Managing teams and groups

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Introduction

Managing team and groups requires effective management strategies that enable the maximum performance of all individuals involved in the settings. In an argument by Hartel and Fujimoto (2014) managing teams requires the incorporation of managerial skills that consider all members of the team as equal members. The authors further assert that teams become more functional if all individuals become incorporated effectively in regards to their relation with other members towards task completion (Hartel & Fujimoto, 2014). In instances where cultural diversity exist between members, equality becomes a major feature as managers or team leaders are required to ensure the working environment is free from prejudice and inequality. Teams and groups differ in various ways such as task requirements, leadership and relation in regards what is required towards achieving the desired tasks. Specifically, groups are formed based on that members share a relationship or a common need. On the other hand, teams are created with an objective of completing a particular task or activity under laid out plans or strategies. The paper analyzes groups and teams in regards on how groups could be incorporated into teams, the thinking angle of teams and groups, and how both teams and how to effectively manage teams even in instances of multicultural members.

Literature Review

In an argument by Hartel and Fujimoto (2014) the basic aspect in incorporating groups into teams is the ability to balance the ability of members in a way that the assigned tasks will be completed effectively. The authors further cite that the balancing should be in a way that members of the groups should be able to complement the abilities of other members (Hartel & Fujimoto, 2014). For example, team members should possess different skills that would allow division of labor and specialization. This means that different members of the team can complete different tasks towards achieving the overall project goal. This would allow individual to not become overtasked in completing tasks in different fields of operation. This also functions as a motivation strategy in which members would feel they are being utilized in areas they are skilled at. The incorporation of groups into teams is directly depends on the organizational culture considering it dictates how employees feel they should behave, and how managers approaches human resource strategies (Thomas & Lazarova, 2013).

Within organizations, the culture of employee collaboration should be existent in instances where teams are a mandatory requirement of task completion. In this culture, employee feel content and become cooperative to share performance opportunities with other employees. However, the existent organization culture should foster the ability of employee to shun individualism in regards to task completion. For instance, Mondy, Wayne and Bandy (2014) are of the assumption that employee collaboration should be in a way that the skills and abilities of employees are not undermined when they work in teams. To ensure this, the division and specialization culture should be ensured in instances of teams’ creation. The organization culture also dictates the leadership strategies used in team management. To effectively transform groups into teams requires the ability by leaders to identify different employee skills to develop a balanced team in regards to expertise of team members (Kerber & Anthony, 2004).

The issue of diversity management in developing teams in a sensitive feature as the conduct of all members depends on their motivational status, and position within teams. Firstly, team should not be segregated. This means that employees from different minority groups should not be placed in one team. O’Sullivan (2014) cites that the composition of all teams should be in a way that the diversity of the employees would be represented. The feature allows for the employees in the organization to appreciate other culture other their own in regard to creating a socially responsible organization culture. Also, members from minority groups would feel appreciated and required to be part of the organization as they would feel appreciated as members of the organization. In regards to management of teams, selected leaders should be able to shun any form of bias based on race, religion or sex when developing and assigning tasks to teams or team members (Kerber & Anthony, 2004).

The differences of groupthink and team think are based on the required professional relationship between members. Group thinking s beneficial in that it allows member to associate outside professional boundaries which increases the bond between members (O’Sullivan, 2014). This is different in team thinking where the bonding factor is the professional demands assigned to the members. However, team thinking is beneficial in that member are able to retain focus and a professional bond required in completing tasks as desired. In group thinking excessive social bonding may hinder the effectiveness by which task are completed. Team thinking is also beneficial in that members are easily managed as they depend on leader to direct them towards a certain direction. In group thinking, the extreme bond between members may lead to lack of collaboration with leaders, thus minimizing the effectiveness of task completion (Mondy, Wayne& Bandy, 2014).

Discussion

From the evidence presented, team and group share the same objective but differ in definition in regards to objectives required to be fulfilled. Regardless of the difference, leaders are required to be able to develop teams based on skills that would ensure division of labor and specialization. Leaders are also required to possess skills that include individual motivation of all members in instances where issues arise (Thomas & Lazarova, 2013).

In regards to diversity, the responsibility of leaders should be that minority members of the human resource feel appreciated enough in groups where they are assigned, and the task assigned to them. Also any form of bias based on either sex, race or religion should be excluded to motivate all members, as well as ensure the organization displays a culture in which skills and expertise of employees is respected rather than social affiliations (Kerber & Anthony, 2004).

Managing teams is also easier than groups considering the formation techniques. Teams are more based on professional demands, rather than social relationships which groups may be based on. For this reason, teams remain more focused towards task completion than groups which are vulnerable to numerous distraction influenced by how members identify with each other outside professional requirements.

Summary

Groups and teams basically differ in the objective in which they are created. Specifically, groups may be existent outside professional responsibilities or task they are required to complete. On the other hand, teams are created towards completing a specific task or project which also required an accurate understanding on tasks each member should complete as a contribution to overall team goals and objectives. Considering diversity as an inevitable feature, leaders are expected to incorporate existing diverse members in all teams to allow for a accommodating organizational culture. Conclusively, the performance of teams or groups depend on the effectiveness on the implemented management strategies.

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  1. Hartel, C. and Fujimoto, Y. (2014). Human Resource Management. Sydney: Pearson Australia.
  2. Kerber, W. and Anthony, B. (2004). “Leadership Challenges in Global Virtual Teams: Lessons from the Field.” SAM Advanced Management Journal, 69, (4): 4-10.
  3. Mondy, M., Wayne, R. & Bandy, J. (2014). Human Resource Management. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
  4. O’Sullivan, M. (2014). What Works at Work. Bath: The Starbank Press.
  5. Thomas, D. and Lazarova, M. (2013). Essentials of International Human Resource Management: Managing People Globally. New York: SAGE.
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