Teams and Groups within the Organization Amber Gilman The University of Phoenix Mr. Chris Mendoza PhD Introduction We encounter various types of groups and teams every day. What exactly is the difference between a group and a team? In this paper, I will explore differences between a group and teams, examine the definitions, and discuss why both are important in an organization. What Is A Group? A group is defined as two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives (Robbins, Judge, 2009). The members in a group are typically responsible for their own contributions.
Not all groups are the same. There are many different types of groups. Some types of groups are task, interest, command, or friendship oriented (Robbins, Judge, 2009). What some reasons a person would join a group? Some of the reasons why people join a group are: security, status, self-esteem, affiliation, power, and goal achievement (Robbins, Judge, 2009). I find myself part a variety of different groups. I can be labeled part of the political conservative group, Christian group, fitness group, mommy group, and many different groups. When talking about my organization, I would be considered part of the administrative group.
In this group, we are required to communicate and share knowledge that will save the company money, create a more efficient work environment, and make our boss’s lives a bit smoother. We share this knowledge with each other and it helps our group work better. However, I feel that I am truly part of a team in my organization. What is a Team? Teamwork has become a vital part of the working culture and becoming a learning organization is necessary to maintain a competitive advantage in today’s global economy. The need for developing the strategies and tools to be able to transform groups on individuals into collaborative teams is orefront with many organizations including the one where I am employed. There are clearly many theories and approaches to this subject with several common threads that tend to prevail across all of them. One of those threads is the consensus that simply bringing a group of individuals together and telling them that they are a team does not mean they will perform as a team. A team is defined as a group of individuals with complementary skills who depend upon one another to accomplish a common purpose for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (Brown, 2011).
Transforming a group of individuals who work independently into a collaborative, interdependent team requires hard work and compromise. Teamwork cannot be mandated, it is rather based on volunteers who choose to align and engage as a team member. This employee engagement is vital for any attempt to bring a collaborative culture to an organization. Team environments provide a mechanism by which employees can become engaged, which further supports the importance team development to companies today. Teamwork at Work
Accordingly, companies have determined to invest in team development and to make it part of their corporate strategy which has resulted in enterprise-wide initiatives. This is clearly the case at Parker Hannifin Corporation (Parker). Parker has launched into the training and deployment of the High Power Work Team across its 135 divisions. In Parker’s case the decision to implement is more of a team by team strategy (Parker, 2007). The goal is to transform the organization from a management directed organization to a self directed employee managed organization.
This is illustrated in the Empowerment Continuum which Parker uses as part of the training module and is presented as figure 1 below: Figure 1. Parker Presentation on HPWT (2009) In order for commitment to occur, there must be a clear and compelling purpose which clarifies why the team exists and what it hopes to accomplish. This is usually presented in the team’s mission statement. The Differences between a Group and a Team There are many differences between a group and a team. When you are in a team you have both individual and mutual accountability, when working in a group you are individually accountable.
Teams work together not just to share information and perspectives, but come to share in discussion, decision making, problem solving and planning. Groups focus solely on individual goals not on team goals. Groups produce individual work products, whereas teams work on collective work products. I feel the main difference between a group and a team is that the team, as a whole, is concerned with the outcomes of everyone and the challenges the team faces unlike the group and there is a leader. A team has to have a true leader, one that leads by example. Conclusion There are several differences between groups and teams.
However, I feel that it comes down to one basic quality, leadership. Groups focus mainly on individual performance, where as a team works together to accomplish their goal. References Brown, Donald R. , (2011). An Experiential Approach to Organizational Development, 8th ed. Pearson Education Inc. , Prentice Hall, One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 Parker, (2007). Parker High Performance Teams (HPT). Parker Hannifin Corporation Robbins, Stephen, and Judge, Timothy (2009). Organizational Behavior, Thirteenth Edition Chapter 9: Foundations of Group Behavior. Prentice Hall ———————– Parker Training Material