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 Chapter 18 102

CHAPTER 18

LEADING TEAMS

CHAPTER OUTLINE

How Do You Like to Work?


I. The Value of Teams
A. What Is a Team?
B. Contributions of Teams
C. Types of Teams
II. The Personal Dilemma of Teamwork
III. Model of Team Effectiveness
IV. Virtual Teams
V. Team Characteristics
A. Size
B. Diversity
C. Member Roles
New Manager Self-Test: What Team Role Do You Play?
VI. Team Processes
A. Stages of Team Development
B. Team Cohesiveness
C. Team Norms
VII. Managing Team Conflict
A. Types of Conflict
B. Balancing Conflict and Cooperation
C. Causes of Conflict
D. Styles to Handle Conflict
E. Negotiation

ANNOTATED LEARNING OBJECTIVES


After studying this chapter, students should be able to:

1. Explain contributions that teams make and how managers can make teams more effective.

Teams provide distinct advantages in the areas of innovation, quality, speed, productivity, and
employee satisfaction. These contributions of teams lead to stronger competitive advantage and
higher overall organizational performance.

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103  Chapter 18

Effective teams are built by managers who take specific actions to help people come together and
perform well as a team. Work team effectiveness is based on three outcomes—positive output,
personal satisfaction, and the capacity to learn and adapt.

The factors that influence team effectiveness begin with the organizational context. This
includes such matters as the overall leadership, strategy, environment, culture, and systems for
controlling and rewarding employees. Within that context, managers define teams and motivate
them. Good team leaders understand and manage stages of team development, cohesiveness,
norms, and conflict to build an effective team.

2. Identify the types of teams in organizations.

Many types of teams can exist within organizations and can be classified in terms of those
created as part of the organization’s formal structure and those created to increase employee
participation. Formal teams are created by the organization as part of the formal organization
structure. A vertical team is composed of a manager and subordinates in the formal chain of
command. A horizontal team is composed of employees from about the same hierarchical level
but from different areas of expertise. A third type of formal team is the special-purpose team
created to undertake a project. Self-directed teams are designed to increase the participation of
lower-level workers in decision making and the conduct of their jobs, with the goal of improving
performance.

3. Summarize some of the problems and challenges of teamwork.

There are three primary reasons teams present a dilemma for most people. First, people have to
give up their independence. When people become part of a team, their success depends on the
team’s success; therefore, they are dependent on how well other people perform, not just on their
own individual initiative and actions.

Second, people have to put up with free riders. The term free rider refers to a team member who
attains benefits from team membership but does not actively participate in and contribute to the
team’s work.

Third, teams are sometimes dysfunctional. Many teams have great success, but others
experience significant failure. The ways in which teams are managed plays the most critical role
in determining how well they function.

4. Identify ways in which team size and diversity of membership affect team performance.

The ideal size of work teams is about seven, although variations from five to twelve seem to
work best. These teams are large enough to take advantage of diverse skills, enable members to
express good and bad feelings, and solve problems. They are small enough to permit members
to feel like an intimate part of the group. In general, as a team increases in size, it becomes
harder for each member to interact and influence others. Small teams (2 to 4) show more
agreement, ask more questions, exchange more opinions, report more satisfaction, are informal,
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Leading Teams  104

and make fewer demands. Large teams (12 or more) have more disagreements, face conflicts,
have greater demands on leaders, have less participation and more turnover and absenteeism. In
large teams, members have fewer opportunities to participate.

5. Identify roles within teams and the type of role you could play to help a team be effective.

For a team to be successful it must maintain its members’ social well-being and accomplish the
team’s task. In successful teams, two types of roles emerge: task specialist and socioemotional.
People who play the task specialist role help the team reach its goal. People who adopt a
socioemotional role support team members’ emotional needs. Some team members may play a
dual role and contribute to the task and meet members’ emotional needs. There is also a
nonparticipator role for those who contribute little to either the task or the social needs of team
members. A well-balanced team will do best because it will satisfy team members and permit
accomplishment of team tasks.

6. Explain the general stages of team development.

Team development evolves over definitive stages that occur in sequence and may occur rapidly.
The forming stage of development is a period of orientation and getting acquainted. Next is the
storming stage, in which individual personalities emerge and conflict and disagreement develops
over perceptions of the team’s mission. During the norming stage, conflict is resolved and team
harmony emerges. This stage is typically of short duration. In the performing stage, the major
emphasis is on problem solving and accomplishing the assigned task. The adjourning stage
occurs in teams that have a limited task to perform and are disbanded afterward.

7. Explain the concepts of team cohesiveness and team norms and their relationship to team
performance.

Team cohesiveness is defined as the extent to which team members are attracted to the team and
motivated to remain in it. Normally, high cohesiveness is considered an attractive feature of
teams. A team norm is a standard of conduct that is shared by team members and guides their
behavior. Norms identify key values, clarify role expectations, and facilitate team survival.
Cohesive teams are able to attain their goals and enforce their norms, which can lead to either
very high or very low productivity. The degree of productivity depends on the relationship
between management and the working team.

8. Identitfy the causes of conflict within and among teams, and how to reduce conflict.

Conflict refers to antagonistic interaction in which one party attempts to block the intentions or
goals of another. Too much conflict can be destructive and interfere with the exchange of ideas
and information. Several factors can cause conflict such as scarce resources, jurisdictional
ambiguities, communication breakdown, personality clashes, power and status differences, and
goal differences. Techniques for confronting and resolving conflicts include superordinate goals,
which require the cooperation of all to achieve: bargaining/negotiation; mediation; providing
well-defined tasks; and facilitating communication.
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105  Chapter 18

9. Describe the different characteristics and consequences of task conflict versus relationship
conflict.

Task conflict refers to disagreements among people about the goals to be achieved or the content
of the tasks to be performed. Relationship conflict refers to interpersonal incompatibility that
creates tension and personal animosity among people. In general, research suggests that task
conflict can be beneficial because it leads to better decision making and problem solving. On the
other hand, relationship conflict is typically associated with negative consequences for team
effectiveness.

LECTURE OUTLINE

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO WORK?

A person’s approach to a job or schoolwork may indicate whether she or he thrives on a team.
An important part of a new manager’s job is to be both part of a team and to work alone.
Teamwork can be both frustrating and motivating. This exercise helps students understand the
extent to which they prefer to work alone and/or in a team.

I. THE VALUE OF TEAMS

Much work in organizations is interdependent, which means that individuals and departments
rely on other individuals and departments for information or resources to accomplish their
work. When tasks are highly interdependent, a team can be the best approach to ensuring the
level of coordination, information sharing, and exchange of materials necessary for
successful task accomplishment.

A. What Is a Team? Exhibit 18.1

1. A team is a unit of two or more people who interact and coordinate their work to
accomplish a common goal to which they are committed and hold themselves
mutually accountable. This definition has four components: two or more people are
required; people in a team have regular interaction; members of a team share a
performance goal, and people in a team share that goal and hold themselves mutually
accountable for performance.

2. Although a team is a group of people, the two terms are not interchangeable. An
employer can put together a group of people and never build a team. The team
concept implies a sense of shared mission and collective responsibility.

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Leading Teams  106

B. Contributions of Teams Exhibit 18.2

1. Effective teams can provide many advantages in organizations.

a. Creativity and innovation: Because teams include people with diverse skills,
strengths, experiences, and perspectives, they contribute to a higher level of
creativity and innovation in the organization.

b. Improved quality: One criterion for organizational effectiveness is whether


products and services meet customer requirements for quality.

c. Speed of response: Tightly integrated teams can maneuver incredibly fast. In


addition, teams can speed product development, respond more quickly to
changing customer needs, and solve cross-departmental problems more quickly.

d. Higher productivity and lower costs: Social facilitation refers to the tendency for
the presence of others to enhance one’s performance. Simply being around
others has an energizing effect. In addition, the blend of perspectives enables
creative ideas to percolate.

e. Enhanced motivation and satisfaction: People have needs for belongingness and
affiliation. Working in teams can meet these needs and create greater
camaraderie across the organization. Teams also reduce boredom, increase
people’s feelings of dignity and self-worth, and give people a chance to develop
new skills, leading to higher motivation and commitment to the organization.

C. Types of Teams Exhibit 18.3

1. Functional Teams

a. A functional team is composed of a manager and subordinates in the formal


chain of command. The team is also called a command team and may include
three or four levels within a single functional department.

b. A financial analysis department, a quality control department, and an accounting


department are all command teams.

2. Cross-Functional Teams

a. A cross-functional team is composed of employees from about the same


hierarchical level, but from different areas of expertise. The most common
horizontal teams are cross-functional teams and committees.

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107  Chapter 18

 A cross-functional team, or task force, is a group of employees from different


departments formed to deal with a specific task, existing only until the task is
completed.

b. Special-purpose teams, also called project teams, are created outside the formal
organization structure to undertake a project of special importance or creativity.
Companies use special-purpose teams to speed up development of a special
project. These fast-cycle teams are given the freedom and resources to complete
projects.

3. Self-Managed Teams

a. Employee involvement through teams increases the participation of lower-level


workers in decision making about their jobs, with the goal of improving
performance. Employee involvement started out with techniques such as
information sharing with employees or asking employees for suggestions about
improving the work.

b. Self-managed teams consist of five to 20 multiskilled workers who rotate jobs


and produce an entire product or service or at least one complete aspect or portion
of a product or service. The team works with minimum supervision, perhaps
electing one of its own as supervisor, who may change each year. The most
effective self-managed teams are those that are fully empowered. Self-managed
teams typically include the following elements:

 The combined skills are sufficient to perform a major organizational task.

 The team has access to the resources necessary to perform the complete task.

 The team is given decision-making authority to complete the task.

 The team assumes managerial duties such as work scheduling, ordering


materials, and hiring new members.

Discussion Question #7: Experts say that for teams to function well, members have to get to
know one another in some depth. What specifically would you do to facilitate this in a colocated
team? What about in a global virtual team?

NOTES_______________________________________________________________________
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II. THE PERSONAL DILEMMA OF TEAMWORK Exhibit 18.4

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Leading Teams  108

1. There are three primary reasons teams present a dilemma for most people.

a. We have to give up our independence. When people become part of a team, their
success depends on the team’s success; therefore, they are dependent on how well
other people perform, not just on their own individual initiative and actions.

b. We have to put up with free riders. The term free rider refers to a team member who
attains benefits from team membership but does not actively participate in and
contribute to the team’s work.

c. Teams are sometimes dysfunctional. Many teams have great success, but others
experience significant failure. The ways in which teams are managed plays the most
critical role in determining how well they function.

. 2., Five common dysfunctions of teams are lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of
commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.

III. MODEL OF TEAM EFFECTIVENESS Exhibit 18.5

A. Work team effectiveness is based on three outcomes: productive output—the quality and
quantity of task outputs as defined by team goals; personal satisfaction—the team’s
ability to meet the personal needs of its members to maintain their membership and
commitment; and capacity to adapt and learn—the ability of teams to bring greater
knowledge and skills to job tasks and enhance the potential of the organization to respond
to new threats or opportunities.

B. The factors that influence team effectiveness begin with the organizational context in
which the team operates—the structure, strategy, environment, culture, and reward
systems. Managers define teams within that context. Important team characteristics are
the type of team, the team structure, and the team composition. These team
characteristics influence processes internal to the team, which affect output and
satisfaction. Good team leaders understand and manage stages of team development,
cohesiveness, norms, and conflict to establish an effective team.

Discussion Question #2: Have you experienced any of the five contributions of teams shown in
Exhibit 18.2 with a team you have participated in? Describe your experience and why you thin
that the team was able to make that specific contribution.

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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IV. VIRTUAL TEAMS Exhibit 18.6

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109  Chapter 18

A. A virtual team is made up of geographically or organizationally dispersed members


linked through advanced information and telecommunications technologies. Though
some virtual teams include only organizational members, they may also include
contingent workers, members of partner organizations, customers, suppliers, and
consultants. Members use e-mail, voice mail, videoconferencing, Internet and intranet
technologies, and collaboration software although they may meet face-to face.

B. Many virtual teams are also global teams. Global teams are work teams made up of
members of different nationalities whose activities span multiple countries. Global teams
can present enormous challenges for team leaders, who have to bridge gaps of time,
distance, and culture. Members of global teams may speak different languages, use
different technologies, and have different beliefs about authority, time orientation, and
decision making. Culture differences can significantly affect team-working relationships.

C. For a global team to be effective, all team members have to be willing to deviate
somewhat from their own values and norms and establish norms for the team. Carefully
selecting team members, building trust, and sharing information are also critical to
success. Virtual teams are highly flexible and dynamic. Team leadership is typically
shared or altered depending on the area of expertise needed at each stage of the project.
Team membership may change quickly, depending on the tasks.

D. One advantage of a virtual team is the ability to assemble the best group to complete a
complex project, solve a problem, or exploit a strategic opportunity. The success of
virtual teams depends on using technology to build relationships, shaping culture through
technology, and monitoring progress and rewarding members. The diverse mix of people
can fuel creativity and innovation. Organizations can save employees time and cut travel
expenses when people meet in virtual rather than physical space.

E. Some critical areas managers should focus on in leading virtual teams include:
 using technology to build relationships;
 shaping culture through technology; and
 monitoring progress and rewarding members.

Discussion Question #9: Discuss how the dilemmas of teamwork might be intensified in a
virtual team. What dilemmas do you feel when you have to do class assignments as part of a
team? Discuss.

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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Discussion Question #5: Imagine yourself as a potential member of a team responsible for
designing a new package for a breakfast cereal. Do you think interpersonal skills would be
equally important if the team is organized face to face versus a virtual team? Why or why not?
Might different types of interpersonal skills be required for the two types of teams? Be specific.
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Leading Teams  110

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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IV. TEAM CHARACTERISTICS

The next issue of concern for managers is designing the team for greater effectiveness. One
factor is team characteristics, which affect team dynamics and performance. Characteristics
of concern include team size, diversity, and member roles.

A. Size

1. Numerous studies have found that smaller teams perform better than larger teams,
although most researchers also say it’s impossible to specify an optimal team size.
Teams need to be large enough to incorporate the diverse skills needed to complete a
task, enable members to express good and bad feelings, and aggressively solve
problems.

2. However, they should also be small enough to permit each member to feel like an
intimate part of the team and to communicate effectively and efficiently. In general,
as a team increases in size, it becomes harder for each member to interact and
influence others.

B. Diversity

1. Research shows that diverse teams are more innovative. In addition, diversity may
contribute to a healthy level of conflict that leads to better decision making. Recent
research also shows that both functional diversity and gender diversity can have a
positive impact on work team performance.

2. Racial, national and ethnic diversity can also be good for teams, but in the short term
these differences might hinder team interaction and performance. Teams of racially
and culturally diverse members tend to have more difficulty learning to work well
together, but with effective leadership, problems fade.

C. Member Roles

1. For a team to be successful, it must maintain its members’ social well-being and
accomplish its task. The requirements for task performance and social satisfaction are
met by the emergence of two types of roles: task specialist and socioemotional.

2. People who play the task specialist role help the team reach its goal and often have
the following behaviors:
a. Initiate ideas
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111  Chapter 18

b. Give opinions
c. Seek information
d. Summarize
e. Energize

3. Employees who adopt a socioemotional role support team members’ emotional needs
and tend to do the following:
a. Encourage
b. Harmonize
c. Reduce tension
d. Follow
e. Compromise

Discussion Question #4: Research on team interactions described in the chapter indicates that
when people eat lunch at 12-person tables, they are more productive and collaborative than
when they eat at 4-person tables, even if they aren’t eating with their own team members. What
do you think would explain this finding.

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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NEW MANAGER SELF-TEST: WHAT TEAM ROLE DO YOU PLAY?

Both task-specialist and socioemotional roles are necessary for team success. Students can assess
whether they naturally focus more on achieving the team’s task or on meeting the social needs of
members.

V. TEAM PROCESSES Exhibit 18.7

A. Stages of Team Development

1. Forming

a. The forming stage of development is a period of orientation and getting


acquainted. Uncertainty is high at this stage, and members usually accept
whatever power or authority is offered by either formal or informal leaders.

b. The team leader should provide time for members to get acquainted with one
another and encourage them to engage in informal social discussions.

2. Storming

a. During the storming stage, individual personalities emerge and conflict and
disagreement create a general lack of unity. People may disagree over their
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Leading Teams  112

perceptions of the team’s mission, members may jockey for position, or coalitions
and subgroups based on common interests may form.

b. The leader should encourage participation by each team member.

3. Norming

a. During the norming stage, conflict is resolved, team harmony and unity develop,
and team norms and values evolve. Consensus develops about who has the
power, who is the leader, and members’ roles.

b. Members come to accept and understand one another. Leaders should emphasize
unity within the team and help clarify team norms and values.

4. Performing

a. During the performing stage, the major emphasis is on problem solving and
accomplishing the team task. Members are committed to the team’s mission.
They are coordinated with one another and handle disagreements in a mature way.

b. They confront and resolve problems in the interest of task accomplishment. The
leader should concentrate on managing high task performance.

5. Adjourning

a. The adjourning stage occurs in teams that have a limited task to perform and are
disbanded upon task completion. The emphasis is on wrapping up and gearing
down. Task performance is no longer a high priority

b. The leader may wish to disband the team with a ritual or ceremony, perhaps
giving out plaques and awards to signify closure and completeness.

6. The five stages of team development typically occur in sequence. In teams under
time pressure or that exist for a short period of time, the stages may occur rapidly.
The stages may be accelerated for virtual teams.

Discussion Question #3: Suppose that you are the leader of a team that has just been created to
develop a new registration process at your college or university. How can you use an
understanding of the stages of team development to improve your team’s effectiveness?

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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B. Building a Cohesive Team.


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Team cohesiveness concerns the extent to which members are attracted to the team and
motivated to remain in the team. High cohesiveness is normally considered a positive
feature of teams.

1. Determinants of team cohesiveness

a. Team interaction. The greater the contact among members, the more cohesive the
team will be.

b. Shared goals. Agreeing on purpose and direction binds the team together.

c. Personal attraction to the team. Members have similar attitudes and values and
enjoy being together.

d. Presence of competition. This causes the group to want to win.

e. Team success. Success is a favorable evaluation of the team by outsiders.

2. Consequences of Team Cohesiveness

a. Morale is higher in cohesive teams because of increased communication among


members, and member participation in team decisions and activities. High
cohesiveness has almost good effects on the satisfaction and moral of team
members.

b. Productivity tends to be more uniform. Productivity depends on the relationship


between management and the team; cohesive teams attain their goals and enforce
norms that can result in very high or very low productivity.

Discussion Question #8: Some people argue that the presence of an outside threat correlates
with a high degree of team cohesion. Would you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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C. Established Team Norms Exhibit 18.8

1. A team norm is a standard of conduct that is shared by team members and guides
their behavior. Norms are informal and valuable because they define boundaries of
acceptable behavior. They provide a frame of reference for right and wrong. Norms
identify key values, clarify role expectations, and facilitate team survival.

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Leading Teams  114

2. Norms begin to develop in the first interactions among members of a new team.
Other influences on team norms include critical events in the team’s history, as well
as behaviors, attitudes, and norms that members bring them from outside the team.
Norms apply to daily behavior, employee output, and performance evolve, letting
everyone know what is acceptable.
3. Four common ways in which norms to develop for controlling and directing behavior
include:

a. Critical events. Critical events establish precedent and lead to the creation of a
norm.
b. Primacy. Primacy means that the first behaviors that occur in a team often set
team expectations.
c. Carryover behaviors. Carryover behaviors bring norms into the team from
outside.
d. Explicit statements. With explicit statements, team leaders or members establish
norms. This can be a highly effective way for leaders to influence or change team
norms.

Discussion Question #10: If you were the leader of a newly formed team, what might you do to
make sure that the team developed norms of high performance?

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
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VI. MANAGING TEAM CONFLICT

Conflict refers to antagonistic interaction in which one party attempts to block the intentions
or goals of another. Of all the skills required for effective team management, none is more
important than handling the conflicts that inevitably rise among team members. When
people work together in teams, some conflict is inevitable; conflict can arise among team
members or between teams. Competition, which is rivalry among individuals or teams, can
have a healthy impact because it energizes people toward higher performance.

A. Types of Conflict

1. Task conflict refers to disagreements among people about the goals to be achieved or
the content of the tasks to be performed. Relationship conflict refers to interpersonal
incompatibility that creates tension and personal animosity among people.

2. In general, research suggests that task conflict can be beneficial because it leads to
better decision making and problem solving. On the other hand, relationship conflict
is typically associated with negative consequences for team effectiveness.

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115  Chapter 18

B. Balancing Conflict and Cooperation Exhibit 18.9

1. A healthy level of conflict helps to prevent groupthink, which is the tendency for
people to be so committed to a cohesive team that they are reluctant to express
contrary opinions. However, conflict that is too strong and focused on personal rather
than work issues, or not managed appropriately can be damaging to the team’s
morale. Too much conflict can be destructive, tear relationships apart, and interfere
with the healthy exchange of ideas and information.

2. Team leaders have to find the right balance between conflict and cooperation. Too
little conflict decreases team performance because there are no mixed opinions. Too
much conflict prevents the team from cooperative efforts and decreases employee
satisfaction and commitment, hurting team performance.

C. Causes of Conflict

1. Scarce resources. Resources include money, information, and supplies. When


employees or teams must compete for scarce resources, conflict will occur.

2. Goal differences. Conflict often occurs because people are pursuing conflicting
goals; goal differences are natural in organizations. Individual salespeople’s targets
may put them in conflict with one another or with the sales manager.

3. Communication breakdown. Faulty communications result in misunderstandings


among teams. Poor communication results in misperceptions and misunderstandings
of other people and teams. In some cases, information is intentionally withheld,
which can jeopardize trust and lead to long-lasting conflict.

4. Trust issues. If team members believe they are being left out of important
communication interactions, conflict can arise due to perceived lack of trust.

D. Styles to Handle Conflict Exhibit 18.10

1. Teams as well as individuals develop specific styles for dealing with conflict, based
on the desire to satisfy their own concern versus the other party’s concern. The major
dimensions are the extent to which an individual is assertive versus cooperative in
their approach to conflict.

2. The following are styles to handle conflict:

a. Dominating style. Reflects assertiveness to get one’s own way. It should be used
when quick, decisive action is vital on important issues or unpopular actions such
as during emergencies or urgent cost cutting.

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Leading Teams  116

b. Avoiding style. Reflects neither assertiveness nor cooperativeness. It should be


used when the issue is trivial, there is no chance to win, a delay is needed, and a
disruption would be very costly

c. Compromising style. Reflects a moderate amount of both assertiveness and


cooperativeness. It should be used when goals on both sides are equally
important, opponents have equal power and want to split the difference, and each
side needs a temporary or expedient solution.

d. Accommodating style. Reflects a high degree of cooperativeness. It should be


used when people realize they are wrong, an issue is more important to others
than to oneself, and one is building social credits for use in later discussions.
Maintaining harmony is important.

e. Collaborating style. Reflects a high degree of assertiveness and cooperativeness.


It should be used when both parties need to win, both sets of concerns are too
important to be compromised, and insights from different people need to be
merged. Commitment of both sides is needed for a consensus.

E. Negotiation

1. Types of negotiation. Negotiation means that the parties engage in give-and-take


discussions and consider various alternatives to reach a joint decision that is
acceptable to both parties.

a. Integrative negotiation is based on a win-win assumption, in that all parties want


to come up with a creative solution that can benefit both sides of the conflict.
People look at the issues from multiple angles, consider trade-offs, and try to
“expand the pie” rather than divide it.

b. Distributive negotiation assumes the size of the “pie” is fixed and each party
attempts to get as much of it as they can. This win-lose approach is competitive
and adversarial rather than collaborative, and does not typically lead to positive
long-term relationships.

2. Rules for reaching a win-win solution

a. Separate the people from the problem. Stay focused on the problem and don’t
attack each other.

b. Focus on interests, not current demands. Demands are what the parties want;
interests are why they want those things.

c. Listen and ask questions. Smart negotiators want to learn the other side’s
constraints so that they can help overcome them.
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117  Chapter 18

d. Insist that results be based on objective standards. Successful negotiation focuses


on objective criteria rather than subjective judgments.

Discussion Question #6: If you were the leader of a special-purpose team developing a new
computer game and conflicts arose related to power and status differences among team
members, what would you do? How might you use the various conflict resolution techniques
described in the chapter?

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Discussion Question #1: One company had 40 percent of its workers and 20 percent of its
managers resign during the first year after reorganizing into teams. What might account for this
dramatic turnover? How might managers ensure a smooth transition to teams?

NOTES________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Answers to End-of-Chapter Discussion Questions

1. One company had 40 percent of its workers and 20 percent of its manager’s resign during
the first year after reorganizing into teams. What might account for this dramatic turnover?
How might managers ensure a smooth transition to teams?

One of the difficult experiences for companies that begin the revolution toward
empowerment and teamwork is that many employees are not comfortable in the new culture.
Approximately one-third of employees embrace the change enthusiastically, one-third will go
along, and one-third will resist. The resisters typically are employees who do not have the
social and personal skills to work in partnership with others on teams, and who want
narrowly defined jobs with little decision-making responsibility. These employees prefer
working alone within the vertical hierarchy to teamwork. They often seek that kind of
situation in a new job. Companies that spend too much time trying to convert the resisters
threaten the smooth transition process. These people leave, as a natural part of the change
process seems to work best.

2. Have you experienced any of the five contributions of teams shown in Exhibit 18.2 with a
team you have participated in? Describe your experience and why you think that the team
was able to make that specific contribution.

Students’ answers will vary.


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Leading Teams  118

3. Suppose that you are the leader of a team that has just been created to develop a new
registration process at your college or university. How can you use an understanding of the
stages of team development to improve your team’s effectiveness?

As a leader of an employee group charged with development of a new registration process


would be challenging. As a leader of this project, it will be important to develop stage one
“forming” to formulate the employee group or team as to identifying the role of each team
member. Responsibility must be assigned and this group must meet on a regular basis. In
stage two “storming”, the group will participate, share ideas, agree and disagree on issues
relating to student registration. In stage three “norming”, the team will start to come together
and will seek innovative techniques to problem solve and improve upon student registration.
In stage four “performing”, the team is collaborating, working together and functioning as an
effective team. Recommended operating procedures are forthcoming to improve the
effectiveness of student registration. Finally, in stage five “adjourning”, this team is
disbanded due to the recommended strategies of improving the registration process.

4. Research on team interactions described in the chapter indicates that when people eat lunch
at 12-person tables, they are more productive and collaborative than when they eat at 4-
person tables, even if they aren’t eating with their own team members. What do you think
would explain this finding.

Answers will vary. Eating lunch together does not constitute a team. A team must have
shared goals. However, 12-person tables allow for more diversity. Research shows that
diversity produces more innovative solutions. Diversity in terms of functional area and skills,
thinking styles, and personal characteristics is often a source of creativity. In addition,
diversity may contribute to a healthy level of disagreement that leads to better decision
making. Research studies show both functional diversity and demographic diversity can have
a positive impact. Recent research suggests that gender diversity with more women leads to
better performance.

5. Imagine yourself as a potential member of a team responsible for designing a new


package for a breakfast cereal. Do you think interpersonal skills would be equally important
if the team is organized face to face versus a virtual team? Why or why not? Might different
types of interpersonal skills be required for the two types of teams? Be specific.

Although students may have differing opinions, it is likely that interpersonal skills would be
more important when a team is organized face to face than for a virtual team. While
interpersonal skills are still important for both types of teams, the relative isolation of
members in a virtual team reduces the potential for personality clashes, power struggles, and
other interpersonal issues among those members.

In a team that is organized face to face, the need for interpersonal skills will probably center
more on resolving interpersonal conflicts, whereas the need for interpersonal skills in a

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119  Chapter 18

virtual team will probably center more on achieving cooperation and coordination among
members separated by time and distance.

6. If you were the leader of a special-purpose team developing a new computer game and
conflicts arose related to power and status differences among team members, what would
you do? How might you use the various conflict-resolution techniques described in the
chapter?

The leader of a special purpose team of formulating and innovating a computer game would
evolve from the creativity of this group. The intuition and idea generation would come from
individuals possessing a right hemisphere of the brain approach. Team members will have
different views and ideas and a power struggle may result among the team. A natural
phenomenon is conflict, and will become a reality especially in researching a new product.
The method of managing conflict is healthy, and is a challenge to management. A manager
may be required to stimulate conflict when the team is complacent. However, conflict must
be resolved when there is a power struggle or status given to certain members of the team.
The way to resolve this conflict is either to force, accommodate, compromise, and/or
collaborate with the members of the team. The means of reducing conflict will vary, based
on the situation or environment the leader is exposed to.

7. Experts say that for teams to function well, members have to get to know one another
in some depth. What specifically would you do to facilitate this in a colocated team? What
about in a global virtual team?

One good way to facilitate team members getting to know one another in a co-located team is
to encourage participation together in activities outside of work. As members participate
together in service or recreational activities outside work, they can become better acquainted
and begin to build trust among themselves. There are also the more traditional team-building
interventions such as ropes courses, retreats, and others.

For a global virtual team, it might be useful to create some “virtual recreational activities” in
which members could participate. Although this approach would probably not be as effective
as the face to face activities in which members of a co-located team could participate, if
designed properly, these online activities could still be effective in helping members of a
global virtual team get to know each other in a setting not directly related to work.

8. Some people argue that the presence of an outside threat correlates with a high degree of
team cohesiveness. Would you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.

Most students will probably agree that an outside threat does correlate with a high degree of
team cohesiveness. The reason is that people tend to draw together when threatened by an
outside force, just as with family members who may fight among themselves but stand
together to fight someone from outside the family who threatens them.

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Leading Teams  120

As a general rule, team cohesiveness is associated with higher performance. However, an


interesting find from research is that the cohesive team can define performance. If the goal
of the cohesive team is to reduce performance because of a poor relationship with
management, the cohesive team will perform terribly. When teams have a good relationship
with management and the performance norms are high, then highly cohesive teams will
outperform teams that are lower in cohesiveness.

9. Discuss how the dilemmas of teamwork might be intensified in a virtual team. What
dilemmas do you feel when you have to do class assignments as part of a team? Discuss.

There are three primary reasons teams present a dilemma for most people. First, people have
to give up their independence. When people become part of a team, their success depends on
the team’s success; therefore, they are dependent on how well other people perform, not just
on their own individual initiative and actions. This can easily be exacerbated by the
geographic distance between people that can act to increase the psychological distance, or
perceived anonymity, between them, thus increasing the anxiety associated with depending
on someone you don’t know very well.

Second, people have to put up with free riders. The term free rider refers to a team member
who attains benefits from team membership but does not actively participate in and
contribute to the team’s work. Closely related to the issue of depending on others for
success, the increase in perceived anonymity also increases the likelihood of some members
acting as free riders. It may be much easier to avoid active participation in the team in a
virtual setting.

Third, teams are sometimes dysfunctional. Many teams have great success, but others
experience significant failure. The ways in which teams are managed plays the most critical
role in determining how well they function. The potential for dysfunction is also increased
by the geographic and psychological distance among members of a virtual team.

Students’ thoughts about their own dilemmas will vary, but most will relate in some way to
the three issues described above.

10. If you were the leader of a newly formed team, what might you do to make sure that
the team developed norms of high performance?

Students’ answers will vary. Probable answers should emphasize the following points.

A team norm is a standard of conduct that is shared by team members and guides their
behavior. Norms identify key values, clarify role expectations, and facilitate team survival.
Norms begin to develop in the first interactions among members of a new team. Other
influences on team norms include critical events in the team’s history, as well as behaviors,
attitudes, and norms that members bring from outside the team. Norms that apply to daily
behavior, employee output, and performance evolve, letting everyone know what is

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121  Chapter 18

acceptable and directing actions toward acceptable performance. Four common ways in
which norms develop human behavior are:

 Critical events: Critical events establish precedent and lead to the creation of a norm.
Primacy: Primacy means that the first behaviors that occur in a team often set team
expectations.
 Carryover behaviors: Carryover behaviors bring norms into the team from outside.
Explicit statements: With explicit statements, team leaders or members establish norms.

Apply Your Skills: Experiential Exercise

This and That: Best Team–Worst Team

Students are to think of two teams of which they have been members–their best teams and their
worst teams in terms of personal satisfaction and team performance. Then, in small groups, they
will tell each other the stories of their best and worst team experiences, and then go on with the
remaining parts of the exercise. The exercise helps them identify key behaviors that account for
their best and worst team experiences, what factors influence the presence of those behaviors,
what personal changes they should made as individuals to demonstrate more of the positive
behaviors and less of the negative behaviors, and how to help team leaders attain more positive
behaviors and less negative behaviors within their teams.

Apply Your Skills: Small Group Breakout

Team Feedback Exercise

Students form groups of three to four, think about recent experiences working in teams at work
or school, and answer four questions provided in the exercise. Students then share their
experiences with group members, looking for common themes, important themes, and
implications of their experiences.

Apply Your Skills: Ethical Dilemma

One for All and All for One?

1. Vote to exonerate the three group members who didn’t cheat. You’re convinced they had no
reason to suspect Paul Colgan of dishonesty. Exonerating them is the right thing to do.

This may be a viable option for two primary reasons. First, the professor’s policy is open to
interpretation in that it may have simply been intended to mean that each member of the
group must contribute equally to the final product, not that they were each equally
accountable for the other’s academic dishonesty. Second, the professor’s policy could be
considered unreasonable in that the three students in question had no way of knowing Paul
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Leading Teams  122

had cheated, nor did they have any real means of oversight to ensure that Paul did not cheat
on the project. If the appeals committee is nothing more than a rubber stamp for professors’
policies, there is no point is having an appeals process.

2. Vote in support of Hank Zierden’s decision to hold each member accountable for the entire
project. The professor clearly stated his policy at the beginning of the semester, and the
students should have been more vigilant. The committee should not undercut a professor’s
explicit policy.

This course of action will send a message to students that they are accountable for things
over which they have no effective means of control. Even in business, employees should not
be held accountable for things over which they have no effective means of control. The three
students had no reason to suspect that Paul had cheated, and Paul is not subordinate to them
in any way, so holding them accountable for his actions will only demoralize them.

3. Vote to reduce each of the three students’ penalties. Instead of a zero, each student will
receive only half the possible total points for the project, which would be an F. You’re still
holding students responsible for the group project, but not imposing catastrophic
punishment. This compromise both undercuts the professor’s policy and punishes
“innocent” to some extent, but not as severely.

This compromise still sends the wrong message to all of the students in the class who did not
cheat on their projects.

Apply Your Skills: Case for Critical Analysis

Are We a Team?

1. What type of team does the new CIO have? What do you see as the key problem with the
team?

The new CIO has a dysfunctional team lacking trust, respect, cohesion, and a breakdown of
genuine communication. Although, the talent pool of the team is amazing, however the team
performance as a whole was disappointing. Even with much talent in the teams of the
company, it was not able to grow at a faster rate.

The main problem was that the teams consisted of groups of individualists who didn’t know
how to play as a team. There is lack of trust and communication among the members of the
teams and teams of different departments. Commitment toward mutual success is absent in
the teams.

2. How do you think the team evolved to this low level of cooperation and cohesiveness?

Team cohesiveness concerns the extent to which members are attracted to the team and
motivated to remain in the team. Determinants of team cohesiveness are:
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123  Chapter 18

 Team interaction: The greater the contact among members, the more cohesive the team
will be.
 Shared goals: Agreeing on purpose and direction binds the team together.
 Personal attraction to the team: Members have similar attitudes and values and enjoy
being together.
 Presence of competition: This causes the group to want to win.
 Team success: Success is a favorable evaluation of the team by outsiders.

The team lacked all of the above factors. From the consistent remarks and opinions in the
one-on-one meetings, it was evident that the previous CIO, Bob, was obviously awed by the
talent level of team members. This led to the regional heads into believing that the CIO
wanted them to succeed by doing as they thought best for themselves. High performers were
territorial and the “each division for itself” attitude started becoming the cultural norm in the
company.

3. What suggestion do you have for the CIO to help her turn this collection of individual
regional and departmental heads into a top-performing team? Explain.

Work team effectiveness is based on three outcomes:


 Productive output—the quality and quantity of task outputs as defined by team goals.
 Personal satisfaction—the team’s ability to meet the personal needs of its members to
maintain their membership and commitment.
 Capacity to adapt and learn—the ability of teams to bring greater knowledge and skills to
job tasks and enhance the potential of the organization to respond to new threats or
opportunities.

The factors that influence team effectiveness begin with the organizational context in which
the team operates—the structure, strategy, environment, culture, and reward systems.
Managers define teams within that context. Important team characteristics are the type of
team, the team structure, and the team composition. These team characteristics influence
processes internal to the team, which affect output and satisfaction. Good team leaders
understand and manage stages of team development, cohesiveness, norms, and conflict to
establish an effective team.

On the Job Video Case Answers

Tough Mudder: Leading teams

1. Alex Patterson notes that our educational system is often focused on individual achievement,
but when we go out into the work world as adults, almost all of us are required to work in
teams. In what ways does this early focus on individual work make it difficult for us to work
in teams? What should an individual do to become a good team member, according to
Patterson?

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Leading Teams  124

Focus on individual work is part of the educational system and is seen in activities such as
marathons. However, in the “real world”, work is far more collaborative. The events put on in
this company teach people to get through an experience together. The entire focus of this
company is to teach people how to overcome obstacles through teamwork. According to
Patterson a good team members needs to be good at his or her job and also be good at
supporting others in their jobs. Finding out areas of weakness and offering assistance.

2. These Tough Mudder employees appear to be members of a highly cohesive team. What are
some of the qualities described in the video that indicate strong cohesiveness? Include at least
two specific examples in your answer.

Several characteristics of team structure and context influence cohesiveness.

 Team interaction. When team members have frequent contact, they get to know one
another, consider themselves a unit, and become more committed to the team. It is clear
that all events are put on by teams of employees who wear multiple hats. The company
has grown to include regional events in the U.K., Germany, and Australia. For each
region, there is oversight to make sure that the brand is consistent worldwide, but there is
flexibility, and regional teams put on events that are not micro-managed by the home
office. People have the freedom to innovate.

 Shared goals. If team members agree on purpose and direction, they will be more
cohesive. Everyone involved in Tough Mudder has the goal of overcoming obstacles
through teamwork. All events worldwide support this over-arching goal.

 Personal attraction to the team, meaning that members have similar attitudes and values
and enjoy being together. If a person prefers individual activities, that person would run a
marathon rather than participating in a team event. This business attracts people who
value collaboration.

 Team success and the favorable evaluation of the team by outsiders add to cohesiveness.
When a team succeeds in its task and others in the organization recognize the success,
members feel good, and their commitment to the team will be high. When a team
successfully completes an event, there is a significant amount of pride felt both by those
who participated in the event and by those employees who worked together to organize it.

3. Patterson describes the benefits and challenges of working in an open-plan,


collaborative workspace. Do you think you would enjoy working in this type of team-centric
environment? Explain why or why not in your answer.

The benefits of working in an open-plan, collaborative workspace are that it fosters increased
collaboration and as a result increased innovation. However. it is easy to get caught up in
answering the next email or getting involved in the work of others rather than completing
individual work such as analyzing data or writing a report. Tough Mudder tries to strike a
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125  Chapter 18

balance between collaborative and individual work. If an employee wants to work at home
and finish a report in a quiet uninterrupted setting, the company allows it.

Answers will vary as to whether or not a student would wish to work in a team-centric
environment. Many will enjoy the social and professional interaction; however, others prefer
to work alone without interruptions.

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