Team Dynamics: The Team Member's RolesWherever we go, we are all members of a group. We are members of a family, work organization, a department, a community and the human race. We cannot escape being a member of some group since we are automatically (or involuntarily) made members of certain groups - such as family. Organizations today use groups as a mechanism to improve performance. The structure of the organization reflects the belief in groups - as people are grouped together into departments, divisions, subsidiaries or project teams. Groups surround us and are an integral part of daily organizational life. (Supervision v55.n5, May 1994, pp8)As we have already found in our short time at the University of Phoenix, this is a philosophy that we as students will be experiencing throughout our educational experience. This is an environment that we will all be participants of and with cooperation and understanding of our roles in these teams we will be successful participants.
For our teams to function with success, the team members must fill certain roles. These roles will focus on addressing our tasks or assignments and solving problems or issues in order to fulfill these tasks. We must also meet our established norms (team charter) in order to help our team work together and function effectively. At the same time, team members will play our own personal roles, some of which may help the team and some of which may not.
Defining Team Member RolesIt is evident in studies of team performance that certain roles are filled by team members. These roles are not hard fast rules, just patterns of behavior that tend to emerge in all groups or team settings. Not every team will employ every role and members may take on several roles to fulfill the team's needs.