Managing Organizational Behavior

By Ronald R. Sims | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Groups and Teamwork

INTRODUCTION

Groups and teams are critical to organizational success. And such success means that managers must increasingly get things done with and through others. The job is simply too big to do alone.

Let us begin by defining the term group as a prelude to examining types of groups, functions of group members, and group formation and development. The discussion then focuses on group structure and its consequences. The latter part of the chapter then describes the nature and types of teams, and compares low-performing and high-performing teams. We conclude the chapter with a look at building high-performing teams.


WHAT IS A GROUP?

Groups and teams are inescapable features of modern life. We all serve on various types of groups be they at work, school, or in our community. Modern managers need a solid understanding of groups and group processes so as to both avoid their pitfalls and tap their vast potential. Moreover, the huge and growing presence of the Internet—with its own unique network of informal and formal social relationships—is a major challenge for profit-minded business managers.

We use the word “group” rather casually in everyday discourse—special-interest groups, ethnic groups, and others. Although other definitions of groups exist, define a group as two or more freely interacting individuals who share collective norms and goals and have a common identity.

Interaction is the most basic aspect of a group—it suggests who is in the

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