In group meetings, some of your colleagues have a habit of interrupting and arguing with the speaker, taking credit for ideas that aren’t theirs, and shooting down ideas they don’t agree with. You’re the newest person in the group and not sure if this is accepted behavior in this company, but it concerns you both personally and professionally. Should you go with the flow and adopt their behavior or stick with your own communication style, even though you might get lost in the noise? In two paragraphs, explain the pros and cons of both approaches.
Building Your Team Skills
What’s the most effective organization structure for your college or university? With your team, obtain a copy of your school’s organization chart. If this chart is not readily available, gather information by talking with people in administration and then draw your own chart of the organization structure. Analyze the chart in terms of span of management. Is your school a flat or a tall organization? Is this organization structure appropriate for your school? Does decision making tend to be centralized or decentralized in your school? Do you agree with this approach to decision making? Finally, investigate the use of formal and informal teams in your school. Are there any problem-solving teams, task forces, or committees at work in your school? Are any teams selfdirected or virtual? How much authority do these teams have to make decisions? What is the purpose of teamwork in your school? What kinds of goals do these teams have? Share your team’s findings during a brief classroom presentation and then compare the findings of all teams. Is there agreement on the appropriate organization structure for your school?
Developing Your Research Skills
Although teamwork can benefit many organizations, introducing and managing team structures can be a real challenge. Search past issues of business journals or newspapers (print or online editions) to locate articles about how an organization has overcome problems with teams.
1. Why did the organization originally introduce teams? What types of teams are being used?
2. What problems did each organization encounter in trying to implement teams? How did the organization deal with these problems?
3. Have the teams been successful from management’s perspective? From the employees’ perspective? What effect has teamwork had on the company, its customers, and its products?