Leadership of Teams

Leadership of Teams

This course examines the various theories of organizational behavior and teamwork and develops techniques to implement these theories into the contemporary management process. The focus of the course is on developing a management team that makes a greater contribution to the organization than the sum of the individual managers. Because this course involves a term-long virtual team project, internet access is necessary
Course Overview: Most of us have had experience working in teams. In fact, organizing groups of workers into teams has become a common method of getting work done in a variety of organizations. Relying on teams has multiple advantages, including:

• The opportunity for team members to learn from each other. Potential exists for greater work-force flexibility with cross-training.
• The opportunity for synergistic combinations of ideas and abilities.
• The chance to discover new approaches to tasks.
• Social facilitation and support for difficult tasks and situations.
• The opportunity for communication and information exchange to be facilitated and increased.
• Greater cooperation among team members.
• Enhanced interdependent work flow. Potential exists for greater acceptance and understanding of team-made decisions.
• The chance for greater autonomy, variety, identity, significance, and feedback for workers.
• The opportunity for team commitment to stimulate performance and attendance.
However, for many, the experience of working in teams has been less than satisfactory. Perhaps you have encountered some of the following problems:

• Some individuals are not compatible with teamwork.
• Workers must be selected to fit the team as well as requisite job skills.
• Some members may experience less motivating jobs as part of a team.
• Organization may resist change.
• Conflict may develop between team members or other teams.
• Teams may be time-consuming due to need for coordination and consensus.
• Teams can stymie creativity and inhibit good decision making if “group think” becomes preva-lent.
• Evaluation and rewards may be perceived as less powerful.
• “Free-riding” within the team may occur.
• Less flexibility may be experienced in personnel replacement or transfer.
Adapted from Medsker, G. J., Campion, M. A., “Job and Team Design,” in Salvendy, G., Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics, pp. 450-489, Interscience, 18 Apr 1997.

Clearly, building a high-performance team involves more than putting a group of people together and expecting them to be effective. There are numerous skills and practices that are necessary and critical to manage teams properly. This course is designed to help you learn and master these skills and practices.