AARHUS UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Organisational Behaviour
Lecture 6: Groups and teams
Mette Strange (mettesn@badm.au.dk)
Department of Business Administration

TATION

AARHUS UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Agenda
› Different types of groups
› Stages of group and team development
› Different roles in groups/teams
› High performance and autonomous teams
› Conflicts and competition in and between
groups/teams

2

performance goals. − Self-directed − Self-managed teams 3 . and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Groups and teams • Groups: − Schein: a group is any number of people · Who interact with one another · Who are psychologically aware of one another · Who perceive themselves to be a group • Teams: • Katzenbach: a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose.

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Why gather in groups/teams? Company dimension: Human dimension: Parker (1990): Use of teams leads to: • Greater productivity • More effective uses of resources • Better decisions • Better problem solving • Better quality products/services • Increased innovation and creativity • • • • Sense of belonging We are ’social animals’ Need input from and social interaction with others Most people belong to several groups – both in and out of work − Each providing different benefits to their members and satisfying various needs 4 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Organizational forms of groups. Their purpose is to help solve specific problems derived from the goals of the organization Informal groups: › Are spontaneously created. They can be aimed at problem-solving purposes. and their functions Formal groups: › Are established in a planned way either permanently or temporarily. but more often fulfill the group member’s pychological needs Function: › To solve complex tasks › To produce creative ideas › To coordinate across departments › To increase decision-making ability › To facilitate implementation › To ease socialization and training Function: › To fulfill affiliation needs › To develop and maintain a common identity › To establish and test social reality › To reduce fear and insecurity › To accomplish tasks › . 5 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 6 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Tabel 8. project or action Empowerment consultation Consultation.6: Common types of teams Quality circles Virtual teams Self-managed teams Type advice Advice or project Production. technical specialists Basis of membership Voluntary Assigned (voluntary) Assigned Relationship to organisation structure Parallel Parallel or integrated Integrated Amount of face-toface communication Face-to-face Periodic to none Varies 7 . participation or delegation Delegation Members Production/service personnel Managers and technical specialists Production/service.

8 . product quality improved and absenteeism fell › Organisations with self-directed teams differ in terms of: › Fewer layers of managers and supervisors › Reward systems are often skill or team based. rather than seniority based › Leaders may be elected by the team › The leader as a coach and facilitator › Employees learn all the jobs required of the team › Information is shared with the employees.AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Self-directed and self-managed teams… › Starting point: Swedish car manufacturing industry experimented with autonomous work groups in 1970s › Each group decided for themselves how their work was to be distributed and scheduled › Productivity increased. labor turnover dropped.

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Figur 8.5 9 .

10 .AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Self-directed teams: a ’gift’ to organizations? Typical ‘pitfalls’: › The difficulty of removing the system. once it is established and experienced by the workers › Varying levels and degrees of resistance by elements in the organisation › Increasing peer pressure and its consequences.

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Figur 8.3 Team effectiveness 11 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Building and maintaining effective teams › No ’quick and easy way’ › The key to success does not always appear to lie in the selection of team members (talented individuals can work poorly as a team) › The size of a group as an important moderating factor in its ability to be effective: between 5 and 8 members (Handy) › Effectiveness is a function of group members’ orientation and attitude. not simply the behaviour of the leader. 12 .

and that cooperation in the group is characterized by: › › › › › › › › › Trust – to the other members of the team Loyalty – to the decisions made Initiative – to carry out decisions Responsibility – work and cooperation Reliability – in all situations Energy .results Evaluation – improvement.AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES High performing teams › Necessary that the team is thinking ’we’ instead of ’I’.everybody must contribute Respect – we are all different Commitment . 13 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Tuckman: Team Developoment 14 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Team Development (2) › Other steps? › De-norming ( members move in different directions as interests and expectations change) › De-storming (prioritizing comes to forefront again) › De-forming (members’ interest in group/tasks less than own interests) › Leadership style and group/team productivity: › A result-oriented leadership styles may be best in the early phases. but highly compatible with the later phases of development 15 . but likely to have a negative effect on cohesiveness and quality of work later on › An employee-oriented leadership style may be less desirable in early phases.

but who you know and how well you know them › If a network consists of people who know each other  › More trust › More redundancy › Speak the same language. about the same things  more consensus › Less surprises and perhaps less innovation. 16 .AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Roles vs. relations › Roles: Focus on competences › Relations: Not focus on what you know.

often conflicting. Unclear job description or performance management) 17 .AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Schein: roles gone bad › Role overload › When the expectations of others are far greater than the employee can manage ( stress) › Role conflict › When there are many.g. expectations › Role ambiguity › When there is poor communication about expectations (e.

make impartial judgements where required and to weigh up the team’s options in a dispassionate way Think-roles Completer-finisher most effectively used at the end of a task. draw out team members and delegate work appropriately Social Roles 18 . workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible Shaper provided the necessary drive to ensure that the team kept moving and did not lose focus or momentum Ressource investigator provided inside knowledge on the opposition and made sure that the team’s idea would carry to the world outside the team Plant The role was so-called because one such individual was “planted” in each team. to “polish” and scrutinise the work for errors.AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Do-roles Implementer needed to plan a practical. using their versatility to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team Specialist an individual with in-depth knowledge of a key area Co-ordinator needed to focus on the team’s objectives. subjecting it to the highest standards of quality control Teamworker helped the team to gel. They tended to be highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways Monitor Evaluator was needed to provide a logical eye.

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Why teams don’t work: Hackman • • • • • • • You might produce magic (but maybe not) Teams need boundaries (and members need to know what they are) Teams must have a direction (and someone willing to determine it) Teamwork doesn’t necessarily lead to satisfaction (but good performance does) Bigger is better Diversity isn’t always a plus Teams need a devil’s advocate (even if they don’t want one) 19 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Figur 8.4 Why teams fail 20 .

and intergroup conflicts Intra-group (in the group): Inter-group (between groups): • Extreme personalities in the same group/team • The members compete for (limited) resources • For instance sales people. but be aware of potential loafing) consequences 21 .AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Intra. real estate • Some competition between groups is good • But ‘right balance’ between friendly competition and cooperation between the groups is needed • Competition between groups in an organisation leads to greater • Some members are ‘free riders’ (social motivation.

and inter-group consequences of competition Intra-group consequences: Inter-group consequences: › Increased loyalty within group › Increased formalisation › Focus on the job/task (and not social activities) › Acceptance of one taking the control › Members must conform to the group norms › Identification of ‘enemies’ › ‘We’ and ‘them’ › Strong selective perception and single loop-learning 22 .AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Intra.

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Inter-group competition: ‘Loser’ and ‘winner’ reactions Winner reactions: Loser reactions: › Increased group solidarity › More focus on social aspects (having a nice time) › Increased interest in the individual member: situation and problems › No focus on experiences/ single-loop learning › ’It is not our fault. question the result › Who to blame? › The group seems to break up › Some groups try to work their way out of the problems › Double-loop learning 23 .

rotation systems. inter-group sessions. e.AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Reducing negative consequences of inter-group competition • Finding common ’external enemies’. 24 . e. e.g. confrontation meetings.g. develop a new product/service • Initiate various kinds of organization-developing activities and training.g. competitor on the market • Re-establish the contact between the competing groups and encourage negotiations about common concerns • Launch new joint goals that call for cooperation between the groups.

e. avoid competition for common scarce resources/career opportunities. 25 .g.AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Reducing/preventing inter-group conflict › Inter-group competition and conflict will often be directly related to a company’s organizational structure › Establish an evaluating system that offers rewards in proportion to the results of the entire organization › Use problem-solving and decision-making procedures that increase the contact and communication between the various groups › Introduce rotation systems and similar organizational activities › Reduce the basis for ‘loser/winner’ situations.

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES The Asch effect › Based on laboratory experiments Soloman Asch revealed a negative side of group dynamics › ”Perception test”: seven to nine college students look at 12 pairs of cards to identify the line that was the same length as the standard line › Surprising results 26 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ‘Groupthink’ › Even in a strongly cohesive group. p. 136). in which strivings for unanimity override motivations to realistically appraise alternative courses of action’ (Brooks. pressure is placed on members to fall into line and conform to the group norms › Groupthink: ’a mode of thinking in which people engage when they are deeply involved in a cohesive group. 27 .

AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Figur 7.5: Symptoms & Consequences of ‘Groupthink’ 28 .

chapter 12: Organisational and international culture (main focus: organisational culture) 29 .AARHUS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Next lecture › Culture › Sinding.