use of teams in the workplace
Please answer the following questions:
1. Why has the use of teams in the workplace increased so dramatically? To what can this be attributed?
2. Limitations such as group think and social loafing can sometimes be found on teams. What do these terms mean? What causes these limitations? What can be done to prevent them (or resolve them)?
Case: Building Teams and Work Groups
Angela Higgins was pleasantly surprised when she was selected for the company’s task force charged with developing criteria for a new, high-end product line to complement the company’s existing mid-range offerings. Yet after only a few short meetings, Angela was starting to wonder about her project work team even though the team consisted of some of the top talent in the company. She was sensing that no one was overly committed to finding innovative options, except for Ryan. However, Angela felt that Ryan had an ulterior motive and simply wanted to team to come up with a good plan because, as he put it, “This could be my ticket to the top,” and while he pushed the team to be productive, he personally never had anything to offer. And then there was Kim, who couldn’t get past her negativity to even try to be creative, as she was convinced that a high-end line was a bad business move and doomed to fail in this poor economy. Sarah and Andrew were great to work with but they seemed to be stretched thin with their main job duties and never able to devote their full time to any of the meetings. In the last meeting, Sarah also informed the team that she would be in China for the next month working on her new expansion line and would try to participate when she could, but feared she would be limited in her contributions. And who knew about Chase; he only rarely raised his head from his iPhone just long enough to mutter, “Sounds good to me.” With all this talent they should be able to put together a sound proposal, but with the way things had progressed so far, Angela was starting to wonder how.
1. What are the core issues impacting the team’s process?
2. How did this situation develop? What could have been done to achieve a different outcome?
3. How would you feel if you were Angela? Has a similar situation happened to you?
4. What should Angela do?