A team at work

A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal.

As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management, "[a] team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, knowledge and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal".[1]

A group does not necessarily constitute a team. Teams normally have members with complementary skills[2] and generate synergy[3] through a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Naresh Jain (2009) claims:

Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realize their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations.[4]

While academic research on teams and teamwork has grown consistently and has shown a sharp increase over the past recent 40 years, the societal diffusion of teams and teamwork actually followed a volatile trend in the 20th century.[5] The concept was introduced into business in the late 20th century, which was followed by a popularization of the concept of constructing teams. Differing opinions exist on the efficacy of this new management fad.[6] Some see "team" as a four-letter word: overused and under-useful.[7]

Others see it as a panacea that realizes the Human Relations Movement's desire to integrate what that movement perceives as best for workers and as best for managers.[8]

Many people believe in the effectiveness of teams, but also see them as dangerous because of the potential for exploiting workers — in that team effectiveness can rely on peer pressure and peer surveillance.[9] However, Hackman sees team effectiveness not only in terms of performance: a truly effective team will contribute to the personal well-being and adaptive growth of its members.[10]

English-speakers commonly use the word "team" in today's society to characterise many types of groups. Peter Guy Northouse's book Leadership: theory and practice[11] discusses teams from a leadership perspective. According to the team approach to leadership, a team is a type of organizational group of people that are members.[citation needed] A team is composed of members who are dependent on each other, work towards interchangeable achievements, and share common attainments. A team works as a whole together to achieve certain things. A team is usually located in the same setting as it is normally connected to a kind of organization, company, or community. Teams can meet in-person (directly face-to-face) or virtually when practicing their values and activities or duties. A team's communication is significantly important to their relationship.[citation needed] Ergo, communication is frequent and persistent, and as well are the meetings.[citation needed] The definition of team as an organizational group is not completely set in stone, as organizations have confronted a myriad[quantify] of new forms of contemporary collaboration. Teams usually have strong organizational structured platforms and respond quickly and efficiently to challenges as they have skills and the capability to do so.[citation needed] An effective organizational team leads to greater productivity, more effective implementation of resources, better decisions and problem-solving, better-quality products/service, and greater innovation and originality.[citation needed]

Alongside the concept of a team, compare the more structured/skilled concept of a crew, the advantages of formal and informal partnerships, or the well-defined – but time-limited – existence of task forces.

A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.[12]

Thus teams of game players can form (and re-form) to practise their craft/sport. Transport logistics executives can select teams of horses, dogs, or oxen for the purpose of conveying passengers or goods.

  1. ^ Thompson, Leigh (2008). Making the team : a guide for managers (3rd ed.). Pearson/Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780131861350.
  2. ^ Compare: Melsa, James L. (2009). "7: Total Quality Management". In Sage, Andrew P.; Rouse, William B. (eds.). Handbook of Systems Engineering and Management. Wiley series in systems engineering and management (2 ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 347. ISBN 9780470083536. Teams must develop the right mix of skills, that is, each of the complementary skills necessary to do the team's job.
  3. ^ Beatty, Carol A.; Barker Scott, Brenda (2004). "3: Ream Problem Solving for Pros". Building Smart Teams: A Roadmap to High Performance. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE. p. 65. ISBN 9780761929567. Synergy occurs when the team's combined output is greater than the sum of the individual inputs. Synergy creates an excess of resources.
  4. ^ Jain, Naresh (2009). "Run marathons, not sprints". In Davis, Barbee (ed.). 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts. O'Reilly Media, Inc. p. 96. ISBN 9781449379568. Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realize their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations.
  5. ^ Weiss, M. & Hoegl, M. (2015). The History of Teamwork's Societal Diffusion: A Multi-Method Review. Small Group Research, Vol. 46(6) 589–622.
  6. ^ Cleland, David I. (1996). Strategic Management of Teams. John Wiley & Sons. p. 132. ISBN 9780471120582. Retrieved 2014-05-05. Managers may believe that the current use of teams is a management fad that will go away in time, and the traditional vertical organizational design will once again hold forth.
  7. ^ Compare: Marquardt, Michael J. (2011). Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask. J-B US non-Franchise Leadership. Vol. 180. John Wiley & Sons. p. 133. ISBN 9781118046784. Retrieved 2016-03-23. Margaret Wheatley (2002) observes that in too many organizations team is a four-letter word.
  8. ^ Compare:Dunphy, Dexter; Bryant, Ben (1996-05-01). "Teams: Panaceas or Prescriptions for Improved Performance?". Human Relations. 49 (5): 677–699. doi:10.1177/001872679604900507. S2CID 146423108.
  9. ^ Compare:Blyton, Paul; Jenkins, Jean (2007). "Teamworking". Key Concepts in Work. SAGE Key Concepts series. London: SAGE. p. 206. ISBN 9781848607415. Retrieved 2019-02-04. In this view, teams represent the latest means of controlling the worker, where peer pressure from fellow team members adds to other managerial controls to increase the level of work intensification. [...] For this view, therefore, teamworking has a 'dark side' of surveillance, peer pressure and self-exploitation, which augments broader management controls of work behaviour.
  10. ^ Compare: Hackman, J. Richard (2002). "1: The Challenge". Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press. p. 29. ISBN 9781633691216. Retrieved 2019-02-04. [...] I [...] do not count as effective any team for which the impact of the group experience on members' learning and well-being is more negative than positive.
  11. ^ Northouse, Peter Guy (1997). Leadership: theory and practice. Sage Publications. p. 160. ISBN 9780803957688. Retrieved 2019-02-04. The failures of teams have also been very dramatic and visible, however, making the need for information about and understanding of team effectiveness and team leadership essential for today's organizations [...].
  12. ^ "Transforming to Transform – Preconditions to Launching as a Team".

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