Experience In Team Working Using Management Theories

The case study briefly discuss about the my real life experiences of working in a team and real time activities includes, which were happen in my past life when I was in different organizations. These include from school days to till now and how my behavior reflects in team. Here I am using theories, concepts or models which are interrelated to my experiences in team and these theories helped me a lot to build up analysis of my behavior explained through examples of my own observation and experience. These theories which were reflected my nature in different aspects of my life towards success.

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2. Introduction:

Here I am demonstrating my experiences in team working, even though the words group and team seems to be similar, there is difference in meaning and functionality. Hayes (1997) noted that idea of team must be one of the most widely used metaphors in organization life. According to Jon R. Katzenbach (1993)-“a team is a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”.

Group can be defined as small collection of people with balancing skills and abilities who are committed to leader’s goal and under leader control; teams generate results better than groups (Mackin). According to Katzenbach and smith (1993)-“indeed, these days, the virtues of teams and team working are extolled very widely”. So in my inspection teams are sturdily task oriented informal groups, teams are eternal or short-term, and these are formal groups and superb at achieving goals and set for them by the organization (Rollinson, 2008). The main characteristics that make a distinction between teams from groups include: multiple sources of information, task independencies, coordination among members, common and valued goals, specialized roles and responsibilities, task-relevant knowledge, intensive communication, and adaptive strategies to help respond to change. (Paris, Salas, & Cannon-Bowers, 2000)

Tuckman (1965) synthesized the findings of number theorists into his popular ‘Forming-Storming-Norming-performing’ model. It shows the behavior of the group.

Forming: This stage; individuals form into a group at first time. These members are reliant, seeking for support and guidance and having different types of culture. Here Members are high reliant on leader for support and path.

Storming: Here leaders face challenges with team members. The conflict management should be considered necessary in this stage in order to resolve individual decisions in group; this is due to sense of hopelessness. Due to irregular interactions, and members are rebellion against the leader or leading members.

Norming: Members are polite to each other, roles and responsibilities are clear and acceptable, discussions and developments about goal is a part of norming. Team members are less dependent on leader.

Performing: The team knows clearly significance of task and reaching the goal. Problems are solved effectively if they occur; here the team is ready for doing task. Everyone have equal tasks and sharing of ideas in order to reach goal.

(Huczynski, 2001)

Team working:

Effective team work is a critical factor in current management practices such as empowerment and total quality management (TQM). In service organizations team work plays major role such as hospitality organizations where there is direct effect on customer satisfaction (Mullins, 2001). Team work increases competiveness by: improving output, value and encouraging innovation; taking benefit of the opportunities provided by technical advances; improving employee motivation and commitment (Mullins, 2002). In team working any member point out other member directly if member doing anything wrong, by communicate with him and give any suggestions on spot without fear, in teamworking. Buchanan (1987, P. 40) mention the term ‘High performance work design’ to express the condition where ‘a work group is allocated an overall task and given discretion over how the job is to be done’.

3. Experience in team working using management theories:

Here I am going to discuss about basic management terms which are used to represent my behavior in the team. First I am going to discuss about the class room activities which I participated recently and also discuss later my past experiences.

Here I used two management theories which made me good at teamwork besides some other management models used to show my behavior in past. These are Vroom and Jago revised decision model and other one is Interaction analysis.

Vroom & Jago revised decision model:

This is revised model of Vroom and Yetton contingency model proposed by the Vroom and Jago, Consists of five main decision making styles from set of twelve of contingency variables. This model is mostly used in making the best decisions. We can use any of five decision styles may be effective in given situations. The contingency variables are: Quality requirement; commitment requirement; leader information; problem structure; commitment probability; goal congruence; subordinate conflict; subordinate information; time constraint; geographical dispersion; motivation time and motivation development. These are answered on five point scale. We select decision based on high rating given by majority members in team. For example, ‘how much importance did you put going to gym?’ the manager selects one of following responses: no importance; low importance; average importance; high importance; critical importance. Vroom and Jago developed four decision trees to a generic type of managerial problem:

An Individual-level problem with time constraints;

An individual-level problem in which the manager wishes to develop an employee’s decision-making ability;

A group-level problem in which the manager wishes to develop employee’s decision-making abilities; and

A time-driven group problem.

(Mullins, 2002)
My class room activity: “Rescuing people at risk”

This is first class room activity which I participated recently. We received task from our tutor, entire class was divided into different teams. The activity is rescuing the people who are in risk. The people details who were in danger as mentioned as first one: military person (age 50); second one: women with small baby; third one: young scientist (25) and fourth one: an old lady (age 67) who were in building, caught by fire.

My team consists of five members including me, one act as team leader. The task is, we generate best solution i.e. which person is rescued first, everyone should give their priorities list individually and then at last we select best solution in given period of time. This model helps me and our team in means of determines whether we should make a decision alone or involve a group, and to what extent the group should be involved.

Problem structure: It describes the nature of the problem. I already described the structure of the task previously. Here we should understand problem efficiently. Understanding problem is basis for any success. In our task we have less time here we performed the brainstorming technique which makes us good at understanding the structure of the building. Team analyzed the overview of structure for any loop holes to rescuing.

Goal congruence: Our team decided to produce the best solution and every member in team approved to this agreement. Each member in team presents their views and at last we give most priority to the solution agreed by majority of the members in the team based on five point scale rating.

Time constraint: We must complete the task within fifteen minutes so we set time to individual to submit solution in ten minutes and finally we utilize five minutes for discussing the best solution. Our team will be fail if we not make decision within a given time. I placed my decision to leader with my priorities. Time management is important criteria in any organization for getting better results.

Conflict with subordinates: Coming to my decision my priorities are mentioned as: first women with baby; second young scientist; third one military person and fourth one an old lady. The reasons for selecting people were first I gave preferences to age (baby) and second one talent (young scientist). Some members had different priorities which is quite different from me. So here the conflict happened, some members give priority to old people first and then younger ones. So team leader uses the five-point scale concept on basis of rating on the scale, the most effective one will be selected. This method removes the conflict effectively. Our team is not having sufficient communication because of culture and language problem and mutual understanding. Conflict as a positive and essential phenomenon is nicely argued by Drucker (1977, P.379):”the understanding that underlies the right decision grows out of the clash and conflict of opinions and out of the serious consideration of competing alternatives”. Yes I agreed with author Ducker’ words why because most of the people turns into panic, we have to face conflict effectively with our solutions by treating it as challenging, leader role is important to select good decision from these set of alternatives. (Tyson, 1989)

Motivation development: MULLINS (1996, P.480) defines motivation as “some driving force within individuals by which they attempt to achieve some goal in order to fulfill some need or expectation”. It means that each person has own belief about what is doing, it comes from experiencing failures. Here, to the leader, there is need to provide good motivation among the team members, but also each member in the team has knowledge on motivation theories. If individuals are motivated, then are likely to make good efforts in participation then it leads good result.

How to conclude this task means title

Here the solution is submitted on basis o five-point scale i.e. views of majority members in the team. It comes under third decision model i.e. group level problem, here leader wishes to develop member’s decision making ability. The priority order is same as which was stated before, I feel very happy for getting result in my views, and this model helps me in doing this activity, good decision making techniques, conflict elimination, quality management(in producing quality result).

The concept of Interaction analysis:

This approach has developed by Bales, tells that behavior in groups, and aim to provide ways of describing group process and factors influencing the process. In Bales’s- ‘Interaction process analysis’ every act of behavior is categorized, as it occurs, under twelve headings. These distinguish the ‘task’ and ‘socio-emotional’ functions. The categories applied to verbal and non- verbal interaction. Socio-emotional deals with positive and negative reactions; positive reactions include solidarity, tension release, agrees. And negative reactions consist of disagree, tension, antagonism. Coming to task function, it consists of attempted answers and questions. In attempted answers give idea about suggestion, opinion, and orientation. Questions deals with ask for orientation, suggestion and opinion.

In order to make group successful, there are two main set of functions must be take on – Task and Maintenance functions. Task functions useful in: problem solving, the accomplishment of the task of the group, exchange of ideas and information. Maintenance functions are concerned with emotional life of the group and aimed at building and maintaining the group as a successful working unit. It provides resolution of conflict, support, maintaining cohesiveness, relationships among the group members. Task and maintenance functions are performed by either group leader or members.

My class room activity:
Task: Design of shapes with limited resources.

The task is to design triangle, flag, ring, chain with limited resources. The class is divided into different teams, in each team there is lack of resources. There are some measurements in fixed in centimeters, length and breadth. In this activity my team consists of five members including me, here my role was as observer for making full list observations which were happen, related to my team. One act as team representative, the task consists of different teams having different types of resources for making design, in order to complete the task, team representative in each group exchange resources with each other. We should complete the task in a given amount of time.

Socio-emotional: Positive and negative reactions:

I observed many things both in positive and negative side. Positive reactions include; showing solidarity in the sense of mention the status of members work, providing help. I also observed that my team leader encouragement to the members, means of making jokes shows happiness. My team members are active in means of sharing ideas, mutual understanding and participation; exchange of resources effectively between teams. Negative reactions include: lack of time management and lack of motivation and planning and also poor communication of my team leader with other group team leaders. There is another thing that cheating tutor by usage of scale which was taken from one of our teammate bag secretly for measuring purpose without asking other teams; helping in doing cheating (hiding scale from tutor).

Task functions:

Task functions deals answers and questions. The task functions which I observed in the team as observer: My leader and also team members providing suggestions to each other, expressing opinion on work of others, express the feelings towards wrong things, clarifying the doubts raised by the members, evaluation and analysis of work and conflict management during design. My team members clarified several doubts by conservations with others in effective way.

How to conclude this task means title

We failed in submission of our design work not all some design shapes due to lack of time management and improper communication of my team leader with other leaders in exchanging resources (showing less interest). My observations reveal that due to lack of knowledge on brainstorming and creative thinking. Poor knowledge on mathematics. I think it is good idea to implement JIT (just in time) technique in team work which decreases consumption of time, it is new approach which implemented in production systems related to operation management (Rollinson, 2008).

Brainstorming: This is important concept which is used in many organizations (for managers).Brainstorming is way of getting large number of ideas from a group of people in a short time. The definition doesn’t say brainstorming produce good idea. Using this we generate multiple ideas consists of good and bad, it is our work to choose good solution from list of ideas. We faces brilliant to silly ideas, all ideas are acceptable. In our task brainstorming concept is useful in making decisions (designing plan) and using this technique we effectively manage the time. Here our team generated different ideas in short time involving all the members at time. (Rawlinson, 1981)

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model:

This theory was presented by Maslow in 1943, and concentrates on individual development and motivation. According to Maslow-‘people are wanting beings, they always want more and what they want depends on what they already have’. Human needs are arranged in the series of levels, in hierarchy of importance. Maslow identified eight natural needs, including the need to know and understand aesthetic needs, and the need of transcendence. Though, the hierarchy is usually shown five main levels, at lowest level physiological and at highest level self actualization.

The hierarchy needs are shown in series of steps, displayed in form of pyramid. The level consists of physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization needs. He also suggested that there is no importance to order. This theory comes under content theories of motivation, which explains specific things which actually motivate the individual at work, and also identifying people’s needs and strengths.

(Mullins, 2002)

Figure 12.6 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model ( how to reference image it taken from google images)

My real-time experiences at graduate level:

I was worked as student mentor and national social service (NSS) member in our college during period (2007-2010). The motivation of both jobs is same i.e. providing service to the people internally and externally. Student mentor services includes providing information about college services and make a notice of student problems to higher authority and communicating with students in various aspects like study guide, sports level, conducting seminars about latest information, I provide service within college level to students. Coming to NSS activities include providing help to poor people with help of management and students like conducting blood camps, financial aids to people who are in below poverty line and many social activities. In both services there some groups depend upon type of service. In student mentor services we were 35 members on overall college. And in NSS services there are approximately one fifty members from all branches. At first time when I was joining in services I got training and my experiences are mentioned using Maslow’s theory of hierarchy needs.

Maslow’s model which provides the basis for my work in means of individual behavior and motivation, I studied this theory which referred by my friend, this theory mainly deals with five areas which are mentioned in the diagram.

Physiological: It reflects my individual thinking in sense of homeostasis (the body’s automatic efforts to retain normal functioning) such as satisfaction of hunger, thirst and needs for oxygen and to maintain temperature regulation. It is significant need of every member in the team for team success, and also I understood the concepts related to biological way rather than shape or structure. It helps me in understanding different kind of people.

Safety: I provided human safety seminars to people who are in tribal areas as part of NSS activity. These include protecting from danger, security, predictability training. People were participated efficiently. Safety techniques plays vital role on human life. My group members also participated efficiently with good knowledge.

Love: These are often referred to as social needs, include making friends, social activities, it is important consideration for either student mentor or NSS member, and we provide service heart fully like our great Mother Teresa. It is important to show love not only to the outside people but also members among the group. I inspired by reading books of Mother Teresa, and her services to the people.

“There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those”-Mother Teresa.

(David, 2001)

Esteem needs: It is our basic ethic to give respect to people of different culture. The activities include self-respect which involves the desire for confidence, strength, independence and freedom, and achievement. My course work involves mingle with people, showing great respect, appreciation. Every member in the team should provide self-respect to each other then only the team will get success.

Self-actualization: This is the development of and realization of one’s full potential. In Maslow’s point of view-‘what humans can be, they must be’, or ‘becoming everything that one capable of becoming’. It includes growth, creativity among the team members towards goal.

Here I am willing to mention some useful concepts which reflected my behavior when I was doing my services:

Leadership: A leadership should be a ‘charismatic’ i.e. that enables leaders to motivate group to attain outstanding performance. In simple we say that leaders are one who has followers. Leaders having some essential attributes such as vision, integrity, commitment, creative ability, communication, risk taking and visibility. Management is different in the sense like it is art, doing things effectively by the people in order to achieve organizational goal. A good organization should have a mix of leaders and managers to succeed (Storey, 2004).

Action-centred leadership: It is general theorey associated with work of John Adair, focuses on what leaders actually do. He says that the effectiveness of leader depends on mainly three areas of need within work group: the need to achive common task, team maintenance and individual needs. In my openion it good idea to the leader having these responsibilites

sugests the write

Due to knoweldge in Maslow’s theory, it provides basic knowledge about human nature and also motivation towards success. I am successful in the team by implementation Maslow methodology.

Personal observation:

I would like to express my own observation from nature is team work of birds which are flying in the air, in order to reach long destination in short effectively, these birds follows the team work in formation of v-shape. The reasons behind formation of v-shape is that whole flock increases the flight efficiency compared to flying alone (without group), the flock maintains some good nature habits(in form of team work) like moving in same direction with constant velocity, helping nature in exchanging its positions.

4. Conclusion:

I identified my behavior while working in team as individual using management theories in different ways like experiencing with members of diverse culture and environment. I learned how to behave with people and mingle in team work. After observed from different sources of knowledge, I noticed some recommendations which are needed for team working. In every organization there is need to implement efficient strategies for building effective team or group besides customer satisfaction even though organizations had Human resource Management(HRM). I recommend parents, schools and colleges to provide basic subjects which improve team work and provide special interest in developing management skills.