Teamwork does wonders than individuals, primarily because of the common saying goes, “Two is better than one”. Teamwork to function and perform in a coordinated manner to attain known miracles/surprises within the organization, several aspects has to be considered at the individual level, before teamwork resonates that result. To start of, understanding biographical characteristics like age, gender, marital status, tenure at an individual level has to be understood so that the right mix of individuals are put into groups having the right composition, commensurate with the goals and objectives to be achieved as all these forms the backbone for teams or groups to perform. Moreover, abilities of each and every members, i.e. intellectual as well as physical abilities also decides the output of the group collectively. Learning being a continuous process for individuals and groups to flourish it is important for corporate and organizational decision makers to imbibe theories of learning like classical conditioning theory, operant conditioning theory and social learning theory according to the output to be achieved by specific groups as they help in shaping up behavior of individuals so as to reach the destination. Shaping up of behavior of groups and individuals through different methods of positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and extinction paves the way for ordinary individuals to achieve extraordinary results through teamwork. However, one need to understand that group formation, be it formal at the organizational level or informal at the societal level enables people to attain goals which looks impossible at the individual level. Formation of groups going through separate steps like forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning depends on the objective of the group and the last stage is solely on the basis whether a group formed is for a permanent activity or for a temporary one. Sociometry or what is commonly referred as social network mapping or even organizational network analysis provides analysis for group interactions, key indicators for knowing why some groups perform, why some underperform. Forming successful groups calls for deciding on the knowledge, skills and abilities, apart from the personality related traits of each member, apart from the collectives one from the whole group.
It is however important not to form groups or teams with vested interests in mind so as to achieve ulterior motives of the supervisor or a handful few individuals. There are instances where groups are formed on the basis of language, religion, caste, creed, nationality, place or origin, food habits, which if informal in nature serving informal cause does not have a debilitating impact on the organizational environment. However, if these types of groups are made for formal or official requirements, there are reasons other than ethical objectives and one need to scrutinize them if organization is willing to protect it from long term downhill movement.
Contents adapted from the ICT handout of Teamwork Management.
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