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Business Studies Teamwork Essay

Abstract:

Team work, as we all know is one of the main reasons for the success of many organizations. This concept of teamwork is not only limited to organizations but used in almost every stage of an individual`s life. From the basic stages of life, a person would be a part of one team or the other, be it intentionally or otherwise. For instance, sports, a social activity, business development or a project. The more formal the task is, the more is the responsibility of the individual towards the particular task. Even though a person is a strong team player he/she can impede the success of the team. It may sound contradicting but it is possible in practical. For example, during a presentation given by a team at a science exhibition which I have visited recently, one person has accepted the task of going to the flipchart and presenting it. He was highly motivated and calls himself a good team player and of course did everything he can to make that task success. At the same time while presenting their work, he did as much to obstruct the team effort instead of supporting it. For example, he dismissed several ideas put forward by other which he thought were irrelevant without a second thought about it. Other team members are totally disappointed which we can clearly make out from the faces of the other team members. This person heart was in the right place given how strenuously he wanted the team to succeed. Yet from the way he worked, it seems like he was only trying to make the task even more difficult. Same was the case with other participants as well. One says he is a very good listener but misinterprets what was just said. Another person describes himself as a solution supporter but keeps on adding points prolonging the discussions. None of them realized how their behavior was opposing the very team success they wanted to achieve. Hence, how people behave and perform as members of a group is as important as their behavior or performance as individuals. Even though the task becomes easier and achievable for an individual when working in a team, it can also be potentially demanding. In this paper I would critically evaluate using the theories and research in this field, how working in a group can be both psychologically rewarding as well as potentially demanding for the individual.


Using Tuckman's Model (Tuckman, 1965):

When I was working as software engineer in Symbiosis Technologies, a team of 10 were given responsibility of completing a project for our client: TechDynamics. Our team was divided into two groups of 5 members each with a point of contact (POC) from each group. I was given the responsibility of POC for one of the group and I led the team. I was responsible for taking the business requirements from the client and to divide the task to the team according to their expertise. End of the day I would consolidate the work done by the team members. This stage is referred to asFormingin this model where we establish base level expectations; identify similarities, agreeing on common goals, making contact and bonding, developing trust and inter-dependency.

Everyone in the team was responsible for his/her part of the work. We would take ownership for the work assigned to us and ensured that the output would be clean with no errors. We also had a good social support between our team mates and compensated other work. We accomplished the task on time with minimal number of errors. This was referred to asStormingwhere we identified power and control issues, gained skills in communication, identified resources, shared ideas, feelings and opinions.

With time we started building our team with increased communication and better decisions were taken with negotiations and consensus building as explained in theNormingstage in this model.

Once there was collaboration in the team, performance and the productivity of the team got better with time as we worked collaboratively. We found solutions to problems using appropriate controls, established unique identity and worked for each other. This was thePerformingstage

Many years later , Tuckman`s model was updated(Tuckman & Jensen, 1977) , a fifth stage is added and this is called as the adjourning stage where some people might leave the team for various reasons, however they still are influenced by those valued developed during this team work.

According to Homan`s Theory, patters of interactions between group members are of sociological interest because of their broad significance for members social life (Homans, 1951). According to this theory of group dynamics, there are three fundamental concepts: Activity, Interaction and Sentiment. This theory states that when two people in a team contact regarding task, they become friendlier than required for the task. This is quite true and also very helpful within a team because as discussed earlier, a team would move from norming stage to a performing stage when there is a closer interaction because of the social support by each other in the team.


Hawthorne effect (Mayo, 1933)

When we are working for the client, in the early stage of the project we are not monitored by our client, so there is less pressure on each member of the team and we used to take it for granted. Sometimes we were not punctual which delayed our delivery of the product. Due to this reason our client asked our team members to submit daily work report and asked us to work on remote computers so that they can track our status time to time and day to day. This increased pressure on every member of the team and from then we used to be punctual enough and worked with our full potential. This increased the output and we were able to complete the work early then what we expected. After few days we were not monitored by our client regularly but still our working potential remained the same.

In our team even though everybody are capable of working to there full potential , some of our member lacked few technical skills to accomplish their task in specified time or due to lack awareness about what they are expected to perform. So for this reason, coworkers of the team exerted their combined effort to influence associates who are not meeting expectations. This created peer pressure in our team. But for preventing the negative peer pressure we sent out team members who lack technical skills to special training centers for improving there skills and we conducted a team meet for explaining what exactly we are expecting from them. This resulted in a positive peer pressure and helped our team to perform better. "Negative peer pressure may work, but positive peer pressure will work more effective".

All our team members had a good co-ordination among ourselves. With lot of members working, we had a diversity of skills and expertise. So this helped us to compensate and help others also to complete the task before we leave for the day. Everyone in the team had a good team spirit and everyone has played their role as a team player well. However, this is not the case always. There would be many scenarios wherein, the resources can't perform well in spite of good resources. That is because of lack co-ordination and conflicts between the team members. Conflicts in the team are very natural as people from different personalities, different culture, and different views come into a common platform. The ability to distinguish these early and to understand the myth in these problems is essential, to make the differences work for the team to be effective. Conflicts in team are generally due to the opinion that "my way is the right way" or misinterpretation of motives by using self as an indication, Judging rather than appreciating differences etc. If team members can sense these tendencies in themselves and nip such problems in the bud, they will yield from the diversity that adds all the colors to the rainbow of the team.

As a team, it is also required to recognize the strengths and weakness of every team members. As a team, everyone needs to boost up the confidences of the fellow team member by pointing his strengths, this would not only build up their faith upon themselves but also will build up the confidences on the team and would also increase the social relation between the team which is very much required. Instead if any team member always points out a person negatives or criticizes the work completed by the person in the group, he/she would lose interest in the work and would no long take ownership for his work. This would not only affect the performances of that person but would affect the team performances on the whole.

Also during brainstorming discussion about a topic, it is very much required to understand the ideas of our colleagues. It is required to listen actively the fellow ideas and shut down any bad feelings towards them during work. If we allow any bad feelings to brew, that person would feel isolated or discriminated. Any idea put forward by the team member should be analyzed in all directions. Analysis of all the ideas would make everyone feel that they are part of the team and would strive hard to achieve the goal together. Criticizing or neglecting any team member during the discussion would make them feel lost or neglected from the team which is not good for the team on the whole. Robert Kelley said, "Be less of a hero and more of a hero maker." He was wise to identify that when people work together in coordination by helping and supporting each other, a team would be more productive. (Kelly 1992)

When working in a team, the risk is equally shared among all the team members. But sometimes, it happens that no one takes the blame or the responsibility for failure. Also no one knows who is doing what and the job also might not be done if there is no proper communication between the team members. So proper communication is very much required among the team members. Also all the team members should feel responsible for the end product.

It is also the responsibility of the team leader to check out who is working hard. If the right person is not recognized or not appreciated for the work he has accomplished at the right time, that person would lose interest over period of time. It is the responsibility of the team lead or the manager to recognize the strengths and weakness of the team and appreciate the right ones at right time. It is also his responsibility to work encourage the weaker section of the people to outperform. This would make the team balanced.

It is always good to work in team provided the team members are sociable and knows how to work in a team. For Teamwork to be successful it is required to have social skills like listening, discussing, questioning, persuading, respecting, helping, sharing, participating, communicating are effectively practiced by every team member. It is required to value the ideas of every fellow person in the team. Every team member should be an active listener. Analyze and discuss the idea shared by the other person carefully. Appreciate the person for his idea. If a better idea is brought up, it is also required to persuade others and to bring everyone to consensus. Respecting others, sharing and helping others will help build good relation among the team members.

Every coin has two sides. Similarly the same would turn into disadvantage when the team is not well or the people don't like each other. Also it happens that people don't know how to work in a team. Therefore, it is required to train the resources or select them wisely.


Belbin's Theory (Meredith, 2004):

Belbin defines a team role as "a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way". He has developed nine behaviors or team roles. Every team role has its particular strengths and certain allowable weakness too and each has an important contribution to a team together. The nine behaviors or team roles are:

  1. Plant: It is symbolized by someone who is creative, imaginative and unorthodox to solve difficulties.

  2. Resource Investigator: Person who is enthusiastic and communicative. He/she should be able to explore new opportunities.

  3. Co-ordinator: A person who is mature, confident, promotes decision making and delegates work properly.

  4. Shaper: It represents someone who is driven to overcome obstacles and thrives on challenge and pressure.

  5. Monitor Evaluator: Is someone who is strategic, sees all options and judges accurately.

  6. Team worker: A person, who is co-operative, mild, diplomatic, listens, builds and averts any friction between team members.

  7. Implementer: Is someone who is disciplined, efficient and reliable. That person should be able to turn ideas into practicality.

  8. Completer Finisher: She/he should contribute towards completing the task on time and who searches for error and omits them.

  9. Specialist: A specialist should be single minded, dedicated and provides knowledge or skills in rare supply.

As I worked as a team leader to a project I can relate my role to this instance. The team leader is a Co-coordinator here; he plays a vital role in the success or failure of the team. The team leader should spare time in team building activities. He should have the commitment towards work and the team. This would inspire subordinates and value his words. Each member in the team should be valued and also should make sure that a new comer should be comfortable in the new environment. He should be able to support all his team members during tough time and appreciate them timely for their good work. It is the team lead who has to encourage his team members and instigate energy and enthusiasm among the team members. This would make the team responsible for all the activities and work together as a team.

Team leader must lead the way instead of giving suggestions from behind ,he must be an inspiration for every team member. The words of Larry Bird emphasize this, "leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you're ready to play as tough as you're able to, you'd better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you're not giving it all you've got. Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It's being able to take it as well as dish it out. That's the only way you're going to get respect from the players." (Bird 2007)


Conclusion:

Team work is defined as "a joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group." in Webster's New World Dictionary. The joint action of people is effective when all the team members have certain characteristics. They are, the team must have a clear goal. Everyone should know what they need to complete and what is expected as a team. The team must have a collaborative climate. They should be good listeners, competent and commitment towards work. The team should obey the ideas shared by others and also should be able to persuade others when others idea would bring better results. Team members should not brew any negative opinions over others. Importantly it is the responsibility of the team lead to recognize the pros and cons of the team and support the team in timely fashion. She/he should monitor the performances of the team and recognize the team effort and accolade them for all their support during the hard times.

Speaking about the darker side of team work, when the feeling of oneness among the team members is missing then, however, technically strong a team is it would lead to failure of accomplish of task. There would be no co-ordination between them and everyone would try to blame or criticize others. In certain scenarios, individual accountability will not be recognized over the team. Also the same person will be criticized along with others when there is failure in the completion of task. So he/she would lose interest over the work. So it is the responsibility of the team lead to identify that person and acknowledge him for his work. This would also impress others to work in the same way.

So when everyone in the team has team spirit and realize that we are working for a common cause/purpose then the team would be successful. When the same characteristic is missing among the team then the end product would not be impressive whatever the technical level be. Also the team lead should always drive the team towards the correct direction with his supports or acknowledgements and solve the problems among team members in an unbiased and friendly manner.


References:

TUCKMAN, B.W. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399.

TUCKMAN, B.W. & JENSEN, M. A. (1977). Stages of small group development revisited. Group and Organization Studies, 2, 419-427.

Homans, G.C (1951).The human group. New York: Harcourt: Brace

Bird, Larry. (2007).Say Hello to your very own book of Quotes.Available: www.quotationsbook.com. Last accessed 14 mar 2010

Mayo, Elton (1933).The human problem of an Industrian civilization. New York: Macmillan

Arthur R.Pell (1999).The Complete Idiots Guide t Team Building. USA: Alpha Books. 133.

Kelley, Robert (1992).The Power of Followership. USA: Doubleday Business Publications.

Belbin, R. Meredith (2004). Management Teams: Why They Succeed or

Fail, Butterworth Heinemann, 2nd ed., ISBN: 0 7506 5910 6.

Godskesen M. (2009)IMPROVING TEAMWORK ABILITIES ACROSS

CULTURAL DIFFERENCESBelbin group role theory applied.Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark.

Farrell M.P., Schimitt M.H., & Heinemann G.D. (2001). Informal roles and the stages of interdisciplinary team development.JOURNAL OF INTERPROFESSIONAL CARE. (15(3)), 282-291.

Crouch A and Yetton P. (1998)Manager-Subordinate Dyads: Relationships among Task and Social Contact, Manager Friendliness and Subordinate Performance in Management Groups.ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND HUMAN DECISION PROCESSES, 41, pp.65-82.

Brannigan A and Zwerman W. (2001). The Real Hawthrone effect.Society, pp55-60

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/free-essays/business/team-work.php


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Linda Senior Lecturer in Economics, Essay UK Researcher Team.

Teamwork is one of the most important things in every business organisation as it

combines the efforts of all the team members to achieve the main objectives of the

organisation. Every business entity today requires this particular skill within their

operating environment. And our report through various examples of real life

experiences taken down via various newspapers, academic journals, books, magazines,

and also various articles published on different web pages shows how teamwork and

leader ship skills added success to their stories and gradually helped them to achieve

their goals/objectives in the long run.

The report precisely consists the meaning of teamwork, and the organisations that

require teamwork. It also throws light upon how leadership skills and effective

teamwork go hand-in-hand and make a difference in a business organisation. The report

also states the reason of who individually managed business prove to be a big flop in

the long-run. It also discusses about how the work should be extracted from the

employees and also the basis upon which the work should be assigned to respective

employees.

This report states that how teamwork has made a drastic change and led several

companies towards success with the help of an example of a company which faced

several challenges in achieving the company’s main objectives but gradually became

successful with effective teamwork.

In this report we will discuss about how Toyota Kirloskar motors came across the

difficulties which it was facing since three long years soon started climbing the doors of

success after the new MD changed his approach towards the Indian workers as the

workers were all giving out excuses and were not feeing the sense of being

the part of the company, and how it all got changed through motivation, and

teamwork.

Several examples from Forbes have also been taken which show the methods that the

successful leaders adapted in their working environment and also the impact that the

methods caused.

“Nothing succeeds like teamwork” has been said by Dr Kushagra Katariya is the

CEO of Artemis Health Sciences.

The essence of business lies in making money through trade and commerce. These

activities involve the participation of a lot of individuals. In order to reach out to a large

group’s sensibilities, a business, no matter what size it might be, requires everyone to

work in synchronisation with each other. This synchronisation is described very aptly

by the French as ‘esprit de corps’. In a lay man’s words, this means that unity is

required for flourishing and this unity is synonymous with ‘team work’.

For team work to lead to a team that actually works, and that too well, there is a dire

need for there to be equality within the participation. The hierarchal distribution of

teams always tends to cause conflict because certain people feel prejudiced or

subjugated. When this unequal distribution is removed, people tend to perform to their

best potentialities and the results of team work in a business are extremely positive.

Team work also initiates a sense of camaraderie where team members become our

families and responsibilities. We feel the need to meet their expectations before ours

and that pushes us to outperform ourselves. Moreover, when a person approaches this

set of people who treat each other like family, he feels a sense of comfort amongst

people who are contended and happy amongst each other. This fosters a good buyer-

seller relationship.

Thus, team work is what makes a business flourish, the agreeability of the team mates

and the collective vision they call their point of view helps them stick together. This

very same vision helps them have a focused goal that they can contribute to with their

own inputs, in order to make maximum monetary profit which is their aim at the end of

the day. As published on the website ‘happy-manager’.

Today, teamwork is an essence of every successful Business. In this dynamic business

environment any organisation cannot survive on individual efforts in the long-run.” It is

very vital to involve all the staff members and bring out the best out them in this

changing environment” as published in the article at Succesories.

Teamwork can be defined as a process of working together collaboratively with a group

of people in order to achieve a common goal .It is a very crucial part of any successful

business, as it helps to bind the efforts of all the employees.

Sometimes, people try to achieve goals by themselves because of their over confidence

on themselves and self esteem issues .But one is really a small in number to achieve a

goal, which makes the work more complex and therefore difficult to achieve.

And, therefore to achieve any task through teamwork each employee should be

assigned the work which he is capable of doing in other words; a place where he/she

can add their most .It is very important to know the talents and potential of your team

members and accordingly should be assigned the work. Evaluation of each employee’s

skills, discipline, strengths, experience, and potential should be done before assigning

any task. In today’s dynamic environment the type of challenge determines the type of

team required. A new challenge requires a creative team, and an Everest — sized

challenge requires an experienced team respectively.

Also the experienced officials should keep an eye on the employees and should always

provide direction, support, or any further guidance which employees require. In a team

one should only be appointed as leader when he/she potentially proves to have all the

skills required for example; How to extract the work out of their employees? How to

manage the changes of dynamic environment?

The success of every business organization lies on how hardworking, and determined

the team members are and one should always motivate its team members to achieve its

objectives, it is the very essence of a successful organization, as published in the book”

The human history has shown us that it takes a special person with excellent leadership

skills and competencies to build the most successful companies. Let us consider an

example based in Forbes, Jack Welch (CEO and Chairman of General Electronics,

1981-2001) was a person who strongly believed in Change since the Business

Environment is Dynamic in nature, and also in knowing one’s work and the potential of

rest of the team properly. And also his business strategies were based on the three things

that he believed in. Another example is of Steve Kenfer who was the CEO and Founder

of “Trip Advisor” which has gradually become one of the World’s biggest Travel

Website these days. Steve Kenfer strongly believed that his leadership qualities and

motivational skills helped his company to touch the sky. He believes that every leader

should have skills to understand their employees and their hidden skill so that they can

use the skill in a rightful way for the growth of the company as published in a article

in” Forbes Magazine”.

The further example signifies the importance of teamwork and how it helps to achieve

the goals of a Business organization.

The importance of teamwork can be seen in any successful organisation, Toyota

Kirloskar Motor India which was facing failure in India since 18 months is one of the

best examples to showcase the significance of teamwork in any organisation. Naomi

Ishii, when became the Managing Director of TKM he tried to figure out the strengths

and weakness within the company and very soon realised that the Indian workers had

lost their confidence in the company and basically had no idea of company’s future

goals. And very soon the workers went on strike; the essence of teamwork was

somewhere diminished.

Soon after when the lockout was lifted from within the company Ishii started involving

all the Indian Leaders in order to get different perspectives regarding the Indian market.

Effective communication among the company officials, involving HR mangers and

leaders of every department inside the company made the intra relations better.

And very soon they got an opportunity to present their mid-term and long-term

strategies in front of Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan,, in July 2014. And the efforts of

the leaders could be very easily seen which served as a proof of increased sense of

belonging and ownership.

The company was operating quite well in India. The communication gap was therefore

bridged which gradually made the discussions and plans on supply and demand better.

Teamwork therefore proved to be the most important factor for the company’s success

and made concern and empathy for the team workers and the future challenges, as

posted by Murali Gopalan in an article published by THE BUSINESS LINE.

Business expects far more from employees than technical and generic skills. Teamwork

is a multi-dimensional concept which has gained recent popularity and some success in

business. Team working helps in increasing productivity and effectiveness of the

employees and the organisation. The team culture plays an important role in today’s

business because it helps in developing individual skills to teamwork. It also helps in

destroying all the traditional problems which occur in a business like the

communication and coordination.

Teamwork tools is now applied in few universities to enhance the practical task of

empowerment and leadership. Good leader should have some unique qualities like

Extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, and predisposition.

Teamwork has become an essential element for the success and survival of a business.

Tips for team building

1) Form teams to tackle the real issues in the business

2) Hold departmental meetings to review the project

3) Build up fun and share experience in the business

4) Celebrate the success in group.

The major element helps in following teamwork is ‘Trust’ and the members are not

individually responsible for the successes or failures of their team in the organisation.

Teams often arises when all the employees are willing to work together to accomplish a

specific goal. Teamwork at work place does not only benefits your workers but also

significantly affects in your business

Importance of teamwork

Teamwork enables you to complete the task faster and more efficiently than tackling

project individually. It also reduces the pressure on workers which allows him to be

through in his roles and specialisation.

Teamwork is also very important in an organisation because it gives employees with a

opportunity to socialise with each other which helps in improving the relation among

each other.

Teamwork increases the accountability of every member of the team, especially when

working under people who command a lot of respect within the business.

Journals

Academy of Management Journal Administrative Science Quarterly

American Psychologist Harvard Business Review

Human Systems Development Industrial Management Review

Journal of Applied Psychology OD Practition

CONCLUSION

This projects tell us the importance of teamwork in a business. We come to know that

no company can be a success in the market if they lack team spirit. Companies should

make their employees believe that teamwork is the heart of the business. Success is only

possible when employees start working from ‘I’ to ‘WE’.

Working in a team benefits the employees as well as the company. Employees are

benefitted as they will have a healthy competition amongst themselves if they work in a

group. Teamwork also improves the relationship of employees with each other as they

always work together and know more about each other. If the efficiency of the

employees increase it will automatically benefit the business. Toyota Kirloskar Motor

India is an example of how company can be a success if they follow teamwork.

Without a good manager teamwork cannot be achieved. It is the managers role to guide

his employees and encourage them to do their task better and together. Only with a

good leader the team can be a success. The manager should motivate the team so that

group goals are preference rather than individual goals. Working in a team they can

achieve the group goals as well as their individual goals.

If a company does not work in a team then there is failure of the business. Like the

SWISSAIR which declined in 2002 due to mismanagement and lack of teamwork in the

organisation. These kind of stories tell us the importance of team work and proper

management in the company.

We can say that the company is an effective team only if the company has a definite

goal, competitive staff, good leadership, and good working conditions.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is

success-Henry Ford”