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MGMT 300 – Learning Journal Week 02                                      Scott Wong- 2651050

What Makes a Good Team?

We have now moved on to the second week of the semester and I now have an even better understanding of how this course works. This is due to the Learning Journal feedback and also vigorously practicing Mikes Bikes. This week has been particularly interesting because I have being playing Mikes Bikes and I have come to realise that this simulation can be very hard to play and therefore it would make sense for a whole team to play this game in order to achieve an extremely high shareholder value. However I am left with one concern, what makes a good team? There are so many ways in which a team can be formed, for example teams can be formed based on skills and ability, personality, behaviour or common goals (Schjoedt, Monsen, Pearson, Barnett & Chrisman, 2013). Which criteria should be used to create an effective team?  

I went to the lectures this week and did the readings which made realise the kind of criteria that is used to form a good team. According to Oakley, Felder, Brent and Elhajj (2004) a good team should focus on having a diversity of skills and abilities but I thought to myself, what about other factors such as personality. I do psychology so I think having a team with diverse personalities can benefit a team for example Agreeableness (From trait theory) predicts team task work understanding (Guchait, Hamilton and Hua, 2014) but a group with too many people high on Agreeableness can obviously  lead to Group Think. The lecturer suggested that teams formed for the Mike Bikes simulation should be based mainly on common goals or goal congruency because of time restrictions. This would prevent conflict and social loafing and this does makes sense however I think there should have been more time to form these teams so more diverse teams could be made.

Primarily basing a team on only one or two constraints completely contradicts the emphasis made by Oakley, Felder, Brent and Elhajj (2004) about having a team with diversity. I think that a team (if there was enough time) can learn to adapt to each other’s goals and compromise about the overall teams goals so that everyone is happy.

Basing the teams on only a few constraints does make sense because of the time restrictions and I guess I’ll have to see how my team goes during this semester. Overall this week I have learnt what makes good team (diversity of skills, common goals, trust and other constraints) but more importantly through learning these team forming constraints I learnt that when forming a team, the person forming it should take their time and also reflect (Daudelin, 1996) on their decisions they have made in regards to which constraints they use in order to create the most efficient team. In my eyes the most effective team can come from the person who creates it.              

 

References

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36—48.

Guchait, P., Hamilton, K., & Hua, N. (2014). Personality predictors of team taskwork understanding and transactive memory systems in service management teams. International Journal Of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(3), 401-425. doi:10.1108/IJCHM-05-2013-0197

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.

Schjoedt, L., Monsen, E., Pearson, A., Barnett, T., & Chrisman, J. J. (2013). New Venture and Family Business Teams: Understanding Team Formation, Composition, Behaviors, and Performance. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 37(1), 1-15. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6520.2012.00549.x  

 

2 Comments

  1. Your journal was an interesting read, however I think that you may have missed the point of diversity where you write about personality. The big five personality traits will be present and will be demonstrated in the way that the team members abilities and skills are applied and how they interact with other members of the team. However you appear to be on the right track regarding social loafing and groupthink. Your last paragraph seems to me to contradict what you have said about narrow selection criteria in the previous writing. Your previous stance was that narrow criteria is not good yet you then the last paragraph confused me. 

  2. Your journal raises many questions for me. First, I believe that you should review the readings again to get a stronger grasp of the theory, with regards to diversity of personalities and agreeableness. I can understand your contradiction in regards to a perfect and imperfect situation in which to formulate teams but feel more focus should be put onto what you have learned to enable greater team cohesiveness within your group. Overall a journal that needs to refined in both theory and in structure where you can reflect on experiences and identify key learning that you have gained through these processes.