Groups and Teams
Groups and teams are an important part of organisational infrastructure (Beersma, Hollenbeck, Humphrey, Moon, Conlon and Ilgen, 2005). Organisations form groups and teams in order to achieve organisational efficiencies and to aid in the growth and development of employees because they are found to be better than individual efficiency (Watson and Gallagher, 2005). However, groups and teams are often mixed up and confused for one another even though they are different. This paper is an attempt to understand the differences between groups and teams, the reasons for such an existence, and the importance of understanding this difference, before drawing conclusions from the analysis.
Groups and Teams: Similarities and differences
A group is defined in many ways. For instance, Turner (1982, p.15 in Forsyth, 2005, p.4) defines a group as “two or more people who perceive themselves to be of the same category”. In another definition, Pennington (2002, p.3) defines a group as “a psychological group of any number of people who interact with each other, are aware of each other, and perceive themselves to be in a group”. In yet another definition, Keyton (2006) defines a group as two or more individuals that interact with each other, and also work interdependently on a commonly agreed task or goal. Finally Watson and Gallagher (2005) define a group as two or people who may interact with each other, share common resources, but whose performance is measured and evaluated individually. Katzenbach and Smith (2005) also write that the performance of a group is evaluated individually; that a group has a group leader, has a common objective that is more closely aligned with the overall organisational objective, and has work that is delegated to individuals. This means in aggregate a group is a group of two or more people who interact with each other, communicate with each other, are psychologically aware of each other’s presence, influence and are influenced by each other, work interdependently on a task or common goal, have no limit to size, are evaluated individually, and are led by a group leader.
On the other hand a team is defined a group of people who come together with a common interest, who may have diverse skills, but have to interact and work together in order to achieve a common goal (Keyton, 2006). Furthermore, a team is defined as a group of people in which, the performance of the group is not measured as a group (Watson and Gallgher, 2005). In another definition, Katzenbach and Smith (2005) define teams as “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and hold themselves mutually accountable” (p. 1). Furthermore Peter Drucker (in Keen, 2003, p. 2) suggests that teams are smaller in size. Katzenbach and Smith (2005) also suggest that teams are groups that small in size a team has shared leadership roles, has a purpose or goal that is specific to only the team and...