Groups and Teams Essay (Critical Writing)

Introduction

In many occasions, the terms ‘group and team’ are used alternately although these words have different implications on day to day activities (Pollick, 2009). Various leadership disciplines intended for business development emphasize on team building capacity but not group formation.When individuals from different backgrounds congregate, diversity arises. Diversity is usually associated with a positive effect to either a group or a team. This paper highlights the differences in application of the terms ‘team and group’. In addition, the paper discusses the need for diversity at workplace and shows the relationship between multiplicity and the team dynamics in any business.

Difference between a group and a team

Business dictionary (2010), defines group as a “collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction, mutual influence, common feeling of camaraderie, and who work together to achieve a common set of goals.”On the other hand, a team is defined as a “group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project” (Business Dictionary, 2010). As such, individuals in a team greatly depend on each other, share power and conscientiousness of self-control, are answerable for communal performance and function to achieve a common objective and returns.A team is formed by individuals with sturdy sense of joint commitment who work in synergy to generate returns that surpass the summation of the performance of every single member in such a team. Therefore, team members value mutual support for realization of both individual and organizational goals.Failure by a single team member may greatly hinder the team’s development agenda. Such individual flaws in performance are addressed by all team members. In contrast, group members are said to be congregated with administrative motives. Here, members pay more attention on individual achievements since they are minimally involved in setting organization goals and they function as ‘just’ hired individuals.Group members work to achieve the development agenda envisioned by the group leader and a member may leave the group when his duties are over. Group members may lack a sense of ownership for their jobs unlike members of a team who are fully involved in organizational goal setting and thus they value their jobs as well as their departments (Business Dictionary, 2010).A group leader is usually vested with a lot of powers and he directs members on what to do and suggestions as well as discrepancies are considered bothersome. As such, creativity and proposals from group members are not highly encouraged. This may at times result to distrust between individuals forming a group as they do not clearly understand the responsibilities of each other.On the other hand, team members jointly contribute to agency achievements since individual aptitudes, knowledge and innovations are encouraged. This helps to create a sense of harmony between team members who are further encouraged to put forward their objections, opinions and various other ideas (Pollick, 2010).Furthermore, disagreements in a team are viewed as formalities of diversity and such situations are taken as opportunities for nurturing new ideas and innovations. Thus, conflicts are solved amicably. In addition, team members are trained and encouraged to apply their newly acquired skills at workplace.This contrasts the case with a group where members receive training and application of new ideas is checked by group leaders as well as other team members. When conflicts arise in a group, members may lack the capacity to solve it and forward such issues to the leader. This may cause delay in conflict resolution and a great damage may occur (Robbins & Judge, 2009).Group members highly comply with their leader’s opinions since their contribution in decision making process is limited by leader’s authority. In contrast, team members are involved in decision making process and the team leader only makes a ruling when members fail to reach an agreement.Thus, team members have a structured functional background and they know their limits as well as the final decision maker. Contrary, a group may function under unstructured background with irresolute levels of performance (Robbins & Judge, 2009).

Workplace Diversity

Groups and teams may be formed by individuals of different “ethnic background, age, physical ability and disabilities, religion, race or sex” and this constitutes diversity (Greenburg, 2005). As such, diversity is the variation between individuals at workplace and it influences how such individuals identify themselves and their colleagues as well, and this determines workplace relationships.In order to achieve great output from diverse groups, employers have to manage diversity by ensuring effective communication, adaptableness and equal treatment of all employees. When properly managed, workplace diversity has a number of advantages.Diversity at workplace ensures enhanced adaptability and this helps in solving problems pertaining to service, acquiring and portioning of resources. Workers with different backgrounds have different capabilities and experiences that are useful in crafting decisions that help to deal with ever changing markets and consumer needs.In addition, diversity at workplace may enable a business to offer its services to customers of diverse backgrounds. This is made possible by employees who have different proficiencies and experiences with different cultures and languages among other related factors performance (Robbins & Judge, 2009).

Conclusion

Teams and groups are different in terms of their leadership and power, decision making process and commitment of members in attaining business goals. However, teams and groups may be formed by individuals of different backgrounds thus diversity. Diversity is beneficial since it enables team members to develop functional decisions backed by different members’ experiences and talents. Merits of diversity are realized when it is managed well.

References

Business Dictionary. (2010). Group. Web.

Greenberg, J. (2005). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits Challenges and Solutions. Web.

Pollick, M. (2010). What is the Difference between a Team and a Group. Web.

Robbins, S., & Judge, T. (2009). Organizational behavior. (13th Ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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