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Team Functioning Essay

2108 words - 8 pages

At the beginning of the semester, a group were formed comprising six members of the tutorial class, of which four of the members are new to the group and have not met each other before. Members of the group are expected to work as a team to solve questions set fourth, and to complete group assignment by the stipulated date. According to (Gardner and Korth, 1998), the purpose of collaboration of a group is to train students to obtain skills to work with others to solve problems that are unable to solve by a single person."A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable." (Katzenbach, 1993). Avery (2000, p. 6) has argue that "Teamwork is the primary means for getting one's work done in a highly independent and changing environment," and "treating teamwork as a group skill and responsibility rather than an individual one allows highly skilled employees to account for their non-performance by pointing fingers at others"There were many difficulties facing the newly formed group. The group gone through several stages and phases as seen in the evidence of research uncovered (Tuckman 1965; Tuckman and Jensen 1977; Wheelan 1990; Wheelan 1994). To better understand the group formed, Tuckman's (1965) Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing team development model and later Adjourning (Tuckman, 1970) has been adopted.Since most of the group members were new to the whole development, dependency on the more experience member is evident. The more experience member naturally assumes the role of a leader. Through the forming stage (Tuckman, 1965), it is observed that there were high dependency on the leader for guidance and direction. Team aims were received from leader with little, or without overall team agreement. Roles and responsibilities of team members are vague. The leader is the sole answer provider to the questions on the team's purpose, objectives and external relationships. Processes are often ignored and the leader makes all the decision.At this point, some of the group members are evidently stressed due to a lack of focus and unclear goals for the group work task, which can be done more efficiently by individuals, and a lack of clearly defined roles for the group members (Homan and Poel 1999, p. 12).Through storming stage (Tuckman, 1965), members of the groups begin to challenge the leader's authority and to openly disagree with one another. Arguments arise on the viewpoint of tackling questions. Some group members are seen to withdraw themselves as their views are not taken into consideration. The leader is trying very hard to 'sell' or to coach his ideas to the team members as argue by Hersey's and Blanchard's (1982) Situational Leadership model. A lot of time was spent on the storming stage as team members are drawing to consensus. As a result group productivity was affected.Due to time constraint and closing of...

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