This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
TABLE OF CONTENT
Abstract 1. Teamwork in Organizations – An Overview 2. Don’t go it alone 3. Rewarding the Team 4. Tuckman Model 4.1 The Tuckman Model of Group development 5. 6. 7. 8. Conclusion References Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Appendix 4 14 15 16 11 12 6 8 4 5 5 6
The most successful organizations in any realm – sports, work, play, family – are successful due to a collective and collaborative sense of mission, purpose, and ownership. In other words, the most successful organizations operate as a team. Smart organizations place a premium of group consultation. Whereas a cooperating unit can distribute the many subtasks of a problem-solving campaign among its members, the lone operator must perform each task sequentially. Many companies, having a compensation plan that rewards employees for successful teamwork fits their organizational model. For the purposes of this report, the authors aim to assess the nature of the teamwork dynamic that exists at Media Film Services, a film equipment rental company based in Cape Town. The authors have therefore confined themselves to within the original four stages identified in the original Tuckman model
1. TEAMWORK IN ORGANIZATIONS – AN OVERVIEW
The most successful organizations in any realm – sports, work, play, family – are successful due to a collective and collaborative sense of mission, purpose, and ownership. In other words, the most successful organizations operate as a team. Although it has been established that individuals’ mastery of job knowledge predicts their individual success in the workplace, many organizations now emphasize performance at the team level (Ilgen & Pulakos, 1999). Teams are commonly regarded as structured sets of people who pursue collective performance objectives within larger organization systems and who require coordinated interactions to successfully accomplish relevant tasks (Cohen & Bailey, 1997; Forsyth, 1999). Because teams are often assembled to take on multifaceted and complex endeavors, team tasks present a range of knowledge-intensive challenges to team members (McIntyre & Salas, 1995; Mohrman, 2003). As such, scholars have theorized that team members’ ongoing intellectual development contributes to collective performance (DeNisi, Hitt, & Jackson, 2003; London & Mone, 1999). In other words, greater workplace learning by team members should translate into better team performance, as long as what is being learnt is relevant (Austin, 2003; Kozlowski, Gully, Nason, & Smith, 1999). A high-performance team can accomplish remarkable feats. Maximizing the creative energy generated by a powerful team takes a skilled manager. By utilizing a few guidelines, a team manager can motivate the best and the brightest employees to work as a team. “Teams outperform individuals acting alone or in larger organizational groupings, especially when performance requires multiple skills, judgments and experience (The Wisdom of Teams).”
2. DON’T GO IT ALONE
Smart organizations place a premium of group consultation. Studies done by psychologist Patrick Laughlin at the University of Illinois and his colleagues show that the approaches and outcomes of a cooperating group are not just better than those of the average group member, but are better than even the group’s best problem solver functioning alone. Cialdini (2007) argues that the lone problem solver can’t match the diversity of knowledge and perspectives of a multiperson unit that includes him. Other members will have had experiences with similar and related problems that will allow the team to recognize fruitful versus fruitless choices more clearly and quickly. Furthermore, Cialdini adds that the solution seeker who goes it alone loses a significant advantage – the power of parallel processing. Whereas a cooperating unit can distribute the many subtasks of a problem-solving campaign among its members, the lone operator must perform each task sequentially.
3. REWARDING THE TEAM
For many companies, having a compensation plan that rewards employees for successful teamwork fits their organizational model (Matt, 2007). HR professionals at companies that use these plans say they can be and effective way to reward team performance, but must be carefully crafted to avoid unintended consequences that could undermine individual initiative and business goals. According to Jim Fox, founder and senior partner at the compensation and HR specialty firm Fox Lawson & Associates LLC, based in St. Paul, Minn., 12 percent of privately held firms, mostly in manufacturing, have some sort of gain-sharing program. And the use of team-based incentives also is gaining support among hospitals and health systems that often tie rewards to specific goals, such as increased patient satisfaction scores or a reduction in receivables, he says. Matt (2007) further claims that while team-based pay isn’t a panacea for organizational ills, it can be a useful tool to motivate and reward employees.
4. TUCKMAN MODEL (Appendix 1)
For the purposes of this report, the authors aim to assess the nature of the teamwork dynamic that exists at Media Film Services, a film equipment rental company based in Cape Town (Appendix 2). The employees of Media Film Service work in a rigorous and demanding environment often under enormous pressure. They are reliant upon each other and effective teamwork and the management thereof is integral factor that allows them to perform their tasks in an efficient manner. Effective and organized teamwork is therefore central to the nature of their work and the efficacy of the company. It is for this reason that the authors have decided to focus on this element of the operations of the company. The Tuckman model of group development is the predominant technique used for this report. Tuckman’s model, although dating back to 1965 is acknowledged as one of the most common and appropriate models of group development in use today (Cissna 1984; Smith 2005) and is therefore considered by the authors to be a suitably apt methodology for the purposes of this paper. In addition to the use of the Tuckman model the authors have also made use of a questionnaire (Appendix 3), compiled by the authors and responded to by Blaise Sheasby, a senior manager at Media Film Services, to help provide further background information on the nature and teamwork dynamic of the company to help place the report in the correct context. By the application of the Tuckman model this report therefore hopes to identify the current condition of the teamwork dynamic existent at Media Film Services, how their effective their teamwork dynamic is and if it can be improved upon to make for better or more efficient human resources management (Appendix 4).
4.1 The Tuckman Model of Group Development
The Tuckman model of group development was formulated by Bruce Tuckman, a respected educational psychologist in 1965. His model identifies four distinct linear stages of group development. These four stages depict the process small groups go through from their formation up and to the point where they reach their point of maximum efficacy (www.chimaeraconsulting.com/tuckman.htm). Tuckman labels the
7 four stages as ‘Forming’, ‘Storming’, ‘Norming’ and ‘Performing’. His model holds that when various groups form the process of how they come together and begin to function follows a similar pattern and this pattern can be divided into the four above mentioned distinct stages (Smith 2005). In 1977 Tuckman, along with Mary Ann Jensen, refined the model to include a fifth stage, that of ‘Adjourning’, which deals with the completion and disengagement of the group. As this report is focused on the current teamwork dynamic of a currently functioning group it was decided by the authors not to include this later fifth stage in the research methodology of this paper. They believe that the dissolution of a group or team does not hold any quantifiable value to the company concerned and therefore falls outside of the stated purposes of this report. The authors have therefore confined themselves to within the original four stages identified in the original Tuckman model (Smith 2005).
Members become hostile and combative. Characterized by:
• • • • • • • •
Members accept team roles and behaviors of others. Characterized by:
• • • • • •
Infighting Creating unachievable goals Disunity, jealousy, tension Polarization of members Resistance to task demands in order to deal with personal issues Sharp fluctuations and reversals of feelings Establishment of pecking order Minimal work accomplishment
Attempts at harmony by avoiding conflict Establish and maintain team boundaries Ability to express emotions constructively Sense of team cohesiveness with common spirit and goals High levels of intimacy, confiding in each other, trust Moderate work accomplishment
Members come together to form a group Characterized by:
• • • • • • •
Members have established norms and are able to diagnose problems and come up with solutions. Characterized by:
• • •
Hesitant participation Intellectualizing Identify how group will do its tasks Feeling of initial attachment to team Complaints about organizational environment Suspicion, fear, and anxiety about new situation Minimal work accomplishment
Members experience insight into personal and interpersonal processes Constructive self-change is undertaken A great amount of work is accomplished!
Austin, J.R. 2003. Transactive memory in organizational groups: The effects of content, consensus, specialization, and accuracy on group performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88: 866-878, May.
Cialdini, R.B. 2007. How to Get the Best Solutions from Your Team. Harvard Management Update, 12 (5): 2-4, May. Cohen, S.G., & Bailey, D.E. 1997. What makes teams work: Group effectiveness research from the shop floor to the executive suite. Journal of Management, 23: 239-290. DeNisi, A.S., Hitt, M.A., & Jackson, S.E. 2003. Knowledge-based approach to sustainable competitive advantage. In. S. E. Jackson, M.A. Hitt, & A.S. DeNisi (Eds.), Managing knowledge for sustained competitive advantage: Designing strategies for effective human resource management (pp. 3-33). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Hirschfeld, R. R., Jordan, M. H., Field, H. S., Giles, W. F., & Armenakis, A. A., 2006. Becoming Team Player: Team Members’ Mastery of Teamwork Knowledge as a Predictor of Team Task proficiency and Observed Teamwork Effectiveness. Journal of Applied psychology, 91 (2): 467-474, 8p, March.
Ilgen, D.R., & Pulakos, E.D. (1999). Introduction: Employee performance in today’s organizations. In D.R. Ilgen & E.D. Pulakos (Eds.), The changing nature of performance: Implications for staffing, motivation, and development (pp. 1-18). San Francisco: JosseyBass.
Matt, B. 2007. Rewarding the Team. HRMagazine, 52 (2): 91-93, February.
McIntyre, R. M., & Salas, R. (1995). Measuring and managing for team performance: Emerging principles from complex environments. In R. A. Guzzo, E. Salas, & Associates (Eds.), Team effectiveness and decision making in organizations (pp.9-45). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Stanley, T. L., 2006. Managing your team. Supervision, 67 (6): 10-12, June. Focus on Team management. Health care Registration: The newsletter for Health Care Registration Professionals, 15 (5): 4-5, 2p, February. http://www.heartquotes.net/teamwork-quotes.html downloaded on the 29th May 2007.
APPENDIX 1 The Four Stages in Tuckman Model
Forming: Tuckman in his original study described this stage to be that of orientation, testing and dependence. The orientation of the group or team is in effect a process of testing the boundaries of the interpersonal and task behaviors of members of the group or team and the resultant relationships of dependency within the group (Tuckman cited by Smith, 2005). It is during this stage the group initially forms as a recognizable singular entity but the roles and processes are not totally entrenched (www.businessballs.com) Storming: Upon the formation of the group the next stage in its evolution is characterized by conflict between the members of the group. These conflicts arise around interpersonal issues as group or team members vie for position within the group. Sub-groups or cliques develop within the group or team and often power struggles ensue. The group or team does however begin to clarify a common purpose (www.businessballs.com). Norming: The group or team has now overcome its initial problems and begins to develop into a cohesive unit with a common purpose. Members are now aware of their individual tasks and those of the others within the group or team. Task duties and interpersonal opinions are expressed and accepted (Tuckman cited by Smith, 2005). Performing: The tasks and interpersonal structure of the group merge into a cohesive and well functioning unit. There is flexibility in the functioning of the group or team and members are focused on the tasks required of them. The group structure is cemented and agreed upon. This is the optimal stage of group development and the time in which the group or team is at its most efficient (Tuckman cited by Smith, 2005).
Tuckman’s model provides a useful linear model for the development and life cycle of small groups. It helps us to quantify the nature of group interaction and provides and useful tool when trying understand the nature and dynamics of how teams work. It is however a generalist model that seeks to encapsulate a gamut of human emotion and interaction within a set framework. It is important to note that whilst it has proven to be an effective model for explaining group dynamics, the range of diversification within human endeavor that cannot be wholly or accurately captured and the stages of the model therefore should be viewed as a guide to rather than a precise description of a particular team’s dynamic.
APPENDIX 2 MEDIA FILM SERVICE
Media Film Services is an equipment rental company that supplies cameras, lights, film stock and other equipment to the film industry. The company’s head office is in Cape Town and it has branches in Johannesburg and Durban. It has a nationwide staff of approximately 60 persons. Many of their staff is highly skilled as their positions require a high degree of technical expertise. They deploy equipment and staff to these various locations as the need arises (www.mediafilmservice.com). Media Film Services is partnered with ARRI Media and similar company based in London. They are the suppliers of ARRI film cameras and lights, a leading brand of equipment in the film industry. In addition to ARRI cameras and lights they also provide a range of specialized film equipment and stock Kodak motion picture film (www.mediafilmservice.com). Their market consists predominately of film production companies who hire film equipment for assorted film productions. The nature of this hire differs from production to production and the amount of gear and service required for each differs accordingly. By enlarge the majority of their clients are TV commercial service companies who hire
16 their gear for anything from one day to a number of weeks at a time. The nature of the industry in Cape Town in particular is seasonal with extremely busy periods over the summer months and a much quieter period during the winter months. This makes for varying periods of activity and availability of resources (www.mediafilmservice.com). Media Film Service offers a comprehensive service to its clients this includes the hire of all technical film equipment needed for particular productions, the sourcing of unique or specialized equipment, solutions or advice on technical matters, studio space and specialist technicians when necessary. The varying demands made by their clients require Media to be able to adjust to their needs rapidly often outside of working hours. Their company motto is; “Service is our credo. The best equipment is our business.” (www.mediafilmservice.com).
APPENDIX 3 (QUESTIONNAIRE) APPENDIX 4 (INTERVIEW)
1. Uncertainty can make teamwork even more challenging as the direction in which to proceed is unclear, and as individual members of the team may have different opinions. How do you manage your team in this scenario and how effective is it? We have one common goal – to ensure the best equipment, best service and best experience at Media. Although the methods to achieve this are different for each dept, we all know what the goal is and do any small thing we can to help this process. In rentals, our processes are linear, well defined and clear – which ensures that there isn’t much ‘grey area’. This is essential considering that, even though the processes are rigid, the clients and productions aren’t and each one requires individual ideas, suggestions, recommendations and its own unique solutions. Also, with the rentals position being heavily dependant on information and knowledge, we find that this starfish-approach works brilliant. Whilst you are at the hub of the production on which you are working, the arms (our colleagues) provide
17 motivation, info which you may not have as well as ideas for alternate solutions to problems. 2. Teamwork is very popular today in organizations, but it is an unnatural act that takes a strategy, discipline and practice. Most organizations talk about teamwork and put a group of workers together and say “you are a team now”. Duly formed, the team is marched out onto the field to succeed or fail. In the current challenging environment, what steps does Media take to prepare the team? For new Media employees we have an initiation program which provides them with an overview of the company, the history, details about the staff members and clients. Their position is clearly explained (as well as how they ‘fit’ into the team) to them and their team-members/colleagues provide in-house training required for the position, as well as on-going assistance. All team-members understand that it’s imperative to the whole team that each member succeeds at their specific task.
3. In a performance group or on a sports team, over 90% of the participants time is spent practicing- standardizing their routines or processes, identifying roles and responsibilities, improving communication effectiveness, working on their coordination, alignment or teamwork. The focus is learning from mistakes until they are ready to perform for the audience or fans. In line with this, does Media provide training to the team before they go into the field? If so, what are your training policies and how effective are they? How often are they trained? Considering that most of the processes employed by Media are specific and unique to our (very niche) market, it’s almost impossible to practice what we do, prior to doing it in reality! It’s really a hands-on experiential job in which colleagues eavesdrop all the time in order to correct, assist and learn from each other. We feel it imperative that every employee experience all aspects of the company and at least understand (if not be able to fulfill) each individual and departmental role within Media – prior to settling down in their specific position.
18 We are extremely fortunate that most of our staff come from similar film-equipment-rental backgrounds so have an innate understanding of a) b) c) the equipment the processes involved in renting that equipment and, the pressures and stresses specific to this industry.
4. What are the challenges and obstacles faced by Media in terms of Teamwork Management? Media staff are independent, strong-willed and lateral-thinkers. The hardest part in directing the teamwork within Media is ensuring that all the ideas, opinions and suggestions are given due credit and ensuring that there isn’t a power-struggle for leadership of the team! 5. In recruiting your team members, what skills and knowledge do you look for? At Media, we feel strongly that skills and knowledge can be imparted and learnt. However attitude, enthusiasm and dedication are innate traits which no number of courses or training can teach. As a result, we are always on the lookout for the right personality and talent, with the right experience and skills viewed as a bonus. We are willing to give anyone an opportunity, as long as have that ‘Media Oomph’! 6. What actions does the organization take to promote a culture of Teamwork? Luckily, Media staff understand that our individual roles are inextricably linked and that without dedicated teamwork, our chain will be riddled with weak links! In 2005, Media sent 16 HOD’s on a management course spanning most of the year. This course highlighted the importance of understanding various personality types, conflict management, integrating different personalities so as to achieve harmonious work environments and teambuilding. Media encourages and hosts regular social functions for employees such as waterrafting, karaoke evenings, company braais, and movie nights. These are all organized by
19 self-appointed groups within the company - which promotes a sense of responsibility and trust. 7. Team leadership, paradoxically, includes knowing when to hand over the lead to others, as their expertise moves to the fore. What actions does Media take when one or more of your team members are either absent due to various reasons for a particular project or when they leave the organization? Media is lucky to have a wealth of self-motivated, service-driven people who will not shirk any task or responsibility. As such, we often find that we have more than one leadership-type-personality in any given team. Although I’ve never thought about this before, it would seem (in retrospect) that, irrelevant of the make-up of the group, the role of 2IC automatically and unspokenly rests with the person who falls directly beneath the Team Leader in their department. Thus, if a team is made up of 3 camera people, 2 grips people and 4 lighting people and the Team Leader is a camera person, the 2IC will be the next-in-charge from Camera Dept. Obviously, should there be a team member much better suited to the task, they will take over leadership. 8. Is there is a lot of resistance from the team members to the tasks at hand and quality improvement approaches and if so, how is being handled currently? The team leader is certainly responsible for satisfactorily explaining the motivation behind the tasks, changes and improvements before implementing them or expecting members to do so. In turn, it is the right of the members to expect satisfactory explanations for any changes which may affect them. Should the resistance be legitimate, the team leader will certainly enquire as to the reason for it, and most importantly ask the member for alternate suggestions. 9. Many organizations are adapting team working organizational structures for becoming more responsive to market conditions and more effective in their operation. Has the team dynamics evolved over a period of time and if so how?
20 Explain some of the modern trends and changing attitudes of Teamwork management. As our company has expanded from a compliment of 18 people to nearly 70 people, our views of teamwork have had to change as well. Our top-level management has delegated much responsibility for team-leading to the Middle management. Where our teams used to be limited departmentally (camera dept was a team and lighting another), as our company has grown it has become necessary to comprise the groups differently with a member from each dept being grouped together so as to have a crosssection of the company. 10. Team working is an increasingly popular way of achieving greater organizational flexibility as well as other benefits such as reduced costs of supervision, faster lead times, innovation, more effective decision making, more customer service and enhanced employee morale. What are the implications of the abovementioned factors in your organization? We already run our various depts. In this way, although each dept has a manager and staff who fall beneath him, we recognize that each of these staff members is a responsible adult who should be able to operate without constant supervision. We expect that they will complete their work to Media-standards. Although each position has strictly-defined guidelines and responsibilities, we also expect staff to ‘think outside the box’ and overlap other positions wherever they feel inspired to do so, in order to create an interesting synergy between departments and positions. Each staff members understands how their individual decision affect the company and are encourage to ask for advice if needed, however they are trusted to make decisions relevant to their department. 11. How does Media recognize and/or reward the teamwork of its members? Media takes teams out for dinner or night away as recognition for effective teamwork.
21 The company also expects that each team set up will be reliable enough to responsibly reward itself for its work. A group of 4 girls has just volunteered to be an in-house maintenance (or Handygirl) team to see to all of the little paint/garden/maintenance jobs in and around the building and has asked for a monthly supper as a thank you. The Directors were ecstatic at the suggestion and more than happy to agree! 12. Can you narrate an incident/s where the effectiveness of your team work were challenged and/or magnified in a particular situation? I have come to realize that the greatest threat to a team is an individual who feels excluded as they then tend to become rebellious which then jeopardizes the teams efforts. As such, I’ve had to work hard to ensure that all staff inside MY team feel included and valued at all times. This has the positive spin-off of greater communication and interaction which is crucial for team-work anyway! 13. Any suggestions or tips for effective Teamwork Management? Ensure that the team understands that, even though you may be the team leader, you are still part of the team and willing to get your hands dirty and do exactly what your role requires for the team to be successful! 14. The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of team development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable - in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has become the basis for subsequent models of team dynamics and frequently used management theory to describe the behavior of existing teams. Identify the present stage of the teamwork model that your team is presently operating in using the attached questionnaire. Storming Stage.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.