In the modern organization, group orientation is a common aspect of success. From daily operations to such events as mergers, acquisitions and roundtable discussion of business practices, organizations often require specialized subsets of personnel to collaborate to address specific projects and needs. Therefore, an aptitude for team work is a desired quality in defining a successful group dynamic. As learned from our work with the Power Girls cheerleading troop, the ability to function within the context of groups both large and small with help to shape both individual and collective outcomes.
The ability to participate compatibly with a team implies that one must be capable of communicating effectively, working inter-dependently and perpetuating mutual respect for fellow group members. These virtues would all surface during the course of our group’s interaction in assembling the organizational orientation of the Power Girls, producing unique insights for all involved, not just into the subject at hand, but indeed, into the opportunities specific to effective team orientation.
During our course studies, we would learn that the process of achieving team compatibility and reaching a set of shared goals would provoke recognition of various important theoretical aspects of group behavior. This process would prove that in addition to the importance of integrating structural, cultural and individual aspects of team orientation, the organizational framework would be crucial, serving as a relative lynchpin for all other aspects of individual and collective perception.
Within the context of our group, the organizational framework would be denoted as determinant in establishing and meeting short-term deadlines while retaining a focus on long-term goals. Therefore, it would be crucial to promote close cooperation amongst team members in order to integrate our deliverables. This would be produced by establishing and maintaining norms and procedures early in the team’s formation and development. Admittedly, reaching useful and defined roles was easier said that done.
In execution, we found that the proscription of positions would emerge less from a structured plan than from natural individual proclivities. This is why Emily, for example, emerged as a natural team leader. It was likewise that Natalie’s audio visual skills made her a natural candidate for implementing videography for the project. Also, due to her previous involvement with the cheerleading troop, she would serve as the liaison to the project subject. For Chu Kin Man, Christopher and myself, the literature review would meet our respective strengths in communication and compositional expression.
Though we had distinctly defined roles, we would still work according to the idea of democratic consensus. That approach would be stimulated by our shared understanding of the theoretical basis for promoting productive organizational behavior, including such specific aspects as the advancement of a ‘team’ mentality within a group; the establishment of methods which provide motivation for participatory enthusiasm; and the accommodation of the natural group dynamic consequences of organizational behavior interests.
The outcome would be that each of us, within a define role and a distinct set of responsibilities, would nonetheless have an equal share in making decisions, determining procedures and evaluating the final group project outcome. Of course, under this approach, it would be necessary to find ways to maintain order and focus within the overarching structure of the group.
To that end, in a notion encountered by our lectures, which can be used to identify some distinct factors impacting team orientation, we found it useful to work based on some established protocols that we believed would lead to improved team development within various host contexts of interaction. This approach is based on the idea that most organizations in their quests for advancement recognize the advantages of people working in teams and that there is therefore an established set of parameters within which group dynamics have proved successful.
Such is to say that the use of protocols should help to create an organizational culture that fosters positive interactive characteristics. To that extent, we would find that the ability to establish trust is the most effective measurement of success. Thus, trust earns a central role in our findings as would it earn a central role in our efforts to take into consideration one another’s input and interests at every step. Certainly, the composition of an effective group will be based on the ability of the group dynamic to yield the greatest skill out of each contributing member.
This would be distinctly true within the context of our team, where I personally found that increasing evidence of dedication with each member’s honoring of a deadline, as well as increasing evidence as to their receptiveness to my ideas, would improve trust. Improved trust would, in turn, improve the collective desire to meet one another’s expectations. Here, we would begin to experience the intrinsic commitments that differentiate team orientation from group orientation. This would ultimately benefit the pursuit of our subject material.
With pride, we can not that the presentation achieved on the Power Girls portrays the subject and the collaborators in a distinctly positive light. We attribute much of this to the trust that allowed each member to contribute to the highest of his or her abilities. Another quality which would be crucial in accommodating the conveyance of a team sentiment would be the development of effective communication. To this subject, dialogue is referred to throughout our lectures as a key in “facilitating collaborative learning and transforming mental models within a group” (Holton, 2001).
Indeed, this is essentially the purpose of collective endeavoring, with the capacity to community providing for the all important goal of sharing ideas and information. I would also find that communication is quite an important instrument in contending with conflict, a subject which our lectures warned correctly would be a natural consequence of team engagement. Our research findings would argue that when groups engage in cooperative conflict management techniques, they develop efficacy or confidence in the ability to achieve results, which then leads to effective team performance.
(Alper et al, 1) Conversely, teams that do not effectively seek to manage conflict, but allow themselves to be obstructed by disagreement or adversity, will ultimately become demoralized and prove unproductive. This would be valuable knowledge to our group, providing recognition that conflict does not have a necessarily negative connotation in a functional group context but should actually be considered a lubricant to the type of open and receptive communication which drives groups to associate as teams.
Interestingly, this serves a point of critique in our working together, insofar as we generally had no disagreements. We tended to agree on most issues, which created a uniformity of perspective on the execution of the project. It is perhaps the case that some insight was lost for this uniformity of perspective. Indeed, lectures and notes have demonstrated that there is a value in engaging in conflict, which allows parties to air out differing views. A group can ultimately arise at some unique insights by properly facilitating and managing intentional debate.
That would be a key goal in the next incarnation of this group project. Considering team orientation according both to our lectures and to our recent experience, our success would be significantly informed by an understanding of the important role played by motivation in defining a team. There are many advantages to motivation in working with a team, such as the ability assign specialists to specific tasks within the team as described above and the capacity to serve one another with ongoing encouragement. However, our project would also yield evidence of potential drawbacks to motivation prospective within teams.
With advantages to working in teams also come some distinct disadvantages to individual orientation. Sometimes it is difficult for teams to coordinate according to the distinctive scheduling demands of one another, especially in the educational context where every party invested has a distinctly different set of priorities. This can make it difficult to agree upon meeting times, keep all team members in the informational loop and ensure that all members are contributing equally. For a team, a major disadvantage emerges when there appear motivational issues obstructing the participation or efficiency of one or multiple group members.
Though there may often be one or two members of a team with lesser commitments than their more productive counterparts, an absence of motivation throughout a team can represent a true problem of organizational orientation. A poorly orientated team can give members the feeling of anonymity and might make a member feel that their personal contributions don’t really matter. This characteristic also speaks to the demands which fall upon leaders in the interests of establishing a healthful internal culture. Specifically and most importantly, morale must be emphasized as a crucial factor in producing positive results from all group members.
To achieve this goal, we have also resolved that it is important to create a working environment which actively manages stress, which produces strong unity through team-building activities and which is both active in courting and listening to ideas from all members. Individual contributions to the group, the experience would demonstrate, are also crucial. Individuals must adopt group perspectives in order to properly approach tasks with a balance of personal and collective motivation. The notion of a shared outcome should produce shared responsibility.
During the course of our project, a number of lecture yielded ideas helped to produce many of the insights on group orientation seen here. For instance, our discussion on organizational psychology offers an examination of the ways in which differing academic factors may impact group dynamic and project outcome. My personal experience in this context was that distinct differences between individuals operating in a group setting will require the implementation of different processes that respectively enhance group cohesiveness while building trust through meaningful open dialogue.
The whole of our research and experiences would produce a personal perspective, for me, regarding organizational orientation toward team success. My experience would prove that valuing the opinions of others is extremely important when working within a team. This project’s success outcome demonstrates to me that there is a real value in respecting others’ ideas, ensuring that team members feel they can share or their ideas openly. Valuing the opinions of others can also help a team do its’ best work, with the variation of inputs creating a more diversified and nuanced perspective.
Our lecture resources and our experiential observations would produce a variety of discussion points concerning the favored methods in our group of promoting healthful team orientation. For the team as a whole, is important to find ways to open channels for communication, to delegate workloads sensibly, to provide opportunities for the contributions of all members to be valued, to create mediating channels for proper management of conflict and to the fostering of a shared trust.
One important way to create a positive team atmosphere is to promote proper conflict management. This is something that I learned over the course of this process where, as stated earlier, the inherency of differing opinions must emerge. Such is to say that in order to reap the benefits of collaboration and teamwork, it is important to understand not just how to manage conflict but how to encourage differing opinions.
Our lectures would suggest that management must embrace conflict, as it can be a conduit through which creative ideas and solutions are generated and “wise trade-offs among competing objectives made. ” (Weiss and Hughes, 2005) This is cause for the reinforcement of the recommendation here that, in a future team endeavor, it should be a central preliminary step to develop and explicate standard processes that team members can use to raise and manage conflict. Also, it is important to equip teams with the requisite skills to manage conflict themselves.
The goal here is to increase conflict efficacy (the extent to which team members feel capable of effectively dealing with conflict) and avoid escalating problems unnecessarily or causing stalemates that can be detrimental to progress or, conversely, to prevent an unwillingness on the part of most group members to diverge for groupthink. Ultimately, I would argue that appropriate attention to these aspects of team orientation should produce a high team morale, an effective byway for communication and a shared vision of project end goals such as were meaningfully met in the Power Girls group project..
Alper, S. , Tjosvold, D. , & Law, K. S. (2000). Conflict management, efficacy, and performance in organizational teams. Personnel Psychology, Vol. 53, No. 3, p. 625-642. Chen, M. H. (2006). Understanding the benefits and detriments of conflict on team creativity process. Creativity & Innovation Management, Vol. 15, No. 1, p. 105-116. Holton, J. (2001). Building trust and collaboration in a virtual team. Team Performance Management, Vol. 7, No. 3-4, p. 36-48. Weiss, J. & Hughes, J. (2005). Want collaboration? Harvard Business Review, Vol. 83, No. 3.