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Organization Development

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Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
Lesson 32
Interpersonal and Group Process Approaches
Team Building
Figure 40 Team Building Cycle
The team building process recognizes two types of activities:
Family Group Diagnostic Meetings ­ aimed at identifying group problems
Family Group Team-Building Meetings ­ aimed at improving the team's functioning.
Most team development training meetings follow a format involving the following steps:
Step 1: Initiating the Team Building Meeting
Step 2: Setting Objectives
Step 3: Collecting Data
Step 4: Planning the Meeting
Step 5: Conducting the Meeting
Step 6: Evaluating the Team Building Process
Step 1: Initiating the Team Building Meeting
The team building meeting may be initiated by a manager higher in the organization structure, who is not a
member of the team. Whosoever decided, the decision to proceed is usually collaborative. During the
formation stage the members of the team will probably discuss the degree to which they support team
building. They will also discuss whether a team is necessary given the specific work situation.
Step 2: Setting Objectives:
If a team building meeting is to be effective, there should be general agreement on the objectives before
team building proceeds.
The practitioner may address some pertinent questions to the work group. These might include: What is
the purpose of this meeting? What do the participants and the consultant want to do? Why this group of
people at this time? How does this meeting fit into the OD program? What is the priority of this project?
Are the team members really interested and committed? What does the team want to accomplish? How will
team building be measured or evaluated?
Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
Step 3: Collecting Data:
Some information is already gathered before the meeting, particularly during the diagnostic phase. The
usefulness of this information depends on the extent to which it can be specifically identified with the team
as opposed to the total organization. The members may be given additional questionnaires to fill out, or
they may be interviewed. The practitioner may hold mini-group meetings with a few members at a time or
with all the members to gather information.
Step 4: Planning the Meeting:
The planning session will probably be attended by the practitioner, the manager, and a few of the team
members. It is important at this point to restate the goals and objectives as precisely as possible,
incorporating information obtained during the preceding steps. If the goals are specific behavioral
objectives, the remaining work of planning the sequence of events of the meeting will flow more easily and
logically. Going through this process will ensure a meeting that satisfies the needs of the participants.
Planning for a team building meeting includes the logistics of the meeting, such as arranging for a time and
a place. The planning stage will also ensure that all necessary personnel and resources are available.
Step 5: Conducting the Meeting:
The meeting itself usually lasts two or three days. It is arranged at a place away from the work area. Reason
being, it helps to put everyone ­ superior and subordinate ­ on a more equal level. It also lessens
On the morning of the 1st day, members are encouraged to share their expectations for the meeting and to
develop specific norms that would guide their behaviors during the two-day meeting. This process is aided
by an exercise in which the group members share their experiences about the best team they had ever
worked on and in that way identified characteristics of effective teams. The norms and characteristics are
placed on flipcharts and hung on the wall of the meeting room. All members agree to behave according to
the norms and to assess periodically how well the norms were being followed. The consultant agrees to
provide feedback on norm compliance during the session.
The meeting begins with a restatement agreed upon objectives. The data are presented to the entire team,
with attention given to problem areas or issues in which the team has expressed an interest, and then the
team forms an agenda ranked in order of priority. The team critiques its own performance to prevent
dysfunctional actions and improve functional activities. If the members feel that this is an opportunity for
them to express open and honest feelings without fear of punishment, the leader of the team may come
under attack. The success and failure of team building meeting may depend on how the manager reacts to
the situation.
Once the team members have resolved their interpersonal issues, and developed a group understanding,
they can move on to the task issues that need to be discussed. The purpose is to develop a specific action
plan for improving the ways or processes it uses to reach its organizational goals. The first day ends with
several unfinished lists of value statements, core purposes, and thoughts. An evaluation of the day was
done. An overall rating and comments about the group were made. The next day begins by feeding back
the data from the evaluation and the important issues that remain to be addressed. The consultant then
writes several important points on a flipchart and asks the group to identify the most important agenda
items. Quickly they decide that they wanted to finish the core-values work and then discuss their core
purpose. The consultant facilitates the conversation that is now under the control of the group members.
Within a couple of hours, the group produces a list of core values, develops a process for involving the rest
of the organization in creating a final list of values and crafts a core purpose that describes the essence of
the organization. Before the meeting ends, the team should make a list of action items to be dealt with, who
will be responsible for each item, and a time schedule.
Step 6: Evaluating the Team Building Process:
At this meeting, the team examines the action items, exploring those that have been or being carried out
and those that are not working. It determines how well the implemented action items have aided the team's
operation and what else can be done. It reconsiders any action items that are not working and discards
those that seem unnecessary. Items that appear to be helpful may now be given additional attention and
support. The team will also explore how to resolve ongoing problems and what can be done to enhance
continuous improvement.
The Manager's Role in Team Building:
Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
Ultimately, the manager is responsible for group functioning, although this responsibility obviously must be
shared by the group itself. Therefore, it is management's task to develop a work group that can stop
regularly to analyze and diagnose its own effectiveness and work process. With the group's involvement,
the manager must diagnose the group's effectiveness and take appropriate actions if the work unit shows
signs of operating difficulty or stress.
Many managers, however, have not been trained to perform the data gathering, diagnosis, planning, and
action necessary to maintain and improve their teams continually. Thus, the issue of who should lead a
team-building session is a function of managerial capability. The initial use of a consultant usually is
advisable if a manager is aware of problems, feels that she or he may be part of the problem, and believes
that some positive action is needed to improve the operation of the unit, but is not sure how to go about it.
Dyer has provided a checklist for assessing the need for a consultant (Table 11). Some of the questions ask
the manager to examine problems and establish the degree to which she or he feels comfortable in trying
out new and different things, the degree of knowledge about team building, whether the boss might be a
major source of difficulty, and the openness of group members.
Basically, the role of the consultant is to work closely with the manager (and members of the unit) to a
point at which the manager is capable of engaging in team-development activities as a regular and ongoing
part of overall managerial responsibilities. Assuming that the manager wants and needs a consultant, the
two should work together as a team in developing the initial program, keeping in mind that (1) the manager
ultimately is responsible for all team-building activities, even though the consultant's resources are available,
and (2) the goal of the consultant's presence is to help the manager learn to continue team-development
processes with minimum consultant help or without the ongoing help of the consultant.
Thus, in the first stages the consultant might be much more active in data gathering, diagnosis, and action
planning; particularly in a one- to three-day off-site workshop is considered. In later stages, the consultant
takes a much less active role, with the manager becoming more active and serving as both manager and
team developer.
Table 11.Assessing the Need for a Consultant
Assessing the Need for a Consultant
Should you use an outside consultant to help in team building? (Circle the appropriate response)
1.  Does the manager feel comfortable in trying out something new and different with Yes  No  ?
the staff?
2. Is the staff used to spending time in an outside location working on issues of Yes  NO ?
concern to the work unit?
3. Will group members speak up and give honest data?
Yes  No  ?
4. Does your group generally work together without a lot of conflict or apathy?
Yes  No  ?
5. Are you reasonable sure that the boss is not a major source of difficulty?
Yes  No  ?
6. Is there a high commitment by the boss and unit members to achieving more Yes  No  ?
effective team functioning?
7. Is the personal style of the boss and his or her management philosophy consistent Yes  No  ?
with a team approach?
8. Do you feel you know enough about team building to begin a program without Yes  No  ?
9. Would your staff feel confident enough to begin a team-building program without Yes  No  ?
outside help?
Scoring: if you have circled six or more "yes" responses, you probably do not need an outside consultant.
If you have circled four or more "no" responses, you probable do need a consultant. If you have mixture
of "yes", "no", and ? responses, invite a consultant to talk over the situation and make a joint decision.
When Is Team Building Applicable?
Team building is applicable in a large number of situations, from starting a new team, to resolving conflicts
among members, to revitalizing a complacent team. Lewis has identified the following conditions as best
suited to team building:
Patterns of communication and interaction are inadequate for good group functioning.
Group leaders desire an integrated team.
The group's task requires interaction among members.
The team leader will behave differently as the result of team building, and members will respond
to the new behavior.
Organization Development ­ MGMT 628
The benefits outweigh the costs of team building.
Team building must be congruent with the leader's personal style and philosophy.
When is Team Building Appropriate?
·  To permit members to gain new expertise and experience and to develop and educate members.
·  To build and enhance communication and interaction, because teams offer increased levels of
participation in decisions.
·  To build consensus and commitment on a controversial issue.
·  Group leaders desire an integrated team.
·  To allow more creative discussions by pulling together people of unusual and different
backgrounds and interests.
·  Team building must be congruent with the leader's personal style and philosophy.
Team Management Styles:
There are two main styles of team management.
A transactional, task oriented approach:
Managers view the behavior of team members as an extension of team processes, and they attempt to
modify that behavior through punishment and rewards.
A transformational, people oriented approach:
Managers who apply a transformational approach, developing team members' knowledge, skills, abilities,
and careers, rather than focusing on the processes.
The Results of Team Building:
The research on team building has a number of problems. First, it focuses mainly on the feelings and
attitudes of group members. Little evidence supports that group performance improves as a result of team-
building experiences. One study, for example, found that team building was a smashing success in the eyes
of the participants. However, a rigorous field test of the results over time showed no appreciable effects on
either the team's functioning and efficiency or the larger organization's functioning and efficiency. Second,
the positive effects of team building typically are measured over relatively short time periods. Evidence
suggests that the positive effects of off-site team building are short-lived, often fading after the group
returns to the organization. Third, team building rarely occurs in isolation. Usually it is carried out in
conjunction with other interventions leading to or resulting from team building itself. For this reason it is
difficult to separate the effects of team building from those of the other interventions.
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