Finally comes to the end of second week and my team for the following semester had been formed eventually! Here, I have to emphasise that ‘my team’ had been formed not ‘my group’. According to Oakley, Felder, Brent and Elhajj (2004), we were all formed as an instructor-formed team. “A working group relies primarily on the sum total of individual contributions; a team multiplies them” (Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K., 1992). Unlike a group which members share same interest, interact together and work more casually, our teams in management 300 had a specific goals or purpose and clear task (to get a great result in MikesBikes and of course, to pass this course), we were more oriented and collaboration was an essential element for our task competition. In reality, a real team at work also has some features of team discipline such as adequate level of complementary skills, clear working approach, truly meaningful purpose, specific goals, performance objectives and mutual accountability. Oakley, et al., (2004) had mentioned that a good team should also focus on having a diversity of skills and abilities. I think those are also some features that our lecturer is expecting to see from us in this course.
I was lucky enough to be assigned in a team with some friendly and intelligent teammates. Now, I am hoping that we can make a good use of our different skills and abilities to achieve our goal at the end of this course. Referred to the reading, there were five important factors to convert a group into an effective team which included establishing expectations, preliminary instruction on effective team practices, dealing with problem team members, peer ratings and how to use them, frequently asked questions (Oakley, et al., 2004). These five methods were not hard to understand but not easy to achieve as well. As same as all theories that we learnt from other different courses especially management courses in university, I believed that they will be way harder to implement than to learn or understand. However, it was not impossible to carry out the above methods, for example, establishing everyone’s expectation of the share price in MikesBikes, clearly discuss about the team strategy and increase team communications etc.
In conclusion, this course is really interesting and worth to spend more time on it since we are actually applying those theories onto our actual work.
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