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CHAPTER 9

By Sally Jackson,2014-09-29 16:22
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Part IV Leading 158 CHAPTER 9 - UNDERSTANDING WORK TEAMS LEARNING OUTCOMES After reading this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Explain the growing popularity of work teams in organizations. 2. Describe the five stages of team development. 3. Contrast work groups with work teams. 4. Identify four common types of work teams. 5. List ..

Part IV Leading

    CHAPTER 9 - UNDERSTANDING WORK TEAMS

LEARNING OUTCOMES

    After reading this chapter, students should be able to:

    1. Explain the growing popularity of work teams in organizations.

    2. Describe the five stages of team development.

    3. Contrast work groups with work teams.

    4. Identify four common types of work teams.

    5. List the characteristics of high performing work teams.

    6. Discuss how organizations can create team players.

    7. Explain how managers can keep teams from becoming stagnant.

    8. Describe the role of teams in continuous process improvement programs.

Opening Vignette

    SUMMARY

    Tape Resources, Inc. is a classic small company selling blank videotapes and audiotapes to businesses. Its most popular tapes carry price tags ranging from $10 to $25, and the company doesn't try to compete on price. Its strategy is to offer superior service to its customers.

    Growing fast, the company has fewer than 15 employees, with annual sales approaching $5 million. To continue the growth, the owner implemented a commission incentive plan that he thought would excite his six-person sales staff and promote teamwork among them.

    Once a sale is completed, it goes to the shipping department for packaging and delivery. Yet the new sales incentive program was met with almost immediate resistance in the company. Employees that had been excluded from the incentive program felt resentful. Salespeople who once cooperated with one another became reluctant to spend time away from the phones or help fellow employees on other tasks. As a result of Barnard's "great idea," nearly all of the company's employees had become territorial and began looking out for themselves!

    Was the sales incentive system flawed? Yet over a three-month period, several Tape Resources employees formed a team to win a sales contest sponsored by BASF. For that opportunity, the employees came together as a unified group to achieve that goal.

Teaching notes

    1. As a class, analyze the vignette and list the details of Bernard’s incentive plan on the board.

    2. Based on the little information in the vignette, do the same thing with the BASF contest. 3. Now ask students to note where the two incentive systems differ, even if they have to speculate due to

    the limited information provided about BASF.

    4. What changes would Bernard need to make to make his incentive program accomplish his goals?

I. THE POPULARITY OF TEAMS

    A. Introduction

    1. More than two decades ago, when companies introduced teams, they made news.

    2. Today, it's the organization that doesn't use some form of team that is noteworthy.

    3. The current popularity of teams comes from the fact that teams typically outperform

    individuals when the tasks being done require multiple skills, judgment, and experience.

    4. As organizations restructure themselves to compete more effectively and efficiently, they are

    turning to teams as a way to better utilize employee talents.

    5. Teams can serve as a source of job satisfaction as they empower team members.

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    B. What Are the Stages of Team Development?

    1. Most teams find themselves in a continual state of change.

    2. There's a general pattern that describes how most teams evolve.

    a) See Exhibit 9-1.

    3. Forming is characterized by a great deal of uncertainty about the group's purpose, structure,

    and leadership.

    a) This stage is complete when members think of themselves as part of a team.

    4. The storming stage is one of intragroup conflict.

    a) There is resistance to the control that the group imposes on individuality.

    b) When complete, there will be relatively clear leadership within the team.

    5. Norming stage is one in which close relationships develop and members begin to demonstrate

    cohesiveness.

    a) There is now a stronger sense of team identity and camaraderie.

    b) It is complete when the team structure solidifies and members have assimilated a

    common set of expectations.

    6. The fourth stage is performing.

    a) The structure is fully functional and accepted by team members.

    b) For permanent teams, performing is the last stage of their development.

    7. For temporary teams, there is an adjourning stage.

    8. Some researchers argue that the effectiveness of work units does increase at advanced stages.

    a) Although generally true, what makes a team effective is complex.

    9. Under some conditions, high levels of conflict are conducive to high group performance.

    10. Teams do not always proceed clearly from one stage to the next.

    a) Sometimes several stages are going on simultaneously.

    11. It is better to think of these stages as a general framework.

    C. Aren't Work Groups and Work Teams the Same?

    1. A group is two or more individuals who have come together to achieve certain objectives.

    2. A work group is a group that interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions

    that will help each group member perform within his/her area of responsibility.

    a) Work groups have no need to engage in collective work that requires joint effort.

    b) There is no positive synergy.

    3. A work team, on the other hand, generates positive synergy through a coordinated effort.

    4. Exhibit 9-2 highlights the main differences between work groups and work teams.

    5. Management is looking for that positive synergy that will increase performance.

    a) The extensive use of teams creates the potential for an organization to generate greater

    outputs with no increase in (or even fewer) inputs.

    6. Nothing inherently magical in the creation of work teams guarantees this positive synergy,

    and its accompanying productivity.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

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    II. TYPES OF WORK TEAMS

    A. See Exhibit 9-3

B. What Is a Functional Team?

    1. Functional teams are composed of a manager and the employees in his or her unit. 2. Issues such as authority, decision making, leadership, and interactions are relatively simple

    and clear.

    3. Functional teams are often involved in efforts to improve work activities or to solve specific

    problems within that particular functional unit.

C. How Does a Problem-Solving Team Operate?

    1. Twenty years ago, teams typically were composed of five to twelve hourly employees from

    the same department who met for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving

    quality, efficiency, and the work environment.

    a) Problem-solving teams.

    b) Members share ideas or offer suggestions on how work processes and methods can be

    improved.

    2. One of the most widely practiced applications were quality circles.

    a) These are work teams of eight to ten employees and supervisors who share an area of

    responsibility.

    b) They meet regularly to discuss their quality problems, investigate causes of the problems,

    recommend solutions, and take corrective actions.

    c) They assume responsibility for solving quality problems, and they generate and evaluate

    their own feedback.

    d) These teams are rarely given the authority to unilaterally implement their suggestions.

D. What Is a Self-Managed Work Team?

    1. A self-managed work team is a formal group of employees who operate without a manager

    and are responsible for a complete work process or segment that delivers a product or service

    to an external or internal customer.

    2. This kind of team has control over its work pace, determination of work assignments, etc. 3. Fully self-managed work teams even select their own members and evaluate performance. 4. As a result, supervisory positions take on decreased importance and may even be eliminated.

E. How Do Cross-Functional Teams Operate?

    1. This type of team consists of employees from about the same hierarchical level but from

    different work areas in the organization.

    a) They are brought together to accomplish a particular task.

    2. Cross-functional teams are also an effective way to allow employees from diverse areas

    within an organization to exchange information, develop new ideas, solve problems, and

    coordinate complex tasks.

    3. But cross-functional teams can be difficult to manage.

    a) The early stages of development are very often time-consuming, as members learn to

    work with diversity and complexity.

    b) This difficulty with diversity has the ability to be turned into an advantage.

    (1) The diversity that exists on a work team can help identify creative or unique solutions.

    (2) The lack of a common perspective due to diversity usually means that diverse team

    members will spend more time discussing relevant issues, decreasing the likelihood

    of a weak solution.

    4. As team members become more familiar with one another, they become a more cohesive

    group.

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    a) But the positive aspect of this decline is that a "team bond" is built.

    b) And this can do more than anything else to overcome the initial difficulties.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

    F. Are Virtual Teams a Reality Today?

    1. A virtual team is an extension of the electronic meetings discussed in Chapter 4.

    2. A virtual team allows groups to meet without concern for space or time and enables

    organizations to link workers together that in the past couldn't have been done.

    3. Team members use technology advances to solve problems-even though they may be

    geographically dispersed or a dozen time zones away.

    a) VeriFone example.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

III. CHARACTERISTICS OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE WORK TEAMS

    A. Introduction

    1. Primary characteristics of high-performance work teams are summarized in Exhibit 9-4.

    2. High-performance work teams have both a clear understanding of the goal to be achieved and

    a belief that the goal embodies a worthwhile or important result.

    a) These goals encourage individuals to direct energy toward team goals.

    b) Members are committed to the team's goals, know what they are expected to accomplish,

    and understand how they will work together to achieve those goals.

    3. Effective teams are composed of competent individuals.

    a) They have the relevant technical skills and abilities and the personal characteristics

    required.

    b) They are capable of readjusting their work skills--job-morphing--to fit the needs of the

    team.

    c) High-performing teams have members who possess both technical and interpersonal

    skills.

    4. Effective teams are characterized by high mutual trust among members.

    a) Members believe in the integrity, character, and ability of one another.

    b) Members of an effective team exhibit intense loyalty and dedication to the team.

    c) Members redefine themselves to include membership in the team as an important aspect

    of the self.

    d) Unified commitment is characterized by dedication to the team's goals and a willingness

    to expend extraordinary amounts of energy to achieve them.

    5. Effective teams are characterized by good communication.

    a) Members convey their ideas among team members in a form that is readily and clearly

    understood.

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    b) Their communication is also characterized by feedback from team members and

    management.

    6. Effective teams tend to be flexible and continually making adjustments.

    a) Team members must possess adequate negotiating skills.

    b) The members have to be able to confront and reconcile differences.

    7. Effective leaders can motivate a team to follow them through the most difficult situations.

    a) Leaders help clarify goals.

    b) They demonstrate that change is possible by overcoming inertia.

    c) They increase the self-confidence of team members, helping members to realize their

    potential more fully.

    d) Effective team leaders are taking the role of coach and facilitator.

    8. The final condition necessary to making an effective team is a supportive climate.

    a) The team should be provided with a sound infrastructure, proper training, an

    understandable measurement system, an incentive program, and a supportive human

    resource system.

    b) The infrastructure should support members and reinforce behaviors that lead to high

    levels of performance.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

IV. TURNING INDIVIDUALS INTO TEAM PLAYERS

    A. Introduction

    1. Some individuals prefer to be recognized for their individual achievements.

    2. In some organizations, too, work environments are such that only the "strong" survive.

    3. Creating teams in such an environment may meet some resistance.

    4. Teams fit well with countries that score high on collectivism.

    B. What Are the Management Challenges of Creating Team Players?

    1. Employees' success, when they are part of teams, is a function of how well the team as a

    whole performed.

    2. To perform well as team members, individuals must be able to communicate openly and

    honestly with one another, to confront differences and resolve conflicts, and to place lower

    priority on personal goals for the good of the team.

    3. The challenge of creating team players will be greatest where

    a) the national culture is highly individualistic.

    b) the teams are being introduced into an established organization that has historically

    valued individual achievement.

    c) This describes, for instance, what faced managers at AT&T, Ford, Motorola, and other

    large U.S. companies.

    4. In contrast, the challenge for management is less demanding when teams are introduced

    where employees have strong collectivism values--such as in Japan or Mexico.

    5. The challenge of forming teams will also be less in new organizations that use teams as their

    initial form of structuring work.

    a) Saturn Corporation, the ability to be a good team player was a hiring prerequisite.

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    C. What Roles Do Team Members Play?

    1. High-performing work teams properly match people to various roles.

    2. There are nine potential roles that work team members often can "play."

    a) See Exhibit 9-5.

    3. Creator-innovators are imaginative and good at initiating ideas or concepts.

    a) They are typically very independent and prefer to work at their own pace in their own

    way--and very often on their own time.

    4. Explorer-promoters like to take new ideas and champion their cause.

    a) They are good at picking up ideas from the creator-innovator and finding the resources to

    promote those ideas.

    b) They often lack the patience and control skills to ensure that the ideas are implemented.

    5. Assessor-developers have strong analytical skills.

    a) They're at their best when given several different options to evaluate and analyze before a

    decision is made.

    6. Thruster-organizers like to set up operating procedures to get things done.

    a) They set goals, establish plans, organize people, and establish systems to ensure that

    deadlines are met.

    7. And, somewhat like thruster-organizers, concluder-producers are concerned with results.

    a) Their role focuses on insisting that deadlines are kept and commitments fulfilled

    b) Concluder-producers take pride in producing a regular output to a standard.

    8. Controller-inspectors have a high concern for establishing and enforcing rules and policies.

    a) They are good at examining details and making sure that inaccuracies are avoided.

    b) They want to check all the facts and figures to make sure they're complete.

    9. Upholder-maintainers hold strong convictions about the way things should be done.

    a) They will defend the team and fight its battles strongly supporting fellow team members.

    b) These individuals provide team stability.

    10. Reporter-advisers are good listeners and don't tend to press their point of view on others.

    a) They tend to favor getting more information before making decisions.

    b) They perform an important role in encouraging the team to seek additional information

    and discouraging the team from making hasty decisions.

    11. The linkers overlaps the others.

    a) This role can be "played" by any of the previous eight roles.

    b) Linkers try to understand all views.

    c) They are coordinators and integrators.

    d) They dislike extremism and try to build cooperation among all team members.

    12. If forced to, most individuals can perform in any of these roles.

    a) Most have two or three they strongly prefer.

    13. Managers need to select team members on the basis of an appropriate mix of individual

    strengths, and allocate work assignments that fit with each member's preferred style.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

D. How Can a Manager Shape Team Behavior?

    1. The three most popular ways include proper selection, employee training, and rewarding the

    appropriate team behaviors.

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    E. What Role Does Selection Play?

    1. When hiring team members, the organization should ensure that applicants can fulfill their

    team roles.

    a) Some job applicants lack team skills.

    b) If team skills are woefully lacking, don't hire that candidate.

    c) A candidate who has some basic team skills but needs more refinement can be hired on a

    probationary basis and be required to undergo training.

Dilemma in Management

    Must Employees Work on a Team?

    SUMMARY

    Jennifer Singleton, BA in business administration from the University of South Florida, worked with Cable News Network (CNN) in its Paris, France, bureau. After several years at CNN, Jennifer earned a master's degree. Two years later, Jennifer graduated in the top 10 percent of her class, and accepted a job from PSINet doing market research.

    After about four months on the job, Jennifer was assigned to a cross-functional team looking at ways the company could reduce inventory costs. This cross-functional team was to be a permanent structure. Jennifer was not happy; she felt that she was not a team player, she even bragged at times about being a loner. She didn't like the "added" time it took to get things done, she preferred to do things without discussing them, and she didn't like the idea of having her performance dependent on others.

Questions

    1. Do you think that Jennifer's boss should have allowed her to decide for herself whether she would

    join the team?

    2. Do you think that everyone should be expected to be a team player, given the trends that we're seeing

    as we near the twenty-first century?

Teaching notes

    1. This is a tough question. More and more companies are going to teams. Yet, clearly there are a

    number of employees who don't want to or aren't able to be productive team members. 2. In the discussion with students in class, ensure that students explore these issues: ; Is empowering employees consistent with forcing employees to be team members?

    ; Are teams appropriate in all businesses, industries, and/or corporate settings? ; Is there a place for individual contributors in a team-based organization?

    ; Is training individual contributors to be team members ethical?

    F. Can We Train Individuals to Be Team Players?

    1. Performing well in a team involves a set of behaviors, which can be learned.

    2. People who were raised on the importance of individual accomplishment can be trained to

    become team players.

    3. Training specialists can conduct exercises that allow employees to experience the satisfaction

    that teamwork can provide.

    4. The workshops offered usually cover such topics as team problem solving, communications,

    negotiations, conflict resolution, and coaching skills.

    5. Outside consultants can provide a learning environment in which workers can gain practical

    skills for working in teams.

    G. What Role Do Rewards Play in Shaping Team Players?

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    1. The organization's reward system needs to encourage cooperative efforts rather than

    competitive ones.

    2. Lockheed Martin's Space Launch Systems has organized its 1,000+ employees into teams.

    a) Rewards are structured to return a percentage increase in the bottom line to the team

    members on the basis of achievement of the team's performance goals.

    3. Promotions, pay raises, and other forms of recognition should be given to employees for how

    effective they are as a collaborative team member.

    a) Individual contribution is balanced with selfless contributions to the team.

    4. Managers cannot forget the inherent rewards that employees can receive from teamwork.

    a) Work teams provide camaraderie.

    5. There are inherent rewards being on a team-it's exciting and satisfying to be part of a

    successful one.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

    H. How Can a Manager Reinvigorate a Mature Team?

    1. Effective teams can become stagnant.

    a) Initial enthusiasm can give way to apathy.

    b) Time can diminish the positive value from diverse perspectives as cohesiveness increases.

    c) Teams don't automatically stay at the "performing" stage.

    d) Familiarity and team success can lead to contentment and complacency.

    2. Mature teams, also, are particularly prone to suffer from groupthink.

    a) Mature teams early successes are often due to having taken on easy tasks.

    b) As time passes, the team has to begin to tackle the more difficult issues.

    3. What a manager can do to reinvigorate mature teams, four suggestions.

    a) See Exhibit 9-6.

    b) Prepare team members to deal with the problems of team maturity.

    (1) Remind team members that they are not unique.

    c) Offer refresher training.

    (1) Provide them with refresher training in communication, conflict resolution, team

    processes, and similar skills.

    d) Offer advanced training.

    (1) Mature teams can benefit from training to develop stronger problem-solving,

    interpersonal, and technical skills.

    e) Encourage teams to treat their development as a constant learning experience.

    (1) Just as organizations use continuous improvement program, teams should approach

    their own development as part of a search for continuous improvement.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ V. CONTEMPORARY TEAM ISSUES

    A. Why Are Teams Central to Continuous Process Improvement Programs?

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    1. The essence of continuous improvement is process improvement, and employee participation

    is the linchpin of process improvement.

    2. As one author put it, "None of the various processes and techniques will catch on and be

    applied except in work teams."

    3. All such techniques and processes require high levels of communication and contact,

    response, adaptation, and coordination and sequencing.

    4. Teams provide the natural vehicle for employees to share ideas and implement improvements.

    a) McDonnell-Douglas example.

    b) Examples from Ford Motor Company and Allegiance HealthCare Corporation.

    5. Ford began its continuous improvement efforts in the early 1980s, with teams as the primary

    organizing mechanism.

    a) The teams should be small enough to be efficient and effective.

    b) be properly trained in the skills their members will need.

    c) be allocated enough time to work on the problems they plan to address.

    d) be given the authority to resolve the problems and implement corrective action.

    e) have a designated "champion" who helps the team get around roadblocks that arise.

    6. At Allegiance HealthCare, teams of people from different levels within the company are used

    to develop goals and objectives that are linked to the organization's strategic initiatives, and

    deal with quality problems that cut across various functional areas.

    B. How Does Workforce Diversity Affect Teams?

    1. Managing diversity on teams is a balancing act.

    2. Diversity typically provides fresh perspectives on issues but it is difficult to manage.

    3. The strongest case for diversity is when teams are engaged in problem-solving and decision-

    making tasks.

    a) Heterogeneous teams bring multiple perspectives to the discussion, increasing the

    likelihood that the team will identify creative or unique solutions.

    b) The lack of a common perspective usually means diverse teams spend more time

    discussing issues, which decreases the chances that a weak alternative will be chosen.

    4. The positive contribution that diversity makes to decision-making teams undoubtedly

    declines over time.

    5. Expect the value-added component of diverse teams to increase as members become more

    familiar with each other and the team becomes more cohesive.

    6. Studies tell us that members of cohesive teams have greater satisfaction, lower absenteeism,

    and lower attrition from the group.

    a) Yet cohesiveness is likely to be lower on diverse teams.

    7. So here is a potential negative of diversity.

    a) It is detrimental to group cohesiveness.

    b) If the norms of the team are supportive of diversity, then a team can maximize the value

    of heterogeneity while, at the same time, achieving the benefits of high cohesiveness.

    Teaching Notes _______________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ SUMMARY

    1. Teams have become increasingly popular in organizations because they typically outperform

    individuals when the tasks being done require multiple skills, judgment, and experience.

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    2. The five stages of team development involve; forming--people join the team and define the team's

    purpose, structure, and leadership. Storming--intragroup conflict over control issues. Norming--close

    relationships develop and the team demonstrates cohesiveness. Performing--the team is doing the task

    at hand.

    3. A work group is a group that interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions to help

    each group member perform within his or her area of responsibility. There is no positive synergy that

    would create an overall level of performance greater than the "sum of the inputs." A work team, on

    the other hand, generates positive synergy through a coordinated effort.

    4. The four most popular types of teams are functional teams (composed of a manager and the

    employees in his or her unit); problem-solving teams (typically composed of hourly employees from

    the same department who meet to discuss ways of improving quality, etc.); self-managed teams (a

    formal group of employees who operate without a manager and are responsible for a complete work

    process); and cross-functional teams (consisting of employees from about the same hierarchical level,

    but from different work areas in the organization, brought together to accomplish a particular task). 5. High-performing work teams are characterized by clear goals, unified commitment, good

    communications, mutual trust, effective leadership, external support, internal support, negotiating

    skills, and relevant skills.

    6. Organizations can create team players by selecting individuals with the interpersonal skills to be

    effective team players, providing training to develop teamwork skills, and rewarding individuals for

    cooperative efforts.

    7. As teams mature, they can become complacent. To keep this from occurring, managers need to

    support mature teams with advice, guidance, and training if these teams are to continue to improve. 8. Continuous improvement programs provide a natural vehicle for employees to share ideas and to

    implement improvements as part of the process. Teams are particularly effective for resolving

    complex problems.

REVIEW AND APPLICATION QUESTIONS

    Reading for Comprehension

    1. Contrast self-managed and cross-functional teams; and virtual and face-to-face teams.

    Answer A self-managed work team is a formal group of employees who operate without a manager

    and are responsible for a complete work process or segment that delivers a product or service to an

    external or internal customer. This kind of team has control over its work pace, determination of work

    assignments, etc. Fully self-managed work teams even select their own members and evaluate

    performance. As a result, supervisory positions take on decreased importance and may even be

    eliminated.

    The cross-functional type of team consists of employees from about the same hierarchical level but

    from different work areas in the organization. They are brought together to accomplish a particular

    task. Cross-functional teams are also an effective way to allow employees from diverse areas within

    an organization to exchange information, develop new ideas, solve problems, and coordinate complex

    tasks.

    A virtual team is an extension of the electronic meetings discussed in Chapter 4. A virtual team

    allows groups to meet without concern for space or time and enables organizations to link workers

    together that in the past couldn't have been. Team members use technology advances to solve

    problems-even though they may be geographically dispersed or a dozen time zones away.

    2. What problems might surface on teams during each of the five stages of team development?

    Answer Students' responses should include an explanation of each stage. Forming is characterized

    by a great deal of uncertainty about the group's purpose, structure, and leadership. The storming stage

    is one of intragroup conflict. Norming stage is one in which close relationships develop and members

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