The Virgin Group of companies is an internationally respected brand operating with over 360 companies worldwide. It was founded by Sir Richard Branson, a global entrepreneur, who has expanded the business across several diverse sectors. Branson recognises the importance of effective management and teamwork within the Virgin Group and this is reflected through various types of teams existing within the companies’ such as cross-functional and top-management teams. The stages of group development are also prevalent within the Virgin Group, with group characteristics such as goals and group norms influencing behaviour and performance. Branson encourages social interaction both inside and outside the workplace which positively affects team members within Virgin by increasing confidence and cohesiveness within various teams.
At the Virgin Group of companies, top-management, cross-functional, problem-solving and work teams exist which are responsible for the companies’ success. The Board of Directors at Virgin are a top-management team which assists the group in achieving its missions and goals. Meetings are conducted by Sir Richard Branson with the Board of Directors, where important issues impacting Virgin are discussed and new ideas and initiatives are brought up through the team. Cross-functional teams exist at Virgin where people from different departments work together to reach common objectives. At Virgin Australia Airlines, Flight Attendants, Cockpit crew and Air Traffic control crew work as a team to ensure flights reach their destinations safely. Problem-solving teams also exist at the Virgin group of companies, meeting temporarily to solve a specific problem. At Virgin Australia Airlines, a Check-in system failure in February 2016, caused delays nationwide. To solve the problem, extra staff were put in place to manually check-in passengers while IT issues were being resolved. Furthermore, in holiday seasons, extra staff are temporarily employed to cope with high demand (Kinicki 2015). Work teams also exist within the Virgin Group such as flight-attendant crews, with their main purpose being production.
The five stages of group development are crucial for any organisation to achieve efficiency. During the forming stage, members of the group are getting familiar with one another and are uncertain of expectations. Virgin recruits diverse people with similar ideals and good interpersonal skills to allow people to become acquainted with team work at a faster pace. At this stage, group members form impressions of others and leaders emerge within the group, influencing outcomes at Virgin because members who are unhappy within the team will be less productive and have a smaller contribution than others. The storming stage is identified by the emergence of individual personalities, roles and conflicts within the team (Kinicki 2015, p.406). To avoid subgroups or rebellion during this stage, Virgin employs small, odd-numbered teams. This...