Teamwork. What a daunting word, knowing that we will be playing a specific part to helping others attain the grade they want and deserve. However my real fear lies in knowing that others might not pull their weight, and although we can give feedback and encourage others to contribute, at the end of the day our group members are still doing work that we might not necessarily agree with or feel is up to standard of work we would complete individually. All of this can seem extremely frightening however it wasn’t until I considered all of the positive elements that can come from teamwork (Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. 1992). For example in the ‘Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams’, reading (Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. 2004) we see that people are not born with the skills required for high performance teamwork, however as mentioned in my previous journal we learn through experience and the skills that come from teamwork are skills that are of high value out in the real world, and with more and more jobs encouraging group work to inspire innovation to increase productivity, working in teams and trying to construct effective teams in Management300 is a stepping stone to acquiring those skills and preparing ourselves for what is to come.
In regards to creating effective teams it was interesting when we received the explanation of how groups were formed for our MikesBikes teamwork. One of the readings says that instructor-formed teams have proven more efficient in studies, vs. self-selected teams, however it also mentions that diverse groups, including both weak and stronger skilled students are ‘well-functioning’ teams, as the weak students learn from the good students, seeing how they tackle different tasks, also that the stronger students benefit also, “thoroughly to teach another is the best way to learn for yourself,” (Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. 2004). We were however told in class that all the students that received a Shareholder Value of lower than $20 were placed in groups together so that they would not demotivate and bring stronger team members down. This was an interesting approach in selecting teams, and I definitely see where the selectors were coming from but after having this reading I was left wondering why they choose the methods they did, any whether the “weaker” teams will be more motivated to step up and get the job done.
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27