“Question & Answer”
What types of formal groups are found in organizations today?
A group is a collection of people interacting together according to the organizations shared norms, rules and expectation in order to achieve the organizational goal. Organizations mainly believe in team efforts these days because the people in the group are more focused and are purpose specific and tend to participate in order to provide a better solution. Even Hewlett and Packard believe in team or group work when they established their company and firmly believed that cooperation was necessary among the team members, even if there is a conflict between two members, it would disrupt the whole team. (Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M; CH 10, pg 2).
There are two types of formal groups:
Primary Groups: are small that is have less number of people involved, they are in the group for a longer period of time and gets emotionally attached to each other group member and work or communicate face to face mainly. The group members are very cooperative and help each other out. (UMSL, n.d.). This happens within the organizational departments or within the work cells in the organization where the employees have a small group and are responsible to performance that particular task as they specialize in that. (Wcer.Wisc, n.d.)
Secondary Groups: are large that is they consist of large number of people, these people stay in the group for a short period of time that is as long as their work is completed, they are formal to each other and communicate formally and mainly care about their own performance and are impersonal. (UMSL, n.d.). This mainly happens when the people from different areas of expertise are put together on a small project or problem which has a short timeline. Due to the short timeline the employees do not get much chance to interact with each other informally and they mainly need to work on the short deadline and hardly interact impersonally other than on work related issues. When the project is over these employees disperse and are put onto another project with different individuals. But the type of next group may vary. This can happen when a major software project needs to be developed in short period of time and requires more people to do the work. There fore these software specialists and engineering will not get a chance to interact with each and every individual on the project and when the project is over they will be moved on to another project. The management manages the groups and assigns a group leader to a group too. (Wcer.Wisc, n.d.)
Team is another form of a group but the people in team are corporative, manage and choose their leaders by themselves, they work together to achieve a common goal and have a strong bond between themselves. Team is much more preferred by the organization than just groups because teams are difficult to form with individual have different skills but sustains long. (Wise GEEK; n.d.). There are four types of team with in the organization:
Problem Solving Teams: which have 5 to 12 members of the same department and meet to discuss the problem every week, they share ideas in order to find a solution.
Self-Managed Team: it consists of 10 to 15 members who are given the sets of objectives which they have to achieve while managing themselves and taking the complete responsibility, each member evaluates the performance of the other.
Cross Functional Team: here the team members would belong to different organizational department to achieve an objective for example new product development would include marketing, finance, research and development and sales department.
Virtual Teams: here the team members use information systems to interact with each other to achieve a common goal; this is because they are located in different geographical areas. They collaborate online and lack nonverbal cues and needs to overcome the time ad space constraint. (Pathways, n.d.)
How can a team leader help build positive group norms?
Group norms are acceptable behavior within the group; these are rules which govern the values, beliefs, attitude and behavior of the group. These may be the norms of the organization or just the norms of the group based on organizational policy and procedure. (The Free Dictionary, n.d.).
Team leader is the person who has the maximum responsibility, he needs to create an environment such that every member trusts each other, shares information, communicate and collaborate. He needs to motivate the member to achieve the goals through creativity and innovation and encourage them to take risk to develop some new ideas and product. He provides necessary information about the project and the business and helps in solving problems. (Crow, K; n.d.).
The team leader’s responsibility is to assign jobs to the team members and see to it that they perform their jobs well. The most important job of the team leader was to help and provide all information possibly needed by the team member about the project or about the business which would be useful to the member will help in making the team effort successful. (Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M; CH 10, pg 1). Positive norm can be enforced by seeing to it that the members of the team collaborate and communicate well, the conflicts between the team members need to be solved immediately by the team leader. If the team member believes that the work is being done regardless of the conflict then the result of the work will not be fruitful as conflict will definitely hamper the progress and may cause failure. (Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M; CH 10, pg 2). Therefore should be resolved immediately and mutual understanding, sharing and ideas of team effort should be enforced.
The team leader needs to train the employees on how to work in team, and to treat every team member as they treat their own family. The team leader should inculcate the idea of learning on the job, i.e. working in team provides various opportunities to learn various things from the fellow members, the members need to be patient with each other and avoid getting in to fights which destroys a healthy work environment leading to success. Group norm is successful when it is changed with time due to dynamic world, change is really necessary because previously the group norm was to curb the employees interaction during working hours and they mainly interact regarding the project during the meetings, this norm needs to change and has changed employees interact constantly with their fellow team members, this helps them in incorporating new ideas and solutions. (Accel-team, n.d.)
Encouraging team members to participate in problem solving and to indulge in healthy argument will help in solving the problem better. As every team member will convey their view points on how the problem should be solved and then those view points would be evaluated, questioned, justified and if proved wrong should be reject but if proved right should be implemented and the participation should be appreciated in order to motivate others to participate.
Enforcing team effort, as the project success is evaluated through team performance and not on the basis of individual performance. Team leader should ensure that group norms are followed and some should be strictly followed, for instance smoking in the no smoking area or knowing that another group member is highly allergic to it, avoid using abusive language or offensive words as it would deteriorate the relations among the team members.
The team leader needs to ensure the above mentioned positive groups are present in order to achieve the targeted goals. He needs to solve the conflicts and provide answers to their questions and enforce on the job learning.
You have just been called in as a consultant, to recommend a program, to create a motivational work setting in a department which sells men’s and women’s clothing.
· The department caters to designing and selling of clothing.
· The employees in the department have direct contact with the salespeople in the store in which the clothing are sold.
The program: it should be such that the employees are empowered, encouraged to participate. The employees should be given the right to redesign their jobs, for which they will have to decide their goals, assess how they will benefit the organization through their new way of working, what are the challenges and how will they overcome those. The management needs to evaluate the new challenge the employee is planning to seek, see whether it contributes towards the profitability of they firm. This way the employees are motivated with increased job satisfaction; encouraged to perform their best and it helps in reducing the employee turnover ratio and contributing towards organizational goals in a cost effective manner. (Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M; CH 6, pg 1).
The employees can be encouraged to take actions themselves rather than waiting for the managements orders. (Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M; CH 6, pg 4). For instances employees are in constant contact with the salesperson and they know which design is selling the most and design is not working at all. So they can give discounts on those items not doing well or they can give them for free on other category of cloths. The can also give the orders to stop the manufacturing of a particular category of clothing as the sales are low and the customers do not want it and increase the production of the clothing which the customers want; a new design and the idea is gained from the salespersons. The employees can do all this without the involvement of the management as they are empowered and accountable for their action and this leads to lesser work for the management and they are left to make strategic decisions.
The employees should be encouraged to take initiative, to develop new designs in clothing; they should not just do it on the basis of instincts they should conduct proper research, gathering information through up coming fashion, surveys fro the salesperson, customers and employees as well to know their preferences. (Robert, W; n.d.). They should evaluate the result and show that the design would really be successfully and the start the production of that clothing and also research on the colors as well in which they should be sold and sell on those limited colors only.
The employees would be far more motivated if they are taught on the job about the latest technologies coming up and being implemented with in the organization; this would not only increase employees’ capability but also prevent them from leaving the job as the organization is giving them and opportunity to learn and helping them to develop their career further. The new technology such as database which has operational information in it; data warehouse which has all historical and current data in it; and the customer relationship management system (CRM) will helping gathering customer related information in order to build a relationship with customers, to satisfy them, acquire them and retain them by gaining their loyalty. (IBM; n.d.)All this can be done by using the technology to help in aiding the research about them products; the information about the customer in the CRM will help the employees to know their customers better and they can classify a group of customers with similar preferences and give them customized product, offers and promotional campaign. This will not only cut the cost of the organization, but also make them customers feel that they are being served well.
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2. Crow, K. “Team Leader Responsibilities” [Internet], Accessed on November 6, <http://www.npd-solutions.com/leader.html>.
3. IBM. “IBM INFOSPHERE WAREHOUSE” [Internet], Accessed on November 7, <http://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid91_gci1139347,00.html>.
4. Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M. Organizational Behavior and Management (8th Edition), Chapter 6, McGraw Hill (2008). Accessed on November 6, <http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073405086/452093/ivancevich7e_readings_ch_06.pdf>.
5. Ivancevich, J; Matteson, M. Organizational Behavior and Management (8th Edition), Chapter 10, McGraw Hill (2008). Accessed on November 5, <http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073405086/452097/ivancevich7e_readings_ch_10.pdf>.
6. Pathways. “Types of Teams” [Internet], Accessed on November 5, <http://www.pathways.cu.edu.eg/subpages/training_courses/Teams/Chapter2.htm>.
7. Robert, W. “Employee Motivation and Work Incentives in the Service Industries” [Internet], Accessed on November 6, <http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/modtd/33129713.html>.
8. The Free Dictionary. “Group Norms” [Internet], Accessed on November 6, <http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/group+norms>.
9. UMSL. “Groups and Formal Organizations” [Internet], Accessed on November 5, 2008, <http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/010/groups.html>.
10. Wcer.Wisc. “Types of groups” [Internet], Accessed on November 5, <http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/archive/cl1/CL/moreinfo/MI3B.htm>.
11. Wise GEEK. “What is the Difference Between a Team and a Group?” [Internet], Accessed on November 5, <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-team-and-a-group.htm>.