A team is very crucial in the overall operation of an organization. It had been proven that individuals cannot work alone; an employee must be part of a group or a team to function more effectively and efficiently.
Glinow (2008) emphasized that individuals contribute a lot to the overall performance of a company, group or institution. However, he also said that working alone, a person do not have the sufficient knowledge and capacity to achieve the goals and objectives of an organization. Therefore, an individual must be part of a team to make a difference in the success of any business entity.
Teams are a source of competitive advantage in the business arena (Glinow, 2008). Teams are significant groups in an organization that can propel task swiftly and competently. As they say “two heads or more are better than one.” A team that is composed of skilled and talented individuals can do more, give more and achieve more. This in turn, can bring more achievements and gains for companies.
Glinow (2008) said that people are social animals, so that informal groups exist throughout organizations. Many studies have proven that teams had various advantages for a company or organization. Johnson (2013) in her article “Advantages and Disadvantages of Teams in Organizations” said that teams promote creativity, provide motivation and build trust among employees.
However, teams may also have its disadvantages. If a team is not effective, then it is definitely bound to fail. It is therefore important to have effectiveness within a team in order to reach goals and achieve targets at work. There are several elements that make an effective team. This includes task characteristics, team size and team composition (Glinow, 2008).
Glinow (2008) emphasized that teams are more effective if their tasks are structured. To gain team effectiveness, there should be a high level of task interdependence. Task interdependence is the extent of sharing of team members as to inputs, tasks and responsibilities, and work processes within the organization. The three different levels are pooled interdependence, sequential interdependence and reciprocal interdependence (Glinow, 2008).
Pooled interdependence is the lowest level of interdependence. In this scenario, individuals in a team work individually an independently, but they share the same reliance to an authority. The members of the team share common payroll, the cafeteria and facilities. So, in this interdependence, there is not much team interaction because members or employees are secluded from one another because of their independence.
Meanwhile, sequential interdependence is interdependence where the output of the individual becomes the input of another. This is common in assembly lines where individuals pass one responsibility to another team member. This is interdependence where one relies on another to make the work easier and more efficient.
The reciprocal interdependence is the highest level of interdependence. In this scenario, there is an exchange of work output among individuals. Therefore, there is more interaction among team members. There is better coordination of ideas and the team relationship is made stronger through interface and collaboration.
As mentioned earlier, teams have their disadvantages too. People come from different backgrounds. It is therefore normal for people to have conflicts in ideas, notions and philosophies. The possibility of conflicts arising between team members is always a normal case. Sometimes, it nor managed, disagreements among team members can lead to arguments and hostility. Hostility within teams limits productivity, creativity and the decision-making process. Some members also work better than other members. Some contribute more and some less. A member of the team who cannot perform well in the team can hinder the pace of work and tasks (Johnson, 2013).
A potential constraint that might interfere with the CEO of Quokka Resources expectations on teams may include social loafing or compatibility issues, free-riding issues and resource constraint to develop teams within the organization.
Social loafing occurs when an individual in a team exert less effort than most members in a team. When this occurs, there is an imbalance of work load among members. Thus, it is important that in forming teams, it is best to form smaller groups that are made up of members who are motivated to take on responsibilities as a member of the team.
Incompatibility among members can be a constraint in building teams. While, there are individual differences, a team should be focused on achieving the same goals and objectives for the organization.
Meanwhile, there is also additional constraint in building teams in an organization. According to Glinow (2008), building teams have hidden costs. Maintaining a team can bring about additional costs on time and energy. These are called process loss costs. In addition to this, Glinow said that teams also need the appropriate environment to flourish. Teams are also needed to be motivated throughout their working years through rewards, incentives and other benefits that pose as additional financial constrain to some companies.
References: Glinow, M. (2008). Foundations of Team Dynamics. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from
Johnson, R. (2013). Advantages and Disadvantages of Teams in Organizations. Ehow.com. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from http://www.ehow.com/info_12095371_advantages-disadvantages-teams-organizations.html