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  1. What are teams and how do they differ from groups? How have your own experiences in work teams compared to those described in this chapter? Based on what you read, what could be done to make your own team experiences more successful?
  2. Why is the use of teams in organizations becoming more popular?
  3. Based on the information in Chapter 10, do you believe you are a team player?  Why or why not?  How might you improve your ability to function well on effective teams?

Essentials of Organizational Behavior

Fourteenth Edition

Chapter 9

Foundations of Group Behavior

Copyright © 2018, 2016, 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2018, 2016, 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2018, 2016, 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

After studying this chapter you should be able to:

Distinguish between the different types of groups.

Describe the punctuated-equilibrium model of group development.

Show how role requirements change in different situations.

Demonstrate how norms exert influence on an individual’s behavior.

Show how status and size differences affect group performance.

Describe how issues of cohesiveness and diversity can be integrated for group effectiveness.

Contrast the strengths and weaknesses of group decision making.

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Groups and Group Identity

Group: Two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who come together to achieve particular objectives

Formal: Defined by the organization’s structure

Informal: Neither formally structured nor organizationally determined

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Groups are defined as two or more individuals who come together to achieve a set goal. There are two main types of groups. The first is a formal group, where the organization establishes the group with defined work tasks and outcomes. The second group is an informal group that is not part of the organizational structure. They are often established in reaction to a need for social interaction and form naturally. Informal groups can have a significant influence on behavior and performance.

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Social Identity

Social identity theory

Perspective that considers when and why individuals consider themselves members of groups

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Positive shared experiences enhance our bonds with our groups. Social identity theory explores our tendency to personally invest in the accomplishments of a group.

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Ingroups and Outgroups

Ingroup favoritism

Occurs when we see members of our group as better than other people and people not in our group as all the same

Outgroup

The inverse of an ingroup

Can mean anyone outside the group, but usually it is an identified other group

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Ingroup favoritism occurs when we see members of our group as being better than other people and people not in our group as being all the same. Research shows that people with low-openness and/or low agreeableness are more susceptible to ingroup favoritism. The opposite of an ingroup is an outgroup.

Animosity may exist between ingroups and outgroups, especially in the area of religion.

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Punctuated Equilibrium Model for Temporary Groups

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Temporary groups follow a punctuated equilibrium model. The first meeting sets the group’s direction, after which a period of inertia sets in until about half the group’s allotted time is used up. At that point, a transition initiates major changes, followed by a second period of inertia. The group’s last meeting is characterized by a much higher level of activity.

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Group Property 1: Roles

Role: The set of expected behavior patterns that are attributed to occupying a given position in a social unit

Role perception – our view of how we’re supposed to act in a given situation

Role expectations – how others believe you should act in a given situation

Role conflict – conflict experienced when multiple roles are incompatible

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Work groups have properties, including roles, norms, status, size, and cohesiveness, that shape the behavior of members. These properties can help explain and predict behavior within the group and the performance of the group itself.

Roles are the expected behavior individuals will take on in a group such as the leader or the task master. Each role is assigned a certain identity that explains expected attitudes and behaviors that correspond with the role identity. Each individual has their own point of view of how they are supposed to act in the context of the group; this is called role perception. Role expectations look at how others believe a person should act in a given situation. Role conflict occurs when the expected behaviors don’t match up with the behaviors being exhibited.

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Group Property 2: Norms

Norms:

Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group’s members

Norms and emotions

Norms and conformity

Norms and behavior

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Norms are standards of behavior that are acceptable by group members. Research shows that norms dictate the experience of emotions for individuals and for groups – so people grow to interpret their shared emotions in the same way.

Groups can place strong pressures on individual members to change their attitudes and behaviors to match the standards of the group. Solomon Asch and others have researched this pressure to conform as shown in the next slide.

The Hawthorne studies, which will be discussed later, showed the influence of norms on employee behavior.

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Norms and Conformity

Reference groups: Groups in which a person is aware of other members, defines self as a member, believes group members to be significant

Individuals try to conform to norms of these groups

Asch Studies

Members avoid being visibly different

Members with differing opinions feel extensive pressure to align with others

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The Asch studies, which were conducted in the early 1950s, found that groups can encourage members to change their attitudes and behaviors to be more in line with those of the other group members.

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Norms and Behavior

Lessons from the Hawthorne studies:

Productivity increased because groups were paid attention to by the observers – not because of changes in environment

Workers in groups do not maximize individual economic rewards

Group standards are set and enforced by the group itself

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The Hawthorne studies were conducted in the 1920s and 1930s. This research has been widely used in the understanding of group interactions. These studies found that worker behavior was highly influenced by group norms and that individual productivity was influenced by the standards the group set forth. Also, money was not as important in determining worker output as group standards and sentiments were.

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Deviant Workplace Behavior (1 of 2)

Deviant Workplace Behavior: Voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and, in doing so, threatens the well-being of the organization or its members

Likely to flourish when:

Supported by group norms

People are in groups

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Some individuals do not like to conform and adhere to set norms for a number of reasons. Individuals of this nature may engage in deviant workplace behavior or behavior that goes against organizational norms and hinders the desired outcomes of the organization.

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Deviant Workplace Behavior (2 of 2)

Production

Leaving early

Intentionally working slowly

Wasting resources

Property

Sabotage

Lying about hours worked

Stealing from the organization

Political

Showing favoritism

Gossiping and spreading rumors

Blaming coworkers

Personal aggression

Sexual harassment

Verbal abuse

Stealing from coworkers

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Group Property 3: Status

Status: A socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others

Determined by:

The power a person wields over others

A person’s ability to contribute to a group’s goals

An individual’s personal characteristics

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Status is another group property and refers to the position or rank given to groups or their members as a way to differentiate members. Status can influence behavior and has been found to be a significant motivator. The status characteristics theory suggests that status is derived by one of three sources: the power a person has over others, the ability to contribute to group goals, or personal characteristics.

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Impact of Status (1 of 2)

Status and Norms

High-status members often have more freedom to deviate from norms and are better able to resist conformity pressures

Status and Group Interaction

High status people are more assertive

Low status members may not participate

Group creativity may suffer

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Status can have an impact on a number of things in groups. First, it can impact norms within a group where high-status members don’t feel the need to conform to group norms but can pressure others to conform. Second, it can impact group interaction, where members who hold more status tend to be more assertive and can hinder new ideas being presented. Finally, it impacts perceived equity in a group, which will influence how engaged others are in the group process.

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Impact of Status (2 of 2)

Status and Inequity

Perceived inequity creates disequilibrium

Status and Stigmatization

People who are stigmatized can “infect” others

Stigma by association

Group Status

Us versus them mentality

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Status impacts perceived equity in a group, which will influence how engaged others are in the group process. Your status may affected by the people you are affiliated with. Finally, the us versus them mentality that we acquire early in life influences how society treats ingroups and outgroups.

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Group Property 4: Size

Smaller groups are faster at completing tasks – members perform better

Large groups are consistently better at problem solving

Social loafing: tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than alone

Consistent with individualistic cultures

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Size is an important factor in group behavior as well and impacts the behavior in groups. The larger the group, the harder it is to get contributions from all members in a timely manner. In contrast, small groups can be limited in their problem-solving ability and the availability of resources could be limited. There are some detrimental behaviors that can occur around group size. For example, as groups get larger, social loafing can occur. Some individuals may put in less effort because they think others in the group will make up for them.

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Preventing Social Loafing

Set group goals

Increase inter-group competition

Engage in peer evaluation

Select members who have high motivation and like to work in groups

Distribute group rewards based on members’ individual contributions

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Social loafing occurs when individuals don’t work as hard in groups as they would on an individual basis.

When working with groups, managers must be sure to build in individual accountability. Social loafing can be prevented by setting up goals, encouraging intergroup competition, using peer evaluation as part of the feedback process, and linking group rewards to individual behavior.

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Group Property 5: Cohesiveness

Cohesiveness: The degree to which members of the group are attracted to each other and motivated to stay in the group

Performance-related norms are the moderating variable for productivity and cohesiveness

High cohesiveness with high norms gives higher productivity

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The final property of groups is group cohesiveness or the degree to which group members want to stay together and are motivated to work together as a group. Managers can do a lot to encourage group cohesiveness.

If performance norms are high, then a more cohesive group will rise to the occasion and will achieve a high level of productivity.

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Encouraging Cohesiveness

Make the group smaller

Encourage agreement with group goals

Increase the time spent together

Increase the status and perceived difficulty of group membership

Stimulate competition with other groups

Give rewards to the group rather than to individual members

Physically isolate the group

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As outlined, there are many ways to encourage cohesiveness in a group. Cohesiveness is facilitated when groups are kept small, all members have an understanding of group goals, the group is encouraged to spend time together, and the perceived status of the group is increased. In addition, by stimulating competition with other groups, members will find ways to work together. Managers can also reward the group as a whole and not just individuals within the group. Finally, they can physically isolate the group by sending them on a retreat or giving them their own work space. These actions can significantly influence group cohesiveness.

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Group Property 6: Diversity

Diversity: the degree to which members of the group are similar to or different from one another

Diversity increases group conflict but may improve group performance in the long term

Types of group diversity

Surface level diversity

Deep level diversity

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Diversity refers to the degree to which members of a group are similar or different from one another. These differences, which may be cultural or demographic, can increase group conflict in the short term, but once the conflicts are resolved, the group may actually perform better than a non-diverse group.

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Challenges of Group Diversity

Fault lines: perceived divisions that split groups into two or more subgroups based on individual differences such as gender, race, age, work experience, and education

Splits are generally detrimental to group functioning and performance

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Overall, although research on faultlines suggests that diversity in groups is a potentially double-edged sword, recent work indicates that they can be strategically employed to improve performance.

One study suggested that faultlines based on differences in skill, knowledge, and expertise could be beneficial when the groups were in organizational cultures that strongly emphasized results. This type of culture focuses people’s attention on what’s important to the company rather than on problems arising from sub-groups.

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Group Decision Making

Strengths

Generate more complete information and knowledge

Increased diversity of views

Increased acceptance of a solution

Weaknesses

Takes longer

Conformity pressures

Discussions can be dominated by one or a few members

Ambiguous responsibility for the final outcome

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Group decision making can be beneficial, but it also has its disadvantages. Groups do tend to generate more complete information and knowledge, as well as offer a greater diversity of views and increased creativity, but since more people are involved in the decision, there is a risk of conformity and no clear responsibility for outcomes. Moreover, discussions can be dominated by a few members.

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Effectiveness and Efficiency

Effectiveness

Accuracy – group is better than average individual but worse than most accurate group member

Speed – individuals are faster

Creativity – groups are better

Degree of acceptance – groups are better

Efficiency

Groups are generally less efficient

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In some situations groups are more effective or efficient, and in other situations, individuals are. When it comes to accuracy, groups tend to perform better, but they are not as fast. Groups can be more creative, and their decisions may be better accepted because of multi-person buy in.

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Groupthink and Groupshift

Groupthink: relates to norms and describes situations in which group pressures for conformity deter the group from critically appraising unusual, minority, or unpopular views

Groupshift: describes the way group members tend to exaggerate their initial positions when discussing alternatives and arriving at solutions

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Groupthink

Groupthink: deterioration of individual’s mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgments as a result of group pressures

Members:

Rationalize away resistance to assumptions

Pressure doubters to support the majority

Doubters keep silent/minimize their misgivings

Interpret silence as a “yes” vote

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A common problem with groups is groupthink. This occurs when the group is seeking conformity and there is pressure to come to a conclusion without critically appraising alternative viewpoints.

Members are more likely to engage in groupthink when they tend to rationalize away any resistance to assumptions, and they feel pressure to support the majority. Doubters tend to keep silent and minimize their thoughts on what might be wrong with a proposed solution, and the rest of the group interprets this to be a yes vote.

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Minimizing Groupthink

Limit group size to less than 10

Encourage group leaders to actively seek input from all members and avoid expressing their own opinions

Appoint a “devil’s advocate”

Use exercises that stimulate active discussion of diverse alternatives

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Groupthink can be minimized by limiting the group size, having a leader who actively seeks input from all members, and by appointing a devil’s advocate, or someone who is always trying to look at things from a different perspective.

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Groupshift or Group Polarization

Groupshift: Group discussions lead members to assume new, more extreme, positions

Groups often take positions of greater risk or greater caution

May be due to diffused responsibility or greater comfort level among members

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Another phenomenon in the group decision-making process is groupshift, where once a solution is selected, group members tend to exaggerate the initial positions that they hold. This can cause a shift to a more conservative or risky decision.

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Group Decision-Making Techniques

Interacting groups

Meet face to face and rely on verbal and non-verbal interactions to communicate

Brainstorming

Generates a list of creative alternatives

Problem: production blocking

Nominal Group Technique (NGT)

Restricts discussion during the decision-making process to encourage independent thinking

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Some group techniques can assist in the decision-making process. The first technique that can help is brainstorming. This is a process that is aimed at generating ideas, where all ideas are welcomed and the group tries to create an environment that overcomes pressure for conformity. The nominal group technique works by restricting discussion during the decision-making process to help participants to operate independently.

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Evaluating Group Effectiveness

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This exhibit shows that an interacting group is good for achieving commitment to a solution, brainstorming develops group cohesiveness, and the nominal group technique is an inexpensive means for generating a large number of ideas.

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Implications for Managers

Recognize that groups can dramatically affect individual behavior in organizations, to either a positive or negative effect.

To decrease the possibility of deviant workplace activities, ensure that group norms do not support antisocial behavior.

Pay attention to the status aspect of groups.

Use larger groups for fact-finding activities and smaller groups for action-taking tasks.

To increase employee satisfaction, ensure people perceive their job roles accurately.

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Recognize that groups can dramatically affect individual behavior in organizations, to either a positive or negative effect.

To decrease the possibility of deviant workplace activities, ensure that group norms do not support antisocial behavior.

Pay attention to the organizational status levels of the employee groups you create.

When forming employee groups, use larger groups for fact-finding activities and smaller groups for action-taking tasks.

To increase employee satisfaction, work on making certain your employees perceive their job roles the same way you perceive their roles.

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Copyright

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,

Essentials of Organizational Behavior

Fourteenth Edition

Chapter 10

Understanding Work Teams

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Copyright © 2018, 2016, 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2018, 2016, 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

After studying this chapter you should be able to:

Analyze the growing popularity of teams in organizations.

Contrast groups and teams.

Contrast the five types of team arrangements.

Identify the characteristics of effective teams.

Explain how organizations can create team players.

Decide when to use individuals instead of teams.

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Why Are Teams So Popular?

Increased competition has forced companies to restructure to compete more efficiently

Teams:

Better utilize employee talents

Are more flexible and responsive to change

Democratize and motivate

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Over the last decade we have seen the use of teams grow exponentially in organizations. There are a number of reasons why this is true. Teams can enhance the use of employee talents and tend to be more flexible and responsive to change. Teams can help to keep employees engaged in their work and increase their participation in decision making, thus increasing their motivation. However, teams are not always effective, and so it is important to take a look at how to deploy teams effectively.

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Groups and Teams

Work group: Interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions to help one another perform within each member’s area of responsibility

Work team: Generates positive synergy through coordinated effort; individual efforts result in a level of performance that is greater than the sum of those individual inputs

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Groups and teams are not the same thing. A group is primarily there to share information and make decisions; no real joint effort is required. A team works in a more coordinated effort to achieve a goal.

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Comparing Work Groups and Work Teams

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Work groups and work teams differ on their goals, level of synergy, accountability, and skills. Their function is different. Work groups share information, while work teams work together for a collective performance. The synergy in groups is neutral whereas, work teams have a positive synergy. Accountability can be individual in both, but it is more often mutual in teams. The skills in a group can be varied, whereas the skills on a team need to be complementary.

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Four Types of Teams

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There are four main types of teams: problem-solving, self-managed, cross-functional, and virtual.

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Problem-Solving Teams

Members often from the same department

Share ideas or suggest improvements

Rarely given authority to unilaterally implement any of their suggested actions

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Problem-solving teams are a very popular method used in many organizations. Typically this type of team meets for a few hours each week to solve a particular problem.

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Self-Managed Work Teams

10-15 employees in highly related jobs

Team takes on supervisory responsibilities:

Work planning and scheduling

Assigning tasks

Operating decisions/actions

Working with customers

May select and evaluate members

Effectiveness is dependent on the situation

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Self-managed work teams are comprised of a group of people who perform highly related or interdependent jobs and take on the responsibilities of their former supervisors.

The effectiveness of this type of team greatly depends on the situation and the goals of the team.

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Cross-Functional Teams

Members from same level, but diverse areas, within and between organizations

Exchange information

Develop new ideas and solve problems

Coordinate complex projects

Development may be time consuming due to complexity and diversity

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Cross-functional teams gather workers from many different work areas to come together to accomplish a task that needs to utilize multiple perspectives.

This type of team is good at developing new ideas and solving problems or coordinating complex projects. Given that their tasks are normally complex and diverse, it may take some time for the team to develop into an effective and productive team.

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Virtual Teams

Computer technology ties dispersed team together

Managing virtual teams:

Ensure trust is established among members

Monitor progress closely

Publicize the efforts and products of the team throughout the organization

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Virtual teams are increasing in their use. This type of team uses computer technology to bring people together to achieve a common goal. Typically these types of teams get right to work with little socializing, but they need to overcome time and space constraints to accomplish the task. In order to be effective, virtual teams need to find ways to establish trust among the members, have close monitoring, and results need to be publicized.

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Multiteam Systems

Collections of two or more interdependent teams that share a superordinate goal

A ‘team of teams’

Can be the best choice

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Research shows that multiteam systems perform better when they have “boundary spanners” whose job is to coordinate with members of other subteams.

Multiteam systems can be the best choice when teams are too large to be effective, or when teams with distinct functions need to be highly coordinated.

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Creating Effective Teams

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The three key components of effective teams are context, composition, and process variables. Next we will look at each one of these components individually.

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Context Factors in Team Success

Presence of adequate resources

Effective leadership and structure

Climate of trust in the team

Performance evaluation and reward system that reflects team contributions

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Understanding the context is important for teams to be effective. The team needs the right resources to do the job well. Members also need effective leadership and structure to facilitate a process that will help the team succeed. It is important that teams fit together, so they can successfully utilize the individual skills present in