Why teams are successful and dysfunctional

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This report is critically analyzed about why the teams are successful and dysfunctional. In this report i am using different case studies related to teams and groups. I critically analyzed what is the reason behind the success of team. I evaluate how motivation and leadership and role of individual plays important role for the success of the team. what happen if there is poor leadership and low motivation in teams member. At the end I gave the recommendations and conclusions.


Every organization is consists of teams and work groups. And these teams and groups are working in under the roof of organization. These teams and groups performed work under the supervision of managers and leaders. The successful teams and work groups lead t he organizations. The organizations which have good teams and effective work groups they are successful.

2.1-Teams and work Groups

According to the Laurie J. Mullins(2005) A group or team as a collection of people who share most of the following characteristics, a definable membership; group consciousness; a sense of shared purpose; interdependence; interaction; and ability to act in a unitary manner. Many writers have different definitions of teams and work groups. According to Guzzo and Dickson(1996)"A team is a collection of individuals and who are interdependent in their tasks, who shares responsibilities for outcomes who are themselves and who are seen by others as an intact social entity embedded in one or more larger social system, and who manager their relationship across organizational boundaries"

According to Stephen P. Robbins "A work team is a collection of people whose individual efforts result in a level of performance which is greater than the sum of their individual contributions. Teams, therefore, generate synergy by coordinating the efforts of the individual members"

Teams and groups play a vital role for the success of the organization. Teams and groups are the asset of the organizations and they are the central part of the organization. Managers and leaders are focussing to develop the effective teams because they help them to achieving the organizational goals and objective by providing the good quality and services. Good and motivated teams and work groups give the competitive advantage to the organization. Teamwork and groups make the organizations successful by enhancing their productivity, skills, improving quality and encouraging innovation, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by technological advances.


Leadership is the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals. (DuBrin, 1998)

The process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals (Roach & Behling, 1984).

2.3- Management

"Management is the process of getting activities completed efficiently with and through other people"(Michael Nolty-CPA). According to Terry the Management is the getting things done through and other peoples.

" Management is a process that is used to accomplish organizational goals; that is, a process that is used to achieve what an organization wants to achieve"

3.1-Case background:

I am using the following cases which give the examples explain the true pictures about teams and work groups why they are performing functionally in an organization and why some teams are performing dysfunctional in an organizations.

Starbucks Corporation: Case Study in Motivation and Teamwork:

Starbucks is very well known and famous brand and chain of retail coffee shops in the world. In this case study they described the factors about the motivation and teamwork. They are telling about the employee's motivation and their job satisfaction. In this case they are explaining the relationships between managers with their employees. This case study is all about the effectiveness of teamwork and the motivations. This case study highlights the leadership element. How manager involved himself with employees. Managers treat themselves as a employees by working in the front desk this shows that there is no discrepancy in work. We will discuss all the key elements of teamwork, how teams are motivated how managers play important role for the successful teams.

Successful teamwork case study: This case study is about the two different final year students teams of Edith Cowan University. They were enrolled in interactive multimedia course. They have to build up their skills and knowledge in managing the design and development of websites for clients. The purpose of this study is to give the practical experience to the students to make sure how they managed them self to working in the team and how they solve their problems and issues for developing the website for clients. In this case study one team is performing well and other is not performing well. We will focus on areas why they are performing well and why they are not.

Using a range of management style to lead the business: This case study is about the leadership styles of the managers in "Enterprise Rent -A- Car" It is the leading car-hire companies and largest purchase of car in the world. They have 75,000 employees in the world. Enterprise car rental give the services to their customers by renting the cars, Fleet management, used car sales, California Vanpool Services, Commercial Truck Rental. In this case study I will highlight the different styles of leadership and its impact on the employees.

4.0- Analysis of findings:

Business organizations are social units of people collectively pursuing a common goal. People working in an organization are interdependent and they there combine efforts results in synergic group called team.

Today teams are essential to the businesses that aim to have a highly motivated creative workforce. Because teams are independent and empowered they address the esteem and growth needs of employees thus giving them ample opportunity to transit from one need to another. But successful teams require two things: trust and leadership. According to Staniforth and West (1995) a leader is essential for a team as his job is not only to manage the team but he also coach and lead them. For the successful of any organization teams play very important role. The formation of teams is very critical. If the formation and development of teams and groups are good it will be competitive advantage for the organization.

4.1-Teams and groups development:

Organization performance is directly related to the performance of the teams and groups. And this is linked with the formation of teams how they are formed and how individuals in the teams coordinate each others to understand the teams objectives and goals which been settled by the leaders by focusing the organizations objectives.

Team work theory is well known as Tuckman's model. He gave the idea how to develop the effective teams and groups. Dr Bruce Tuckman published his Forming Storming Norming Performing model in 1965. He added a fifth stage, Adjourning, in the 1970s. The Forming Storming Norming Performing theory is an elegant and helpful explanation of team development and behaviour.


This is the first stage in which every team member is trying to adjust himself in team. Every member tries to find his place in team. In this phase leader and team manager plays very important role for the forming of teams. He sets the objectives and goals for the team member. Explain them their job description and tell them what they have to do.


In this stage all the team member adjusted them self in team. In team they have to face many challenges in team and they may challenge to the other team members. It is very critical stage of the team. In this stage every team member want to be a good and want to show something good in team. It is sort of strained relationships and competition among the ream members and lot of conflicts and issue arise. At this stage leader play very important role to resolve and eliminate the conflicts among the teams members.


In this stage every team member works together. They understand each other's. In this phase, members realize their commonalities and learn to appreciate their differences. Functional relationships are developed resulting in the evolution of trust among members. "This phase is characterized by a growing sense of "togetherness".


In this stage the team now possesses the capability to define tasks, work through relationships, and manage team conflicts by themselves. There is open communication between team members and leaders. All team member interact each other's without any hesitation and fear of rejection. Leadership plays very important role in this stage. Leaders are openly share information and delegate the tasks to the members. In this stage conflict is now viewed as a catalyst that generates creativity in the problem-solving process

4.2- Roles and contributions of individuals in groups and teams:

Every teams is consists of team members. Without members there is no team and no group. When peoples work together for a specific task to achieve the specific target they called the team and group. As we know "Team is the collection of individuals assembled for a specific purpose". It energized by their ability to work together. In team every individual have to give his best performance. Every individual is responsible for the effectiveness of the teams. Every individual should be committed to give the high level of output. Team is seeking synergy where the strength and effectiveness of the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. In teams there are different team members everyone has its own objectives and goals. They are from different ethnicity and cultures. There norms are different so it is very difficult to adjust them in mixtures of cultures and groups. But it is the responsibility of every single team member to devote his self for the success of the organization. When every individual consider himself as a part of the organization and work hard and motivated and loyal with the work then the team will be successful.

According to the Belbin team role theory every individual in the in the team should be creative and innovative. So that he can share its ideas in front of teams and leaders. And each individual should have the problem solving skills in exceptional way. The main focus of each individual should be on the objective of the team. When every individual is focusing on team objective they work hard to meet those goals and objectives then the teams are successful and they make the successful of the organization. In the team there is a individual who work as a coordinator and its mainly focus on the team objectives and task and he delegate the task to the team members. Implementers do the action plan applying his ideas and knowledge and experience. Completer finishers are required to search out errors and mistakes as a measure of quality control. They set the high benchmark to control the quality.

Team workers helped the team to shape up, using their skills to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team. Shapers are the peoples who provide the directions and ensure that weather the team is working effectively and its focusing the objectives or not. And they provide the right momentum to the team. The ninth role which the specialist role is required at the end of the initial research of the team's goal and the individual is expected to provide knowledge and skills in rare supply but these individuals tend to be focused on their subject of choice at the detriment of the team's goal. http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8

These were the roles for the teams members when these roles performed effectively they cause for success. When the team members don't have these skills and attributes then they are known as dysfunctional teams. In the case of Enterprise rent a car all the employees are motivated and delegated to give the high quality services. They all know about their goals and objectives and their manager gave them the responsibility to provide good services. Because they rent the car and also give other services and all the team members are skilled. Mangers gave them the training and enhance their skills. So they have problem solving skills some time they make decision by them self to reduce the time.

In Starbucks case study every individual of the team member is playing very important role for the team as well as for t he company. It is globally well known as a hospitality chain. Each member of the team is giving his individual performance because they are individually dealing with the customers and they are satisfying the customer by giving them good product and services. If they individually does not perform well then they will create a bad impression for the company as well team. So teams are successful when every individual is loyal with teams he mainly focussed on the team goals and objectives and organizations objectives. Every individual have to be cooperative with other team member they have to support each others.

4.3- Roles of rewards and motivation for the functional and dysfunctional teams and groups

It is in the human nature they are motivated by number of factors like rewards, status, pays and good working environment and other incentives and benefits. According to the authors "Motivation is the inner power or energy that pushes one toward performing a certain action. Motivation has much to do with desire and aspiration, and if they are missing, motivation is missing too"

Motivation is the inner force which drives a person to do something in order to get his desires. Motivation is the key element of the successful teams. When the teams are motivated they love to do work for the team and for the company. When the employees are motivated they are ambitious to produce good quality work. Motivation factors can be including appreciation of hard work. When the teams are working hard and they are targeting the team objectives and they get the appreciation from their leader. This appreciation motivates them to do better. In 1959 Herzberg develop the two factor theory of motivation. In this theory he showed there are some factors which motivate the individuals and others are hygiene factors if they are absent they are cause for dissatisfaction. Herzberg showed to motivate the employees for the business need and give the workplace that make feel good to work in it

In the case of Starbucks they are motivating the employees and teams by paying attention to the hygiene factors. They are motivating the employees by giving the good working environment. They are making happy their employees by giving the benefits and rewards. They are Provide a working atmosphere which is safe, relative job safety, and freedom from fear. The leaders are very cooperative they understand their needs so that they giving the sick leaves and religion holidays this thing motivate them. All the teams' members are friendly and they support each other's and even manger also work them so there is no barrier among them. This is the reason in Starbucks there is very low absenteeism and low turn over

Effective teams are motivated by economic rewards such as allowances bounces promotions and security and working environment. There are is also a job satisfaction know as intrinsic satisfaction. These are derived from the level of work what he is delivering and its interest in the job.

An ineffective team is the unsuccessful teams and these are cause of poor leadership lack of motivation and rewards. When there is no coordination between the team members they cause failure. In Edith Cowan University Case Study the team was unsuccessful because there was no coordination between the team members. Some member were not agreed the decision making of the university. There were lack of communication between the team and the university management regarding the progress of the teams either they are going towards achieving the goals and objectives.


According to Ducker "Leadership is the lifting of a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of performance to a higher standard, the building of personality beyond its normal limitations" (Ducker).

Leader is the one who leads the teams. Leaders enable peoples and groups to achieve their goals and objectives, set the communicate objectives, resolves the conflicts among the teams and groups, solve the problems and indentify the problems and their outcomes, facilitate the teams members to work by giving the good working environment and clarifying the tasks and objectives. Leaders are decisions makers and their are different styles of leadership and different leaders adopted different leadership styles according to their personality traits. There are some qualities of leadership. Leaders inspire a shared vision with its subordinates. Leaders are good communicators. They have the empathy to understand the needs and feelings of their team members. Leaders have the good team building skills and problem solving skills to resolve the conflicts.

In the Enterprise rent a car case study leaders adapt to different styles of leadership according to the situation some time they use the autocratic styles and leader make the decision on his behalf. In this style theory X is using . In this stage leader gives clear direction to the subordinates and tell what to do. In autocratic leadership style they are focusing on the ESQi when they measure the customer satisfaction level and leader want to meet the company objectives. In this case leader use democratic styles of leadership he involved the teams members in his decision and take their opinions. And they gave authority to the team members they can take decision by satisfying the customer need.

Personal Experience:

I have worked in the call centre in the Mobilink GSM. It give the mobile connections. We consist of 10 team members and one is the team leader. He used some time autocratic style when team members were not performing well and they were taking too much time on calls by holding the customers on call. CSR job is to satisfy the customer in short time and when they are taking time on holding the call it means they have lack of knowledge about the products and services. Leader also used the democratic style he arrange the regular meeting on daily bases and sets the target for the team that my team should be best team in this month. And he motivates the team members. Listen them and coordinate them help them to improve their self.

In the case of Starbuck leader also used to be work in frontline. He works with the staff in the company and this shows there is no discrimination in work. This style also motivates the teams.

Leadership also cause of unsuccessful teams because of poor leadership. According to Herzberg individuals and teams are de motivate when the company policies are wrong and high pressure from the leaders.

4.5-Characteristics of functional and dysfunctional groups and teams:

The good teams members are task oriented their main focus is to achieve the team and organizational goals and objectives and they are progress through the tasks. They have the proper focus and clear vision. All the team members are motivated for achieving the team work and task. Team members work together and there is no selfishness between the team members. They have good interpersonal skills they understand the needs of each other's and they facilitate to each members to reach the organizations objectives. All the team members focus on the collective result. Teams are successful when there is a good team composition. All the team member are hardworking and skilled and they have well knowledge of the team organization goals and objectives. Effective team have a good leader. When the leader is good and supportive and resolve the conflicts and he derives the team towards the organizations objectives then the team will be successful

On the other hand teams are dysfunctional when there is lack of coordination between team members. No motivation among teams. Lack of communication between the team members and management as we seen in the Edith cowan university case study. Team members have the absent of trust among each others. And team members have conflict with each others. There is a lack of commitment among the team members. The team members are not committed to the common goal and often are pursuing personal goal at the disadvantage of the common goal. The members do not contribute their best towards the success of the team. when there is inappropriate team composition. Dysfunctional team is made up of people without the essential skills as these teams are created without much consideration to the skills required for the achievements of the common goals.

5- Recommendation:

There are following elements like good leadership, proper motivation, individual role working environment which leads the team towards success. Teams are successful when there is proper formation of team. As we seen in case study of Edith cowan university case study the team which was not successful because the formation of team was not good they were not satisfied with the decision which university took. So they were not ready to work with each others. So I will recommend the formation of team is very critical . Put the right peoples for right place. For formation of the team leader plays very important role leader is one who take the responsibility for the team. Leader should clear the goals and objectives and set the direction to the team members these are the goals and objectives if you all wailings to work together to achieve the goals and objectives it good otherwise they should leave the groups.

There should be a proper communication between the leaders and the team members. Leader should inspect the work and make sure the team is going the right way. Leadership plays very vital role for the success and failure of team. When there is proper leadership and effective leadership team will perform well. Leader should change their behaviour according to the situation. In the university case study which team is fail reason behind this was there was no one who check their work. No one there who check them either they are going right direction. So if there is proper leadership they might be do well they can arise their issue what the problem with the team member so leader can solve the issue and they may do better.

Proper motivation is also very effective for the success of the team. Every one have his or her own motivation levels. So leader should set the motivation level by understanding the need of the individuals in the teams. I have seen good leadership in RENT a CAR case study but there is no proper motivation in the employees. They should give the incentives and and rewards to their employees, this is the service company mainly they deal with the customers on phone. There should be a quality control department who trace the calls so that they can see the satisfaction level of the customers.

5- Conclusions:

Teams and groups are the assets of the organization. When the teams perform good means they are doing something for the good for the organization. Organizations are successful when they have the good teams. Every organization and company is consists of teams and leaders. They have some short term teams for the specific project some have permanent. There are human resource team, finance team, marketing team etc in the organization. Every team have its objectives and goals which are related to the organization objectives and goals. So if teams perform well and effective the company will grow automatically.

Teams are formed by individual so for the success of the team every individual plays important role. With out individual there is no concept of team. Every individual put its all effort and totally focus on team goals and objectives then the teams are successful. These are possible only when they get the proper training proper instructor and proper leader and proper working environment. When they are motivated and they love to do work then they will perform better. So leaders help them to give the vision and lead them on the right path at the organization goals.

Lack of trust low motivation and bad leadership cause teams of failure. When there is bad leadership and leader put the pressure on the teams member they will work due to the pressure. This thing create bad impact on team members so they could not perform well. When there is no motivation in the team how they will perform well. When there is no friendly working environment teams will not perform well. Conflict between the team members also cause of failure of team. In conflict no one trust each other's everyone have his own thinking there is no understanding between the team member this cause of team failure. At the end i will conclude that try level best to make the good teams. Facilitate them good working condition motivate them. This will lead to the success of the organization.