High Performance Teams

Essay by winstmaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, July 2007

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IntroductionThe terms groups and teams are oftentimes used interchangeable, however, there are some differences. According to Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn (2005), a group is a collection of two or more people who work with one another regularly to achieve common goals. On the other hand, team is defined as a small group of people with complementary skills who work actively together to achieve a common purpose for which they hold themselves collectively accountable (Schermerhorn et al, 2005). So, where does the difference come in? Accountability is the real difference. Throughout this paper, the writer will discuss ways in which groups can become high-performance teams. In addition, the writer will examine the impact of demographic characteristics and cultural diversity on group behavior and how such diversity can contribute or detract from high-performance teams.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2007) defines groups as a number of individuals assembled or having some unifying relationship.

Groups can form coalitions and signs of an organization can be seen. When a group is too large, communication is not effective between the members. Standards will be developed within a group. Roles will evolve from those standards. These roles often influence the interactions of the group. Groups usually have a common objective that they labor individually to accomplish.

A common purpose allows a team to build an identity that extends beyond the sum of the individuals involved and to give itself a direction. Having a common purpose also ensures stability through change, enables a team to sort out who will do a particular job, how schedules will be set and adhered to, what skills need to be developed, how the group will make decisions and when and how to modify the approach to ensure successful completion of the team's objectives. Mutual accountability and interdependence mean that every team...