Working in groups or Working in Teams

olivinephysiologistInternet and Web Development

Dec 5, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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Working in groups or Working in Teams


Not all groups are teams.

Working groups

are usually characterised by members having their own individual work
tasks/products

to do within the overall project

(Katzenbach and Smith 1993)
.

T
eams
, b
y comparison, have

a specific
, shared

team purpose that the team delivers

collaboratively
. 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
-
d
ivide the
ir

project into tasks for each member to work on
individually, before bringing it all together for synthesis just before submission

(Zeff and
Higby 2002)
. Although this approach may initially seem like the most straight
-
forward
and
efficient
way,
there
are

many problems that can crop up
,

e.g.
:



Lack of flow in the final project due to different individual approaches
;



Inadequate standard of work and/or detail by one or more individuals
; and



Rushing,

l
ast minute changes
, errors

and
inconsistencies.


All of
this

can result in a very late night (or early morning) for the person or people trying to
synthesize the project.
But
,

more important
ly, by dividing tasks like this
,

students miss out on
both the synergies of effective teamwork
, and the quality out
comes this can produce,

and the
development of the

fundamental skills required for working effectively with others (Zeff and
Higby 2002).


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
throughout

the entire project (Katz 1997) e.g. team members
planning, discussing,
reviewing

and synthesising

each other’s work

as a team

(Zeff and Higby 2002). A
dvantages of
collaborating as a team

include:



Greater learning from team outputs



Continuous learning
from

each other



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
oup
.



References


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
-
148
). New York: Oxford
University Press.

Katzenbach, J.R. and D.K.

Smith. 1993. The D
isc
ipline of T
eams.
Harvard Business Review
71, 111
-
146.

Zeff, L.E. and M.A. Higby. 2002. Teaching more than you know.
Academic Exchange
Quaterly 6 (3).