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Turning Individuals Into Team Players Management Essay

2936 words (12 pages) Essay in Management

5/12/16 Management Reference this

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A team can be described as a group whose individual efforts result in performance is greater than the sum of the individual inputs. A team creates positive synergy through coordinated effort.

Teams are important in that when effectiviely used help increase employee motivation due to participation in activities and decision making and are more flexible and responsive to changing events. They have better decision making, are more efficient, and have more personal ownership.

Some options to turn individuals to team players are discussed below.

Hiring the right Individuals

Some individuals will have already the interpersonal skills to be effective team players. Usually, when hiring staff, apart from their technical skills, it is important to ensure that the candidates have the necessary skills to fulfil their roles as team members.

There are various ways to check if individuals have capacity to be team members. These would include tests with different type of scenarios that the individual would be involved in a see how much of a team member / team role he would play.

According to Daniel(2007)Some questions that can be asked to show ability to work in a team are as follows “Share an experience that required you to build a team. What criteria did you use in selecting team members? What challenges and successes did the team have? How did you address members who were not being part of the team?”

Some candidates never have team skills when being employed. Usually in such a situation a manager can either decide to have them trained in an effort to try and convert them into team players, or transfer the individual to another unit that doesn’t require teams, or decide not hire the candidate.

On this note getting rid of bad employees helps create a good environment. Individuals remaining in the organization should be those that create a good working atmosphere, and owing to that will be willing to come to come to work since they love the enviroment and people they are working with.


There are different ways in which individuals can be trained to become team players.

There are trainining exercises that can be used to show the importance of team accomplishments, and to go through the satisfaction that team work can provide.

Workshops can be offered to help employees improve their skills. These skills include communication, problem solving, negotiation and conflict management, amongst other skills.

They should be taken through different models of group development, such as the five stage group-delevopment model which emphasises on the five stages that groups should go through. These stages are the forming stage, storming stage, norming stage, performing stage and the adjourning stage.

Training also includes team building exercises and retreats which help team members to increase their trust and openness.

Employees during should always be reminded that teams take longer time to make decisions than individuals and thus have to learn to become a bit more patient.

Proper rewarding systems

Organization’s reward systems should be reworked to encourage cooperative efforts rather than competitive ones. Group-based appraisals should be encouraged to reinforce team effort and commitment.

Promotions, pay raises, and other forms of recongnition should be given to individuals who work effectively as collaborative team members.

Examples that should be rewarded include training new members, sharing information with colleagues, resolving team conflicts.

Another way to turn an individual into a team player is to try and introduce him in to a climate of trust. Members of effective teams exhibit trust amongst each other and their leaders. Trust is what will facilitate cooperation and brings bonds and belief that the other members will not take advantage of them / their efforts.

The individuals should also be placed in positions that they can utilize all their potential strenghts and talents. Positions that they will feel best suited for.

With all these discussed above, you can turn individuals in to a team, benefiting the individuals and the organization.

Q2. 30 Points

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Diversity on Teams

Gordon Allport defined personality as “the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophyisical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment.” (Robins and Judge 2009:139)

It can aslo be described as the sum total ways an individual reacts to and interacts with others.

It is a result of both heredity and the environmental factors, although research in personality development tends to better support the importance of heredity over the environment.

Personality traits can be defined as the enduring characterstics than describe and individual’s behavior.

Diversity in an organization is recognition that all individuals are different. It means accepting and understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizes our differences.  Diversity can be along the lines of race, gender, sex, religion, and other ideologies.With the acceptance of this, the organizations try to create a climate of equality and mutual respect. (

There are 2 perspectives that have guided most diversity initiatives. These are the discrimination-and-fairness paradigm, and access-and-legitimacy paradigm.


Over time, culturally and demographically diverse groups may perform better, if they can get over their initial conflicts. This is because they have differences in opinion, which provides an opportunity to solve problems in unique ways.

Surface level diversity can lead to openness even when there was no deep level diversity. This kind of diversity of a group may subconsciously cue teams to be more open minded in their views and more creative.

Diversity in teams brings different, important and competitively relevant knowledge, ideas, constructive arguments and perspectives about how to do work. “When allowed to, members of these groups can help companies grow and improve by challenging basic assumptions about organizations functions, strategies, procedures and operations. By doing so they identify more with the work they do…” (Thomas and Ely 1996).

It also leads to increased creativity which leads to generation of better problem definitions, more alternatives due to the different backgrounds and thus better and sounder decisions and solutions.

With a new emerging paradigm Connecting Diversity to Work Perspectives, for the organization to make the paradigm shift, there are eight pre-conditions required for the organizations to use identity-group differences in the service of organizational learning, growth, and renewal. These include

The leadership must understand that a diverse workforce will embody different perspectives and approaches to work, and must truly value variety of opinion and insight.

The leadership must recognize both the learning opportunities and the challenges that the expression of different perspectives presents for an organization.

The organizational culture must create an expectation of high standards of performance from everyone.

The organizational culture must stimulate personal development.

The organizational culture must encourage openness.

The culture must make workers feel valued.

The organization must have a well articulated and widely understood mission.

The organization must have a relatively egalitarian, nonbureaucratic structure.

An advantage of shifting to this paradigm is that such organizations have zero tolerance to racism, homophobia, sexism and sexual harrassment.


Diversity appears to lead to increased group conflict, especially in the early stages of a group’s formation. This conflict often results in lower group morale and sometimes group members dropping out.

Organizations that adopt the discrimination-and-fairness paradigm have issues in that they insist that all everyone is the same, and in emphasizing on equal treatment, put pressure on employees to make sure that important differences among them do not count. Genuine disagreements can sometimes be wrongly interpreted

Organizations that adopt the access-and legitimacy paradigm tend to emphasize the role of cultural influences in a company without really analyzing those differences to see how they actually affect the work that is being done. The organizations make themselves vulnerable in that they really understand what happens in those areas and how they would get back to their feet if the individuals working in those areas.

The access-and-legitimacy paradigm can also leave some employees feeling exploited. Many organizations using this paradigm have diversified only in the areas that they interact with market segment. In time, those employed in those functions feel devalued and overused and begin to sense that opportunities in other parts of the organization are closed to them.

Also from this paradigm, employees feel like if there is need for the organizations to be downsized, it is the special departments that are first targeted thus can kill the morale of the employees.

Diversity also can lead to lack of cohesion, lack of trust and break in communication. The break in communication comes about from the difference in meaning of words, expressions and intonations. This can sometimes leads to stress amongst the team members. It can also cause lots of disagreements and also bring about inability to have consensus even on trivial issues..

Q3. 40 Points

Why is situational Leadership so important – compare Situational Leadership to Charismatic Leadership – provide one example of each.

Leadership can be defined as the ability to positively influence people and systems to have a meaningful impact and achieve results. It can also be defined as the process where a person influences another or others towards attainment of organizational goals.

In the workplace today, good and effective leadership is important in order to take organization to higher heights, maximize inputs at reduced costs and for cultivation of good and pleasant working environment.

There are many different styles / approaches of leadership. From the different theories of leadership there is no right or wrong leadership style.

In my opinion there are two typical theories that describe situational leadership models.

Goleman’s Model of Situational Leadership – combines his five elements of emotional intelligence (self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills) to formulate a total of six situational leadership styles which are described below. Goleman emphasizes the need for a manager to change between these six styles as conditions around them change.

These are

Coercive Leadership Style – accomplishes task by bullying employees, works best when a fast company turnaround is needed.

Authoritative Leadership Style – an expert that knows what needs to get done, works best when the workgroup is without clear direction.

Affiliative Leadership Style – promotes harmony and helps solve problems, works best when morale is low and teambuilding is needed.

Democratic Leadership Style – gives followers a vote in nearly every decision, a time consuming style that requires knowledgeable employees.

Pacesetting Leadership Style – sets very high work standards for themselves and the followers, works best when followers are skilled and morale is high.

Coaching Leadership Style – clearly defines roles and tasks, focus is on two way communication, works best when followers are experienced and agreeable.

Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory – In this model, Blanchard and Hersey describe two fundamental concepts – that of leadership style as well as the development level of the person being led. It focuses on follower’s readiness; their ability and willingness. It assumes that leaders should adapt their style to follower development style (or ‘maturity’); based on how ready and willing the follower is to perform required tasks (that is, their competence and motivation).

Telling Leaders – defines the roles and tasks all, and supervises them very closely. Makes all important decisions. These leaders tell others what to do.

Selling Leaders – defines the rolls and the tasks of all, but also seeks ideas and suggestions. Decisions are made predominantly by the leader, but the communication style used is two-way.

Participating Leaders – participating leader helps to facilitate discussion and takes part in the decision-making process, but ultimate control is with the staff

Delegating Leaders – involved in the workgroups’ decisions and helps to solve problems, but ultimate control is with the teams.

Development Levels of Followers

Blanchard and Hersey’s situational leadership model also recognized the importance of the development level of those being led. Their theory states that the leader’s style needs to reflect, in part, the competence and commitment of the followers. Those two dimensions were then used to develop the following four development levels of those being led:

* Low Competence, High Commitment

* Some Competence, Low Commitment

* High Competence, Variable Commitment

* High Competence, High Commitment

(Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H: 1999)

In Blanchard’s model of leadership, there exists an ideal type of leadership style to apply to each development level. Much of that logic is the same as that found in Goleman’s model.

Situational leadership can thus be defined as the kind of leadership that adapts with the changes in condition, environment. An Effective leader should be able to utilize different leadership styles as conditions change. This can also be a combination of one or two of the styles.

Why is situational Leadership so important?

Situational leadership is important because with this type of leadership, successful leaders are able to quickly distinguish which style best applies to a particular situation, and make use of that style to achieve the best results possible in the organization.

Situational Leadership is also important because it helps leaders be aware of the pros and cons of each leadership technique and how this knowledge can be applied to given work circumstances.

It’s also important for leaders to make out their inherent leadership style because that will often be the leadership style they will fall back into in times of pressure and anxiety.”

Situational leadership is important because of the way it is flexible. It emphasizes that managers change their management styles depending on how they perceive their followers (motivation and capacity).

It caters for all kinds (development levels) of people in an organization.

Example of Situational Leadership

A good example of situational leader is in an office scenario where you have a combination of old and experienced staff, mixed with new and inexperienced staff. The leadership sytle used to manage the experienced staff whould be ideally through delegation, while the new and inexperienced staff would be through telling (authoritative) until such a time that they can be confident and experienced enough for other styles to be used.

Charismatic Leadership

In this theory, followers make attributions of heroic or extraordinary leadership abilities when they observe certain behaviors of their leaders.

Key Characteristics of Charismatic Leaders

Vision and articulation. Has a vision-expressed as an idealized goal

Personal risk. Willing to take on high personal risk, incur high costs and engage in self-sacrifice to achieve the vision.

Environmental sensitivity. Able to make realistic assessments of the environmental constraints and resources needed to bring about change.

Sensitivity to follower needs. Perceptive of others’ abilities and responsive to their needs and feelings.

Unconventional behavior. Engages in behaviors that are perceived as novel and counter to norms.

Charismatics Influence Followers By:

Articulating the vision

Setting high performance expectations

Conveying a new set of values

Making personal sacrifices

Charisma appears to be most successful when the follower’s task has an ideological component or when the environment invovles a high degree of stress and uncertainty.

This may explain why, when charismatic leaders surface, it’s likely to be in politics, religion, wartime, or when a businness firm is in its infancy or facing a life-threatening crisis. (Robins and Judge: 2009)

In addition to ideology and uncertainty, another situational factor limiting charisma appears to be level in organization.

“Creation of vision is a key component of charismatic leaders. But visions typically apply to entire organizations… Charisma has therefore probably more direct relevance to expaining the success and failures of chief executives than of lower- level managers.” (Robins and Judge: 2009)

“Charismatic leaders also rely heavily on their personal charm and perceptions – which could be significantly influenced by rumors or “negative press.”” (“Charismatic leaders,”)

From above it is clear that not all charismatic leadership is good for the organizations. Some will take over the authoritarian style and being consumed in their own vision might end up bringing the organization financially.

Example of Charismatic Leadership

A very good example of charismatic leadership is one shown by Steve Jobs The CEO of Apple Inc. His will, charisma and sense of style lead to the rise, fall and rise again of Apple Computers between 1982 and now. He left Apple due to his vision which was not accepted in Apple Inc. He was later hired back in 1996 after selling his OS to Apple through his company NeXT. The then CEO Gil Amelio was ousted by the board to give Steve the opportunity to lead Apple Inc. With him as the CEO he has taken Apple through unconventional ways to great heights.

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