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Organization Development

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Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
Lesson 31
Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches
4. Team Building
A team is a group of individuals with complementary skills who depend upon one another to accomplish
common purpose or set of performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
Teamwork is work done when members subordinate their personal prominence for the good of the team.
Members of effective teams are open and honest with one another, there is support and trust, there is a
high degree of cooperation and collaboration, decisions are reached by consensus, communication channels
are open and well developed, and there is a strong commitment to the team's goals.
Many organizations are attempting to increase productivity by implementing team-based programs. Almost
80% of all companies have some type of team-based, employee involvement program in place. Just like the
Army believes that individuals perform better when they are part of a stable group; they are more reliable,
and they take responsibility for the success of the overall operation.
Developing teams is necessary because technology and market demands are compelling manufactures to
make their products faster, cheaper, and better.
The coordination of individual effort into task accomplishment is most important when the members of a
team are interdependent. Interdependence refers to situations where one person's performance is
contingent upon how someone else performs. In order to understand the workings of teams we can draw
some good parallels from sports like cricket, football, and basketball. Among the three major professional
sports ­ cricket, football, and basketball ­ basketball is more of a team sport than the other two.
Cricket is a game of pooled interdependence where team member contributions are somewhat independent
of one another. The players are separated on a large field, they are not all involved actively in every play,
and they come to bat one at a time.
Football, in contrast, involves sequential interdependence. A flow of players and first downs are required to
score. The players are closer to each other than in cricket, and there is greater degree of interdependence.
Players are normally grouped together functionally (i.e. offence and defense) and the two groups do not
contact one another. Unlike cricket, all the players on the field are involved in every play.
Basketball exhibits the highest degree of interdependence. Players are closely grouped together and the
team moves together on the court. Every player may contact any other player, and the player's roles or
functions are less defined than in football. All the players are involved in offense, defense, and trying to
Organizations frequently use sport teams as a model. For example, some organizations require close
teamwork similar to basketball, whereas other organizations require team involvement similar to cricket.
Using sports terminology, a production manager expressed his vision of his work team by saying, "I have a
picture of an ideal basketball team in my head that I compare to the production team. When I see people
not passing to each other or when I see somebody taking all the shots, I know we have to work on
One major OD technique, termed team building or team development, is used for increasing the
communication, cooperation, and cohesiveness of units to make them productive and effective. Team
building is an intervention where the members of a work group examine such things as their goals,
structure, procedures, culture, norms, and interpersonal relationships, to improve their ability to work
together effectively and efficiently.
The OD in Practice illustrates how Starbucks uses team methods.
OD in Practice: A Cup of Coffee at Starbucks
Howard Schultz's vocabulary, at least in formal interviews, makes him sound like a college professor of
management. The interviews are prepared with words like "collaborative," "teams," "empowerment,"
"empathize," and "vision."
Schultz just happens to be one of the founders, chairperson of the board, and chief strategist of Starbucks
Coffee Company, and he is intent on moving Starbucks to new heights. "We are in the second inning of a
nine-inning game," he says. Starbucks stock has gone up more than 3,000 percent since it first went public
in 1992. The firm has over 7,500 stores in 36 countries and is expanding so rapidly that the running joke is
that a new Starbucks will be opening in the restroom of a current Starbucks. Over 25 million people visit
Starbucks each week. No American retailer has a higher frequency of customer visits. Besides a good cup
of Coffee, what is the Starbucks formula for success?
Perhaps it is the firm's vision. Says former US Senator and current Starbucks board member Bill Bradley,
"Howard is consumed with his vision of Starbucks. That means showing the good that a corporation can
do for his workers, shareholders, and customers." On Starbucks six-point mission statement, number one
is "Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity."
Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
Starbucks overriding Company philosophy is "Leave no one behind." This philosophy shows up in new
employees receiving 24 hours of in-store training, higher-than-average salaries, and benefit packages. All
employees who work more than 20 hours a week receive stock options and full health-care benefits.
Schultz says, "The most important thing I ever did was give our employees stock options. That's what sets
us apart and gives a higher quality employee that cares more."
In employee surveys Starbucks ranks ahead of other companies. Starbucks employees show an 82% job-
satisfaction rate compared to a 50% rate for all employees. Starbucks has the lowest employee turnover rate
of any restaurant or fast-food company. Another survey found that the two principal reasons people work
for Starbucks are "the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic team" and "to work in a place where one
has value." A Starbucks spokesperson says, "We look for people who are adaptable, self-motivated,
passionate, creative team players." Maintaining this spirit is not easy in a company with around 11,000 full-
time and almost 70,000 part-time employees. "Getting big and staying small," is the Starbucks objective,
says Schultz.
Starbucks has lower profit margins than other companies in the fast-food industry, partly because it has
higher salaries and benefit costs. All of the stores are owned by Starbucks, which enables the company to
control store operations. "I look at franchising as a way of accessing capital, and I will never make the
tradeoff between cheap money and losing control over our stores," says Schultz.
There are several reasons for using team building to improve organizational effectiveness. First, the work
group is basic unit of the organization and thus provides a supportive change factor. Second, the operating
problems of work groups (or the basic units) are often sources of inefficiency.
Teams or work groups often have difficulty in operating effectively. The problems that inhibit effective
operation include lack of clear objectives, interpersonal differences or conflicts, ineffective communication,
difficulty in reaching group decisions, and inappropriate power and authority levels in the group.
Need for Team Building:
Work teams may be of two basic types:
Natural work team ­ people come together because they do related jobs or because of the
structure of the organizations design.
Temporary task team ­ groups meet for limited periods to work on a specific project or problem
and disband after they solve it.
Need for team building varies with situation.
Team Building :
Team building refers to broad range of planned activities that help group improve the way they accomplish
tasks and help group members enhance interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Effective approach to
team building involves:
Team-Building Activities
Team Building Process
The Manager's Role in Team Building
When is Team Building Appropriate?
Results of Team Building
Team-Building Activities:
A team is a group of interdependent people who share a common purpose, have common work methods,
and hold each other accountable. The nature of that interdependence varies, creating the following types of
team: groups reporting to the same supervisor, manager, or executive, groups involving people with
common organizational goals; temporary groups formed to do a specific, one-time task; groups consisting
of people whose work roles are interdependent; and groups whose members have no formal links in the
organization but whose collective purpose is to achieve tasks they cannot accomplish alone. In addition,
there are a number of factors that affect the outcomes of any specific team-building activity: the length of
time allocated to the activity, the team's willingness to look at the way in which it operates, the length of
time the team has been working together, and the team's permanence. Consequently, the results of team--
building activities can range from comparatively modest changes in the team's operating mechanisms (for
Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
example, meeting more frequently or gathering agenda items from more sources) to much deeper changes
(for example, modifying team members' behavior patterns or the nature and style of the group's
management, or developing greater openness and trust).
In general, team-building activities can be classified as follows: (1) activities relevant to one or more
individuals; (2) activities specific to the group's operation and behavior; and (3) activities affecting the
group's relationship with the rest of the organization. Usually, a specific team-building activity will overlap
these three categories. On occasion, a change in one area will have negative results in other areas. A very
cohesive team may increase its isolation from other groups, leading to intergroup conflict or other
dysfunctional results, which in turn can have a negative impact on the total organization unless the team
develops sufficient diagnostic skills to recognize and deal with such results.
Activities Relevant to One or More individuals:
People come into groups and organizations with varying needs and wants for achievement, inclusion,
influence, and belonging. These needs and wants can be supported and nurtured by the team's structure
and process or they can be discouraged. Almost all team-building efforts result in one or more of the
members gaining a better understanding of the way authority, inclusion, emotions, control, and power
affect problem solving and other group processes. Such activities provide information so that people have a
clearer sense of how their needs and wants can or will be supported. This information then gives group
members a choice about their level of involvement, commitment, and investment in the team's functioning.
For example, in one team, the typical decision-making process included the leader having several agenda
items for discussion. Each of the items, however, had a predetermined set of actions that she wanted the
group to take. Most members were frustrated by their inability to influence decision making. During the
team-building process, group members asked whether the boss really wanted ideas and contributions from
group members. They gave specific examples of the leader's not-so-subtle manipulation to arrive at
preconceived decisions and described how they felt about it. At the end of the discussion, the boss
indicated her willingness to be challenged about such preconceived decisions, and the other team members
expressed their increased willingness to engage in problem--solving discussions, their trust in the leader,
and their ability to make the challenge without fear of reprisal.
Sometimes, the team-building process generates pressures on individual members, such as requests for
higher levels of task performance. Such requests could have negative results unless accompanied by
agreement for further one-to-one negotiations among team members. If these demands are made of the
boss, for example, he or she may feel a loss of power and authority unless the team can agree on ways in
which the boss can be kept informed about what is happening. Methods to meet these needs for control
and influence without causing feelings of isolation can be explored.
Activities Oriented to the Group's Operation and Behavior:
The most common focus of team building activities is behavior related to task performance and group
process. In an effective team, task behavior and group process must be integrated with each other as well as
with the needs and wants of the people making up the group. Team-building activities often begin by
clarifying the team's purpose, priorities, goals, and objectives. This establishes a framework within which
further work can be done. In most team-building activities, groups spend some time finding ways to
improve the mechanisms that structure their approach to work. A group may discuss how a meeting agenda
is created, the efficiency of key work processes, or strategies for lowering costs. In addition, groups often
examine their communications patterns and determine ways in which they can be improved. Frequently,
this leads to dropping some communications patterns and establishing new ones that are more open and
conducive to problem solving in nature.
Another group operation issue is the effective use of time. To improve in this area, the group may examine
its present planning mechanisms, introduce better ones, and identify ways for using its skills and knowledge
more effectively. The group also may make decisions about recognizing and redistributing the workload. As
the group develops over time, it tends to become more aware of the need for action plans about problems
or tasks as well as for better self-diagnosis about the effectiveness of its task-accomplishment processes.
Frequently, groups examine and diagnose the nature of their problem-solving techniques. Specific items
usually are diagnosed in the earlier stage of team building, and as teams mature they broaden the scope of
these diagnostic efforts to include areas that are more directly related to interpersonal styles and their
impact on other group members. Throughout this process, group norms become clearer, and the group can
provide more opportunity for members to satisfy individual needs within the group. As a result, the team is
much more willing to take risks within both the team and the organization. Team members become more
capable of facing difficulties and problems, not only within their own group but also within the larger
organization. A spirit of openness, trust, and risk taking develops.
Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
Activities Affecting the Group's Relationship with the Rest of the Organization:
As the team gains a better understanding of itself and becomes better able to diagnose and solve its own
problems; it focuses on its role within the organization. A group's relationship to the larger organizational
context is an important aspect of group effectiveness. As a result, the team may perceive a need to clarify
its organizational role and to consider how this role can be improved or modified. Sometimes, the team
may recognize a need for more collaboration with other parts of the organization and so try to establish
working parties or project teams that cross the boundaries of existing teams.
As the team becomes more cohesive, it usually exerts a stronger influence on the other subsystems of the
organization. Because that is one area in which team building can have negative effects, the process
consultant must help the group understand its role within the organization, develop its own diagnostic
skills, and examine alternative action plans so that inter-group tensions and conflicts do not expand.
Team Building Process:
Managing a team involves more than supervising people. In today's world, managers must bring a divergent
group of people together to work on a common project. Since no one person can possess all the knowledge
necessary to analyze and solve today's complex problems, teams are used to bring together the required
expertise. The nature of work groups makes team development interventions probably the single most
important and widely used OD activity.
Table of Contents:
  1. The Challenge for Organizations:The Growth and Relevance of OD
  2. OD: A Unique Change Strategy:OD consultants utilize a behavioral science base
  3. What an “ideal” effective, healthy organization would look like?:
  4. The Evolution of OD:Laboratory Training, Likert Scale, Scoring and analysis,
  5. The Evolution of OD:Participative Management, Quality of Work Life, Strategic Change
  6. The Organization Culture:Adjustment to Cultural Norms, Psychological Contracts
  7. The Nature of Planned Change:Lewin’s Change Model, Case Example: British Airways
  8. Action Research Model:Termination of the OD Effort, Phases not Steps
  9. General Model of Planned Change:Entering and Contracting, Magnitude of Change
  10. The Organization Development Practitioner:External and Internal Practitioners
  11. Creating a Climate for Change:The Stabilizer Style, The Analyzer Style
  12. OD Practitioner Skills and Activities:Consultant’s Abilities, Marginality
  13. Professional Values:Professional Ethics, Ethical Dilemmas, Technical Ineptness
  14. Entering and Contracting:Clarifying the Organizational Issue, Selecting an OD Practitioner
  15. Diagnosing Organizations:The Process, The Performance Gap, The Interview Data
  16. Organization as Open Systems:Equifinality, Diagnosing Organizational Systems
  17. Diagnosing Organizations:Outputs, Alignment, Analysis
  18. Diagnosing Groups and Jobs:Design Components, Outputs
  19. Diagnosing Groups and Jobs:Design Components, Fits
  20. Collecting and Analyzing Diagnostic information:Methods for Collecting Data, Observations
  21. Collecting and Analyzing Diagnostic information:Sampling, The Analysis of Data
  22. Designing Interventions:Readiness for Change, Techno-structural Interventions
  23. Leading and Managing Change:Motivating Change, The Life Cycle of Resistance to Change
  24. Leading and managing change:Describing the Core Ideology, Commitment Planning
  25. Evaluating and Institutionalizing Organization Development Interventions:Measurement
  26. Evaluating and Institutionalizing Organization Development Interventions:Research Design
  27. Evaluating and Institutionalizing Organization Development Interventions
  28. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Group Process
  29. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Leadership and Authority, Group Interventions
  30. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Third-Party Interventions
  31. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Team Building, Team Building Process
  32. Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches:Team Management Styles
  33. Organization Process Approaches:Application Stages, Microcosm Groups
  34. Restructuring Organizations:Structural Design, Process-Based Structures
  35. Restructuring Organizations:Downsizing, Application Stages, Reengineering
  36. Employee Involvement:Parallel Structures, Multiple-level committees
  37. Employee Involvement:Quality Circles, Total Quality Management
  38. Work Design:The Engineering Approach, Individual Differences, Vertical Loading
  39. Performance Management:Goal Setting, Management by Objectives, Criticism of MBO
  40. Developing and Assisting Members:Career Stages, Career Planning, Job Pathing
  41. Developing and Assisting Members:Culture and Values, Employee Assistance Programs
  42. Organization and Environment Relationships:Environmental Dimensions, Administrative Responses
  43. Organization Transformation:Sharing the Vision, Three kinds of Interventions
  44. The Behavioral Approach:The Deep Assumptions Approach
  45. Seven Practices of Successful Organizations:Training, Sharing Information