain that a team performs better than a person. So when the person knows the job, and there is a moderate level of conflict, then s/he will perform better than the team. If the person has the skills to solve a complex task, s/he will succeed equally well but will need more time. The conflict gives rich and varied solutions to the problems the group has, however, it has increased costs in human working hours (Jehn 1995:270).

In the working groups where the individual contribution to the project cannot be identified and evaluated, it is likely that the performance of individuals and of teams will be reduced (Jehn, 1997:272).

When the person works in the presence of others and believes that the others assess his/her performance while the work that s/he does is simple or familiar, the chances are that s/he will perform well.

The opposite will probably happen when the task is difficult or when the individual does not know it well.

In teams, people evaluate the contribution of other members. If the person feels that others will do the job then s/he will reduce, presumably, his own performance (the phenomenon of the “free rider”). The same will be done if s/he feels that someone is trying to benefit from his work (the phenomenon of the “sucker “)(Kerr & Brunn, 1983:82).

Many of these phenomena explain partly the inefficiency of public services where there is no performance evaluation of each employee separately.

The lack of motivation is also important and this has resulted in the phenomena of the “free rider” and the “sucker”.

The committees for solving problems or performing tasks are not always the best solution, since they lead to a loss of incentives, diffusion of responsibility and avoidance of work by some employees. Excluding the cases calling for diversity of ideas and viewpoints, individuals will perform better than teams.

Introduction

The team is a dynamic set of people that has a particular purpose. Under certain conditions conducive to unity, the team is developed into an organized system of interdependent roles, institutions, common goals, values, attitudes and homogeneous behavior, which satisfies the needs of its members.

Although Western culture promotes independence, people in today’s organizations do not work in isolation but in teams so team working is very important.

According to Guzzo & Shea (1992:90) a real (not an artificial) team should have the following characteristics:

It is recognized as an existing entity from its members but also from members who know the team.

It provides a degree of interdependence among its members.

It provides differentiation of tasks and roles.

Human society is based on teams. From a practical standpoint, people participate in teams because:

They feel the need to build social relationships.

Teams are a source of information.

Teams provide compensation (e.g. friendship, recognition, material goods).

Participation in a team enables the individual to achieve goals that could not be achieved at his/her personal level.

People are asked to join a team, a fact that occurs mainly in the workplace. In this case, it concerns formal groups, which vary from the informal groups that are created spontaneously based on common interests, friendships, etc. In the typical workplace, the formal (e.g. department of a business) groups and the informal groups coexist.

Team Spirit – Team Work

All companies that want to achieve high productivity ensure that there are team spirit and cooperation among employees. In particular, many experts argue that teamwork is very effective in companies where the requirement for dissemination of information is very high. Thus, a connection is seen between information management and teamwork.

For this reason, it is imperative to create effective teams, which should be motivated either through monetary and non monetary rewards to produce the best possible result.

An effective team has clear objectives, is consisted of people with similar skills that match the team’s goals. Members should trust each other, trust should be encouraged by an open, honest and cooperative business culture (Beer et al. 1984:66).

Human Resources Management is one of the key factors for creating such culture. Good cooperation requires good communication and good leadership.

Furthermore, companies should offer incentives, especially, team incentives, which will help increase cooperation. Apart from monetary incentives, companies must provide non-monetary rewards such as employee involvement and empowerment.

Effective teamwork can be achieved through the proper organization of the teams. It is particularly beneficial for businesses because it increases flexibility and speed. A project is carried out by several people with different skills so it is possible to have more innovative ideas and decision making will be more effective due to the heterogeneity of the group. The most important thing is that the team should be encouraged and supported in order to increase productivity to a much greater extent than if the work was performed on an individual basis (Robbins & Coulter 2002:255).

The role of Human Resources Management is seen as particularly crucial to achieve this goal, i.e. the creation of efficient teams.

Myths regarding teams

Mature individuals compose mature teams.

The team is the sum of individuals.

Effective procedures, methods and rules of the team have universal application.

The effectiveness of the group depends primarily on the quality of its leader.

The individual must sacrifice his freedom to belong to the group.

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επιφώνημα

heigh

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

Theory of group creation

Among the theories that explain the formation of groups, the dominant and most prevalent is the one suggested by George Homans (Albanese and Van Fleet and 1985:250). According to this theory, the creation of a team is the result of three interrelated forces that constitute the environment in which every social system exists. These forces are the technology and know-how (technological environment) of the organization, the elements of the natural environment (place, facilities) of the organization, the training / culture of the environment or of the organization (norms, values, beliefs). These forces affect more people and require certain actions and interactions among them. These imposed actions and interactions in turn create emotional situations (emotions) and attitudes among individuals. The actions, interactions and emotions are interdependent with each other. For example, the more contacts (interactions) exist among individuals the more positive the emotions become and vice versa. This combination of these three parameters, Homans calls it “external system” because it is caused by the environment of the individuals. This combination leads to the initial creation of the group.

After the initial creation of the group, its operation leads to internal dynamics i.e. developing new attitudes, norms and common benchmarks that are certainly not caused by the environment. These parameters of the internal dynamics of the group are according to Homans (Albanese and Van Fleet 1985:252) the “internal system”. Of course, between the internal environment of the group and its “external environment” there is a dynamic interactive relationship.

The formation of a formal team/group

The formation of a formal group follows four successive stages (Tuckman 1965:385, Tuckman & Jensen 1977:421):

The forming stage, which tries to determine the position and status of the team members. At this stage, a group of people form a team which has a very low level of maturity. The objectives and rules are not yet defined. The members do not know the behavior of others in the group, and the tasks are vague. At this stage members get to know each other and define the reasons for creating the team. Typically here, the members make efforts to ensure the existence and identity of the group or to create impressions. Communication is superficial, and people mostly think how to behave and invest the time, knowledge and skills within the group. There is skepticism, distrust and uncertainty.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

there in

The storming stage where the first signs of conflicts and objections appear as the differences among the group members become apparent. This phase lasts up to the setting of a hierarchy within the group.

At this stage, most members try to maintain their individuality in the group. This mainly involves the creation of sub-groups (cliques) among members with common main characteristics (age, characters, skills, etc.). These processes, however, lead to a more realistic definition of goals and procedures.

Unfortunately, several teams remain long enough at this stage or they never get over it.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

The stage of establishing standards (norming), where the team, after the conflict, begins to make its own rules of conduct, which should refer to the roles and status of the members as well as to the rules that should be followed.

The stage of performance (performing), where the team is involved in the project assigned. At this stage, the team having made clear its goals and tasks and having determined the procedures and rules of operation, focuses on achieving its objectives. The members develop initiatives and make efforts towards this direction.

It is basically a stage of maturity of the group meaning its structure and operating procedures are crystallized, the relationships among its members are developed as well as its consistency.

Thus, the team’s efforts are focused on delivering results. Of course, the team periodically assesses its performance, which may lead to a redefinition of goals, roles, tasks, procedures and rules.

It should be stressed that the maintenance of the team at this stage needs constant effort from all members and of course from the leader. It is also important to understand that the group may, for various reasons (e.g. changes in the environment, new members, etc.) go back to previous stages.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

usually

commonly

ordinarily

customarily

in the ordinary way

The stage of dissolution (adjournment), where the team has done its work and stops all activity. This stage is not always displayed, while a characteristic example concerns the various committees that are formed.

Group decision making

Many times the effective team function encounters certain problems that managers must be aware to identify and treat them successfully. Koontz and O’ Donnel (1968:327) suggest the following team problems: the high cost in time and money,indecision,the reconciliation of members to a lowest common denominator,the dominance of an individual on the team,the division of responsibility and the tyranny of the minority.

Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επίρρημα

many times

According to Janis (1972), when a very coherent, hierarchical and disconnected from the social environment group must decide, it is possible that a mechanism is activated to protect the group from internal dissension, in which everyone tries to ensure unity and consensus and avoid conflict, which significantly reduces the quality of decision.

Janis (1972:168) suggests the following symptoms of group thinking:

The illusion of the perfection of the team

The rationalization of everything and the depreciation of facts and objective information

The illusion of moral underpinnings

The devaluation of external environmental factors

The pressure for compliance and strong patterns of thinking

The illusion of unanimity

Self-censorship

The obstacles in the minds of others

Small number of alternative solutions and refusal to reexamine decisions that have been taken or alternatives that have been rejected.

Ignore or underestimate risks.Ακρόαση

Φωνητική ανάγνωση

 

Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

ουσιαστικό

being

creature

άρθρο

the

The opposite of “group thinking” is “brain-storming”. “Such an approach means that the team takes a” liberal “stance and generates as many ideas as possible’» (Mullins, 1989:409) because its members believe that quantity of ideas mean quality of ideas. One could expect that a group of ‘brainstorming “would generate more ideas to solve problems rather than if each member worked independently. Nevertheless, researches have shown that this is not true, and that such groups can inhibit creative thinking.

Whatever promotes social interaction among all team members removes the chances of compromise and favours the appearance of opinions that no one dared to express in the group. The conflict is even more efficient (leading to more polarization) in groups where relationships are less formal, the hierarchy is less authoritarian and in groups having flexible rules of operating i.e. they focus more on the discussion rather than procedures (Isaacs 1993:99). These conditions are not far removed from those that play a positive role in creativity.

Conflicts

Team performance is sometimes impeded by conflicts. A conflict is associated with two or more sides, which may be individuals, groups, departments, companies, political parties, or even whole nations. The conflicts between the two sides may have the following types (Stoner 1989:59):

Individual conflicts: the conflict in the individual decision-making.

Organizational conflicts: the conflict of individuals or groups within an organization.

Conflicts among organizations: the conflict among organizations or groups.

These three categories generally arise from rather different basic mechanisms, although there are some overlaps. From an organizational point of view, the conflicts could be categorized as:

Hierarchical conflict, i.e. conflict among different hierarchical levels, e.g. between the Board and the General Manager.

Operational conflicts among different functions or departments of the business, e.g. between sales and production.

Conflicts of executive – fist line employees.

Conflicts between the formal and informal organization.

The conflicts among individuals and groups are a common and everyday phenomenon in the workplace. Typical symptoms of conflict are reluctance, hesitation, aggression, apathy, anxiety and distress (Hellerieger & Slocum 1992:222). Individuals and groups with different values, experiences, knowledge, skills, attitudes, responsibilities, needs and goals, must coexist and cooperate in an organizational environment characterized by uncertainty and complexity in terms of structures, procedures, techniques, rules, etc. Therefore, conflicts are a natural consequence of this situation.

The Classical School of Management (Taylor 1947:89, Fayol 1949:245) considers conflict as a negative phenomenon that should be avoided because of the malfunction caused and the negative effects on efficiency. For example, Elton Mayo (1933:87) and Peter Drucker (1974:220), in essence, argue that conflict and tension are only a “perversion” from the normal state of human actions, and therefore, should be allowed to disappear through training.

In particular, the traditional concept featuring an even larger number of managers’ belief, supports that:

-Conflicts can be avoided.

-Conflicts arise from personality problems of individuals and from unsuccessful leadership.

-Conflicts cause malfunctions in the organization and generally have explosive consequences

– Conflicts are solved with the physical removal of the conflicting parties or with the involvement of senior managers.

However, unlike this traditional view, the development of social sciences, led to the development of the modern concept of management regarding conflicts and which supports the following (Robbins 1998:251):

Conflicts are inevitable and are neither good nor bad, i.e. they may have either negative or positive consequences.

These conflicts are mainly due to the complexity of organizational structures, procedures, rules, techniques and systems.

The conflicts can be addressed positively by removing the reasons that cause them and by solving the problems.

So, according to the modern perception, conflict is an inevitable and natural phenomenon. Besides its negative consequences that are more or less obvious, it can have positive ones like enabling people for more action, becoming a driving force for positive changes in the organization or becoming a developmental experience. It is therefore, obvious that it is more realistic to believe that conflicts have both positive and negative effects. In the positive ones belong new ideas, innovations and changes, better decision making, increased participation, a possible increase in productivity as well as the strengthening of relations if the conflict is solved positively by both sides. In the negative ones belong the waste of energy, the reduction of morale (less job satisfaction), the creation of mistrust and polarization between the conflicting parties, reduced productivity, making biased decisions, and the creation of irresponsible behavior.

It is important therefore to find the appropriate level and intensity of the conflict, so the company can reap the highest benefits.

According to Robbins (1998:280), an excellent level of conflict is the one that does not create stagnation, but on the contrary it stimulates creativity and relieves tension, in order to increase productivity and create conditions for change, without causing disruption and detuning or staff dissatisfaction and trends for leaving the company.

From the above, it becomes obvious that the handling of conflict is one of the main tasks of the leader and of the other team members. The effectiveness of these controls undoubtedly contributes to the overall effectiveness of the team and the company (cast 1994).

Prevention of inter-organizational conflict

The main reason of appearance of conflicts in the organizational context is the segmentation of organizations (segmentation of departments, tasks and operations), which, however, is essential for their functionality. Given. therefore, the existing segmentation, Schein (1980:88) recommends the following methods to prevent conflict:

• Emphasis should be given on the efficiency of the organization, while stressing the role and the contribution of the individual parts to the whole performance.

• There should be communication and cooperation among the groups of the same organization.

• There should be a circular rotation of the members in various departments to promote greater understanding of the particular problems faced by each department or each group.

• Competition among departments or groups should be avoided. Emphasis should be given in coordinating the forces and actions aiming at the overall performance of the organization. The rewards should be allocated equally among the departments and they should be based on effort and contribution and not on the result.

Characteristics of effective teams

Sense of common mission and vision and understanding of the interdependence.

Comfortable,informal atmosphere and positive climate.

Existence of commonly accepted and optimistic goals, members’ commitment to them and the ability to redefine them as necessary.

Align individual and team goals.

Ability to select, correct methods, procedures and rules and change them when it is needed.

Open and effective communication.

Free expression of feelings, ideas, opinions, etc.

Capability of achieving consensus through debate and arguments.

Ability to self criticism and definition of minimum tolerable efficiency.

Team learning through sharing of knowledge and experiences, successes, failures and mistakes.

Exploiting the knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes of all members.

Satisfaction and motivation of members.

Ability to ensure consistency of the team.

Encourage risk-taking initiatives and creativity.

Commitment and accountability of members.

Mutual respect, self-respect and mutual trust among members.

Energy – dynamism.

Effective leadership.

Ακρόαση

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Ακρόαση

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Λεξικό – Προβολή λεπτομερούς λεξικού

επιφώνημα

heigh

Conclusion – Team performance

Regarding the productivity of individuals and groups based on experiments, observations and theoretical positions of social psychologists, the following conclusions can be drawn:

It is not certain that a team performs better than a person. So when the person knows the job, and there is a moderate level of conflict, then s/he will perform better than the team. If the person has the skills to solve a complex task, s/he will succeed equally well but will need more time. The conflict gives rich and varied solutions to the problems the group has, however, it has increased costs in human working hours (Jehn 1995:270).

In the working groups where the individual contribution to the project cannot be identified and evaluated, it is likely that the performance of individuals and of teams will be reduced (Jehn, 1997:272).

When the person works in the presence of others and believes that the others assess his/her performance while the work that s/he does is simple or familiar, the chances are that s/he will perform well.

The opposite will probably happen when the task is difficult or when the individual does not know it well.

In teams, people evaluate the contribution of other members. If the person feels that others will do the job then s/he will reduce, presumably, his own performance (the phenomenon of the “free rider”). The same will be done if s/he feels that someone is trying to benefit from his work (the phenomenon of the “sucker “)(Kerr & Brunn, 1983:82).

Many of these phenomena explain partly the inefficiency of public services where there is no performance evaluation of each employee separately.

The lack of motivation is also important and this has resulted in the phenomena of the “free rider” and the “sucker”.

The committees for solving problems or performing tasks are not always the best solution, since they lead to a loss of incentives, diffusion of responsibility and avoidance of work by some employees. Excluding the cases calling for diversity of ideas and viewpoints, individuals will perform better than teams.

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