The Interpersonal Process

The Interpersonal Process in Teams
Interpersonal processes include  Communication  Coordination  Cooperation  Collaboration  Conflict  Cohesion and  Trust ³All of these are highly interrelated´

including the work process factors. talents. . The influences of the interpersonal processes permeated all areas. and even the characteristics of the team members themselves. including team member effort. the team's environment both within and outside the team's organization. available resources. characteristics of the team.  Traditional theories of work team performance have viewed the interpersonal processes as having the most direct effects on a team's performance and as being affected by a variety of inputs. Its greatest influence on the team's performance was found to occur through its influence on the team's work process. and procedures applied to the work.

.Communication  Communication within the team. as well as communication between the team and others outside the team. and the team member characteristics. environment. design. was found to be related to the team's work process.

Relevant environmental factors related to communication include  the organization's culture  resources available to the team  the training and information systems  relations with management  physical proximity .

summarizing ideas and feelings frequently.Team Design factors affecting communication include  Team size  Team composition  Norms of the team  Team leader  Brightman (1988) has identified some of the team leader characteristics that can encourage communication. encouraging and protecting minority views. avoiding being overly critical. including careful listening. encouraging team members to speak. and dealing with dis-agreements openly. .

    The characteristics of the team members make up another group of factors that were found to affect communication within the team. and personality of the team members . These included the team members' knowledge and skills interests in the work.

!f the work is not well coordinated between team members. then the steps or procedures used for doing the work will not be carried out well.Coordination   Work coordination refers to the act of performing two or more steps of a work process in a proper order Hackman (1988. reduce the amount of effort placed on doing the work because the employees' energies must be concentrated on overcoming the coordination problems. . This can. in turn. 1990) has brought the most explicit attention to coordination by discussing its direct effects on the team's work process.

two and sometimes three learn members would periodically travel to a predetermined location in one of the southwestern states of the United States in order to auction off government supplies and equipment no longer needed (e. it sometimes resulted in team membermember-. coordination became a problem. for some auctions. having to spend an extra day at the auction site to finish up business. Team members reported that. . The procedures that were followed in carrying out the auction ranged from securing the airplane tickets for the trip to collecting the money and recording the sales. The auction was advertised weeks in advance.An Example  In this team. a great deal of coordination was needed. When a coordination problem occurred. and typically there were many potential buyers at these auctions. not only between the team members going on the trip but also with people at the sale site.g.. For such a trip. government automobiles).

    Coordination has been found to affect other factors as well. When considering the team's environment. coordination was found to affect the training received team suppliers and customers losing customers .

Team design characteristics affecting coordination  Norms  Size Team Member characteristics affecting coordination  Personality  Attitude  Perception .

poor communication. conflict . and lack of cooperation. During the late 1960s. . Cooperation and Conflict    Cooperation and collaboration are concepts that arc highly related and are treated synonymously and are defined as the act of two or more people working together for a common purpose. behaviorists began viewing conflict as a natural occurrence that can lead to either problems and dysfunctional behavior or to beneficial behavior.disagreements between two or more people that leads to mistrust.Collaboration.

 Beneficial conflict has been termed cooperative conflict and refers to those situations where two or more employees have opposing ideas and interests but are motivated to explore and understand the views and interests of the other .

conflict is more likely to occur as team members struggle to make themselves look good.  Reward system of the organization is particularly influential.COOPERATION. Rewards High team performance then team members will be motivated to cooperate with one another to achieve the team goals. CONFLICT AND THE ENVIRONMENT Environment has been found to have large effects on team member cooperation and conflict. Rewards individual performance. regardless of the effects on the team's overall performance  .

training. Training and coaching can provide team members with the skills to study conflict and learn how to discuss it productively. The organization's culture and the team's norms must be such that conflict is openly addressed and managed cooperatively. .   The organization's culture. and coaching greatly influence whether and how conflicts arc resolved.

When cooperation is high among team members.   A poor information system can also lead to negative or competitive conflict. the information system is much more effective-team members are more likely effectiveto share all available infor-mation with their teammates readily . Just as conflict and cooperation are highly susceptible to influences from the information system and management. the reverse can be true as well-the information system can be wellaffected by team cooperation and conflict.

These factors are Team norms -encourage team members to share information. exchange resources. listen to each other's ideas.COOPERATION. CONFLICT. and shared rewards also play a role. Group tasks. . AND TEAM DESIGN    A variety of team design factors can heighten cooperation and conflict. and respond to each other's requests through positive interdependence will enhance cooperation. Shared visions and values bind employees together in collaborative pursuits. complementary roles. Tasks that require people to exchange ideas and sources reinforce the notion that participants have cooperative goals.

If the team members arevery different. the opposite effect occurred. the combination of team member characteristics can be expected to be produce conflicts and cooperation. values. and talents. prejudices. . This is perhaps most evident where differing personality types come together within the team and are found to inherently cooperate or conflict. Although these similarities reduced conflict. Cooperation is found to be high where team members are similar in their job status. There were a variety of different ideas available. they created problems by not providing enough variety of ideas.   When considering the composition of the team. but the team had difficulty reaching agreements acceptable to everyone.

Cohesion   TaskTask-oriented cohesiveness positively affect a team's level of effort placed directly on the work due to its influence on the team members' commitment to the work TeamTeam-oriented cohesiveness affects effort through its positive influences on the team members' commitment to one another. However. team-oriented cohesiveness also teamdecrease effort due to time spent among team members discussing non-work related subjects. non- .

. team members were more likely to ask for assistance or defer to others who had more talent with regard to the particular tasks being performed. With high cohesion of either type.  TeamTeam-oriented cohesiveness results in the team members being committed to one another and providing extra effort to please their teammates A second work process factor found to be affected by task-oriented and team-oriented taskteamcohesion was the extent of team member talents placed on doing the work.

in turn.Cohesion and Team Design   TeamTeam-oriented cohesiveness facilitates deci-sion making because the communication among team members is more open. can lead to a reduction in the number of alternative work procedures that arc considered by the team as it attempts to identify best work procedures. . However. which. team-oriented cohesiveness can also teamlead to groupthink (a practice of agreeing with others rather than disagreeing).

Teams high in cohesiveness were found to more rigorously adhere to the team's norms. Team design factors found to affect team cohesiveness included goal clarity and the team's size. TaskTask-oriented cohesiveness was directly related to goal clarity. Team members had difficulty developing tasktask-oriented cohesiveness to the extent that they had difficulty identifying the team's primary goals. .   Team members of the most cohesive teams remain more comfortable during the decision-making process decisionCohesiveness has also been reported to influence the norms of the team.

. the size of the team does not appear to affect the level of tasktaskoriented cohesiveness.  team size -smaller teams generally had higher levels of team-oriented teamcohesiveness because team members were able to have more interactions with each other and to get to know each other better On the other hand.

Another environmental factor that can affect cohesion is the physical location of team members.Cohesion and the Environment    Culture of the organization can be one that encourages the team members to work together in a collaborative. Team member characteristics that did have noticeable effects on cohesion included the interests and values of team members . respectful manner or in a competitive manner.

and that the other will behave in such a way that the gains will result Trust is a multidimensional concept including honesty. competence (i. truthfulness.TRUST  (1) (2) (3)  Trust can be defined as a belief held by one team member about another that the behavior of the other can influence whether one gains or loses something. one has no control over the other's behavior. technical or interpersonal skill and knowledge). and consistency.. .e. loyalty.

   Where trust was reported to be high. High trust positively influences the team members' willingness to let others exercise influence over them. .trust designresults in team members being more willing to consider alternative viewpoints during the decisiondecision-making process. When considering the team design. team members spent less energy worrying about what others were doing or thinking and more energy directly on doing the work.

Thank You .