Multiple Dimensions to the Application for the Effectiveness of Team Building in ROTC

Article excerpt

The growth in competition and development globally as well as regionally means those organizations, whether small enterprises, non-profit organizations, multi-national corporations, government agencies, or military units, must maintain effective functioning. Every type of organization must continue to develop and expand with some strategic interventions that originate from the field of organization development. Organization development is comprised of a variety of interventions for different types of target groups, such as total systems or organizations, intergroup relations, teams or groups, pairs/triads, and individuals (Rothwell & Sredl, 2000). More and more emerging literature suggested that team building has been the most powerful and important intervention in organization development. Not surprisingly, it has been applied for many years and continues to be used extensively in various disciplines. Team building not only enable group members to enhance their interpersonal and problem-solving skills but also is an effective approach for improving teamwork and team performance (Bell & French, 1999; Cummings & Worley, 2001; McLean, 2005)

Given its prevalent application in different types of organizations, many might wonder how team building can be applied to the military units and how well it can serve its purpose. For this study, Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) was chosen as the focal point of such juxtaposition for its two-fold significance. First, the military has always been thought of strictly as regimented units with demanding organizational structures. Military organizational structures have been considered mostly top-down mechanisms instead of collaborative organizations where decisions are facilitated by the process of team building. Secondly, only a small amount of existing literature has identified how team building did occur, under what circumstances in the military, and what characteristics it could be attributed to. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the multiple dimensions to the application for the effectiveness of team building in ROTC. Our three research objectives were as follows;

1. Present the overall picture of team coordination in ROTC at one large research university.

2. Comprehend the specific contribution from the leaders' perspective on group members and self-evaluation in ROTC at one large research university.

3. Measure the team dynamics in ROTC at one large research university.

The first step in our research was a review of literature of the concept and application relevant to team building. Then we proceeded with the research method, the analytical approach, and data analysis of this study. Finally, further discussion, and the conclusion were respectively presented.

Literature Review

In review of how team building has been defined and applied relative to its potential on military units such as ROTC, three main aspects were discussed. To begin with, the necessity of team building was first considered as a result of growing evidence, and the need of integrating team building into organization development. Next, various dimensions of team building were clarified including its theoretical foundations, types, dynamics, models, competence indicators, and the role of leaders in team building. This was concluded with the introduction of composition and the typical functioning and execution style of ROTC.

The Need of Team Building

Most globally competitive organizations and businesses recognize the importance of collaborative teams to their successful survival and competitiveness. Currently, a vast amount of attention is being paid to how teamwork may work in this way in the workplace (Jones & Bearley, 2001). According to Armstrong and Piotrowski (2004)'s analysis of the research literature in organization development, research trends have consistently demonstrated an ongoing emphasis and interest in team building and outcomes in team-related performance. …