Why Teams Dont Work Essay, Research Paper
I undertook this study to prove the legendary story about the Camelot An historic example of team, effort gone awry. In the legendary story, a few events transformed Camelot from a utopia kingdom into wasteland. This isn t just idle meandering. There are corporate Camelot s, too, (such as my company MobileComm); those companies that started with such promise and fell victim to problems in their teamwork concepts. It is clear to see that team-based systems simply don t work; better controls equals better management. An emphasis on separating workers into specifically defined jobs, having centralized management control, and maintaining a structured chain of command contributes to a much better and more effective workplace situation. It makes more sense, therefore, to stick to traditional structures in the workplace.
II. Review Of Literature
1. Blair, Gerard. Groups That Work, www.ee.ed.ac.uk/ gerad/Management/art0 (1998). The effectiveness of the team takes a nosedive, and the productiveness of the team is far less than the individual could have achieved had they not brought together.
2. Blair, Gerard. How to Build Quality into your Team IEE Engineering Management Journal, (1996). There are certain frameworks within which teams attempt to work. It s the inability to function within these frames that in another disadvantage to teamwork. The forming stage is when first comes together. Everyone is considered and civil, and allows for everyone to participate. Discussion is slow and guarded since no one wishes to be seen as conflict. Even though it is not verbalized, it s always destructive.
3. Davidmann, Manfred. Style of Management and Leadership, (1982). Business experts have to work together to achieve their goals, and discord in one area can inconvenience many people. It is essential. Therefore, that people cooperate with each other but organization is the more difficult it is to achieve the necessary degree of cooperation. Larger organizations are usually much less effective using a ream approach, as people tend to work against each other rather than with each other,
4. Rayner Kimball Fisher- Steven Belgard Williams. Tips for Teams (1995). Team members and team leaders typically have problems defining their own roles, making it difficult to work toward results than busying themselves with the activities of the team.
5. Rayner Kimball Fisher- Steven Belgard Willaims. Tips for Teams (1995). Sometimes the Manager of the team will discount not what his own team is trying to accomplish, but the efforts of others. A manager may insist that the success of other teams was nothing more than a fluke or they suggest any success was due to highly unique circumstances.
6. Carl L. Harshman- Steven Phillips. Teaming Up (1994). One of the major reasons why management teams don t work comes down to human nature. People in organizations fear loss of power, and leadership barriers , where a resistance to leadership leads the all the employees to believe that the team approach is unnecessary.
7. Dennis Kinlaw. Team Managed Facilitation (1993). Productive teamwork is almost always the result of successful team meeting. Unfortunately, team leaders as well as members don t receive adequate instructions on how to carry this out, or demonstrate the strategies for organizational development that are necessary. Team meetings, rather than being a productive and efficient means to solve an organization s problems, can deteriorate due to lack of proper facilitation.
8. Deborah Mackin-Harrington. Keeping the Team Going (1996). If the team has functioned as a group for any appreciable length of time, they often feel they know each other s quirks and have no desire to alter the dynamics of the group, even when it is apparent what they have isn t working.
9. Nelson Roger Mosvick- Robert B. We ve Got To Start Meeting Like This (1987). Organization have been structured historically to reinforce authoritarian management styles .
10. Steven Rayner. Team traps (1996). An emphasis on separating workers into specifically defined jobs, having centralized management control, and maintaining a structured chain of command contributes to a much better and more effective workplace situation.
11. Fran Rees. How to Lead Work Teams (1991). Many leaders don t know how to manage the participating of employees in these processes, even when a team is set, and frequently discourage time participation by their actions.
12. L.R. Sayles. Leadership for the Nineties (p.8-11). More than ever they need to able to count on the workers in a team, moving away form the typical hierarchical conception of us and them , and towards a more unified effort.
III. Statement Of The Problem
To describe the major problems presented in the teamwork approach is that people are not accustomed to group problem-solving It is a practice that not only hasn t been learned, but also is difficult one to institute. This is an important research because it seams that teams are being formed for every imaginable reason- quality improvement teams, project teams, management teams, task force teams; companies are quick to assume that increased employee involvement leads to improved productivity. But the problem that occurs is trying to increase employee involvement outweigh the benefits
Observation I observed three teams of mixed ethics for four weeks and recorded the data of information I was looking for. I also did a questionnaire: general and concept questions. Also, I randomly chose three people out of the three teams to discuss their group activities.
My findings are listed in all areas of study: Problem with a group approach, what are we supposed to do/, working together isn t so easy, Barriers for management teams, team barriers, team myopia, plain and simple poor management, too many qualifications: too little time, team quality, the face is familiar, and team meeting.
A. Problems with a group approach
It is a practiced that not only hasn t been learned, but also is difficult one to institute. When I gave my questionnaire to each of the five members of the three teams; one of the questions asked if sharing was taught to them in school. All inserted no, but one. In school, children are taught to rely on their own resources; to develop their individual capabilities. Deborah Cockston (personal interview) stated that fourth graders wouldn t be allowed to say Hey, Joe, you re good at word problems and I m good at multiplication tables, so let s get together for this test , yet the adult equivalent of this is seen in the workplace when teams are expected to come up with a group solution problem. When I observed group one, which consists of two blacks (male, female), two Hispanics (male, female), one white male, I timed them on a group collogue. I only gave them 5miniutes to be creative and describe characteristics of their group. I t took them 10minutes; everyone participated but the one white male, which made a problem with the team activity.
B. Working Together Isn t So Easy
I compared my observation that Manfred Davidman did in his book Style of Management and Leadership. In my second group (four black females, one black male), I asked them to brainstorm the importance of a good relationship. They were placed in a regular business room that was very chilly. I explained that in brainstorming there are no right/wrong anserws. The women were at disagreements; one boy said nonthing because he stated he did not want to get in the argument. What I found from their session was cooperation is essential to any team effort, and it s not something that can be easily achieved. Frustration with management, or the workplace itself, causes internal conflict and struggle, which in turn means there is considerable lack of identification with the organization and its objectives.
C. What Are We Suppose To Do
Dealing with my same group (four black females, one black male), I redid the brainstorm on a job-related mater; what will make your job better. The brainstorm went much better. I gave them full definition and reasons for brainstorming. What I found from the first observation was the problem of them not clearly understanding about what was supposed to be accomplished. Team members and team leaders typically have problems defining their own roles, making it difficult to work results rather than busying themselves with activities of the team.
D. Team Barriers
I placed all three of my teams together and had them to come up with a commercial about quality in the workplace. When observing this section of my research, I found that:
? Lack of skill or competency to perform the task at hand
? Lack of self-confidence
? Fear of failure, ridicule and criticism
? Fear of being singled out and exposed as incompetent
? Fear of loosing approval
? Lack of self-control
? Fear of being put in charge
? Fear of taking responsibility for success or failure
? Fear of change; of the unknown
? Lack or organizational skills
? Fear of being held accountable for mistakes
? Fear of the change that success causes in work relationships
After I joined my teams together, I asked each of them to write down two feelings they were feeling. I also found that teams tend to make excuses to avoid responsibility. If a team doesn t want to cooperate and work together, no amount of suggested solutions can force the members to come up with results.
E. Team Myopia
When I combined my members, some new each other and others did not. I found that there was a natural tendency for teams to become inclusive of their own members, and somewhat paranoid of the intentions of outsiders . Each person that knew another sat with that person and did not even acknowledge the person they did not know. How in heavens could they be a team?
F. Plain and Simple Poor Management
Because of observation of three groups, I could not give complete attention to all three-group activities at one time. I set this up because that is how it is when you have one Leader managing a group of people. I gave each group an assignment, when paying attention to group one; groups two and three were slacking. When I attended to groups two and three groups one was slacking. I found that when people work in-groups, there are usually two separate issues involved. The first issue is the task and the problems that are involved in getting the job done. Frequently this is the only issue, which the group considers. The second issue is the process of the group work itself the procedures by which the group acts as a team. But the disadvantages here is that without proper attentions to this process, the value of the group can be diminished or even destroyed. All to often, teams can t manage to see group work as attractive, and there are too many problems inherent to group formation. (Blair-Groups 1).
G. The Face is Familiar
On the last week of observation, I found that the teams were restless of one another. When I evaluated my questionnaire forms and all but three checked they would like to change teams once every month-to-three month to see different faces. But just observing in two months; I watch them began to fade, as they spent the necessary time together. The same people saying the same things in an extended team situation, day-after-day, becomes tedious and stale. Of course, the obvious solution to this would be to bring in new people, either as new team members or as liaisons to other team members.
It seems clear that working in teams is not always the most effective way to ensure quality solutions for organizations. The problems and pitfalls that are inherent to any team process don t, in my opinion, outweigh the limited advantages of having people work in a group. There are too many variables that can cause the team to fail — personalities, misunderstandings, ineffective leaders — and it seems to make more sense, as well as the fact that the organization can simply run more smoothly, if the standard and traditional procedures of having everyone assigned to a given job, working on his own, is the method used. People still can feel part of the organization by their own contributions, but they don t have the problems involved with several different people working on one team.
You will found questionnaire at the end of my report.
Blair, Gerard M. Groups That Work. Term papers
dqedeqhttp://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/ gerard/Management/art0.html (1997). term papers
Blair, Gerard M. “How to Build Quality into your Team” IEE Engineering Management Journal.
fwfwfffhttp://spindle-ee- net2.ee.ed.ac.uk/ gerard/Management/ (1996). term papers
Blair, Gerard M. Laying the Foundations for Effective Teamwork. term papers
http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/ gerard/Teaching/art0.html (1996).
Davidmann, Manfred. Style of Management and Leadership.
Fisher, Kimball-Rayner, Steven-Belgrade, William. Tips for Teams.
(New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1995).
Harshman, Carl L.-Philips, Steven L. Teaming Up. (San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Co., 1994).
Kinlaw, Dennis. Team-Managed Facilitation. (San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Co., 1993).
Harrington-Mackin, Deborah. Keeping the Team Going.
(New York, NY: Amacom, 1996).
Mosvick, Roger-Nelson, Robert B. We ve Got to Start Meeting Like This.
(Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman, 1987).
Rayner, Steven R. Team Traps. (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996).
Rees, Fran How to Lead Work Teams. (San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Co., 1991).
Sayles, L.R. “Leadership for the Nineties.” Issues and Observations.
(1990): spring, pp. 8-11.