Working in groups or Working in Teams
Not all groups are teams.
are usually characterised by members having their own individual work
to do within the overall project
(Katzenbach and Smith 1993)
y comparison, have
team purpose that the team delivers
. Teams discuss, decide and do real work together
using their complimentary
set of skills
to produce a final collaborative outcome
(Katzenbach and Smith 1993).
Students commonly sub
project into tasks for each member to work on
individually, before bringing it all together for synthesis just before submission
. Although this approach may initially seem like the most straight
many problems that can crop up
Lack of flow in the final project due to different individual approaches
Inadequate standard of work and/or detail by one or more individuals
ast minute changes
can result in a very late night (or early morning) for the person or people trying to
synthesize the project.
ly, by dividing tasks like this
students miss out on
both the synergies of effective teamwork
, and the quality out
comes this can produce,
development of the
fundamental skills required for working effectively with others (Zeff and
It is commonly recognised in the workplace that a higher level of performance can be
achieved by greater synergy as
a result of individuals collaborating and working together
the entire project (Katz 1997) e.g. team members
each other’s work
as a team
(Zeff and Higby 2002). A
collaborating as a team
Greater learning from team outputs
Improvement of team methods
Greater development of skills required for working with others
(Zeff and Higby 2002).
The key point
make sure you
work as a team, not as a gr
Katz, R. 1997. How a team at Digital Equipment designed the ‘Alpha’ chip. In R. Katz (ed.),
The human side of managing technological innovation (137
). New York: Oxford
Katzenbach, J.R. and D.K.
Smith. 1993. The D
ipline of T
Harvard Business Review
Zeff, L.E. and M.A. Higby. 2002. Teaching more than you know.
Quaterly 6 (3).