Learning to Work in a Team

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The Stallings Rhinehart Ad was to promote sales of a flying & self-driving car. The ad ran
online and the consumer was given the option to purchase the car online or by calling a toll free
number. Although I did not participate in creation of the “Ad” with the team, I do have prior
experience in working with teams, which I will share with you as well. First I would like to share
the definition Thompson provides regarding Free Riders. According to Thompson:

People’s motivations often diminish in a team. Also, the larger the team, the less likely it
is that nay given person will work hard. Form many team tasks; there is a possibility that
others can and will do most or all of the work necessary for the team to succeed. This
means that free riders benefit from the efforts of others while contributing little or
nothing themselves. Team members are sensitive to how important their efforts are
perceived to be. When they think their contributions are not going to have much impact
on the outcome, they are less likely to exert themselves on the team’s behalf.

How do teams react once a free rider has been detected? If someone is not contributing,
the other team members might attempt to reduce that person’s reward (e.g., not allow
someone to put his or her name on the group report if he or she has not contributed) or
reduce their own inputs (i.e., the other members of the group might stop working hard)
(Thompson, p. 29)

 3


In this situation, time management and lack of organization was a big factor in the lack of
participation with the team. Nonetheless, the Stallings Rhinehart team completed the ad, which
was creative, showed innovation and design effort. The lack of participation from two of the
team members did not affect the team member efforts in launching their ad. However, in
reviewing the ad it is evident the team lacked gender diversity by the choice of product the team
members decided to sell. Although in a field predominantly represented by men, a female
perspective in developing the “World’s first Flying & Self Driving Car would have been useful.
A key suggestion that perhaps would have been implemented is a pink model to appeal to a
diverse gender audience.

In a prior team experience, the workgroup was much larger. Actually there were 20 team
members in the group. The roles were defined by position. Those already holding managerial
positions acted as the mediators and did not perform the work. The employees ranked in the
middle position were the one’s actually heading specific teams within the workgroup and the
lower position employees were the one’s expected to perform most of the research activities or
work. Initially team members met face-to-face to build rapport and relationships. At first,
everyone was excited about participating in the project and eager to share ideas. As the project
progressed the enthusiasm and team effort diminished. Team...

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