This reading has addressed four questions: what characterises a group, what characterises a team, how project teams are organised and what can make teams ineffective. Groups can be formal or informal depending on the circumstances. Work groups or teams are generally more focused on particular tasks and outcomes, and use processes that aim to achieve a unity of purpose, communication and action. I looked at six major types of team: functional, project, matrix, contract, self-managing and self-organising. Each form has strengths and weaknesses that suit particular types of project within particular organisational cultures, and teams often involve a mixture of different forms. Team effectiveness is shaped by internal influences – task achievement, individual membership and team interaction – as well as external influences, such as customers, sponsors, other teams and organisational culture.
References for Reading 1
Adair, J. (1983) Effective Leadership, Gower.
Industrial Society (1995) Managing Best Practice: Self Managed Teams. Publication no. 11, May 1995, London, Industrial Society.
Makin, P., Cooper, C. and Cox, C. (1989) Managing People at Work, The British Psychological Society and Routledge.
Stanton, A. (1992) 'Learning from experience of collective teamwork', in Paton R., Cornforth C, and Batsleer, J. (eds) Issues in Voluntary and Non-profit Management, pp. 95–103, Addison-Wesley in association with the Open University.