One of the main areas that may be causing the negativity and resentment towards the new team based structure may be due to the barriers of change on individuals and the way that the management is managing change. For many organisations the speed at which they change has increased substantially. Significant change like a re-structuring in this case is difficult, costly, and demanding of staff time and energy.Therefore it is important it is done correctly. Not everyone may think that change is good.
” On an individual level people often find it difficult to cope with considerable changes at some point most people will begin to feel uncomfortable if change is excessive.” (Haberberg 2001 pg 539). In this case it is clear that the change’s the organisation has made is having a negative affect on the individuals. It may have involved them moving office, moving away from there friends and colleagues to work with new individuals they don’t know.The most challenging of them all, will be the fact that they were taking away from there comfort zone of having the back up of there provisional colleagues for support on areas they may not be sure off in there provision. It is therefore critical to manage this change correctly.
It is managements or a team leader’s responsibility to control this change so that it progresses in a positive way. This means that, even though the new structure is a team based and flatter structure it is still critical that there is a strong team leader. It is important that this leader can successfully act as a change agent or “champion”. Part of the training program would be to select the team leaders for each of the new teams that emerged from the changing structure.One of the ways of doing this may be to complete personality tests or inventories. One way of doing this is the Belbin self-perception inventory. This describes a pattern of behaviour that characterises one person’s behaviour in relationship to another in facilitating the progress of a team. Dr Meredith Belbin suggests that, by understanding your team role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve how you contribute to the team.
By the team completing the inventory it may not just select an appropriate team leader but also will identify the role each person may contribute to the team.There are 8 team roles in this inventory; Company Worker, The Chairperson, Shaper, Plant, Resource Investigator, Monitor/Evaluator, Team Worker and Completer/Finisher. These tests may also help to check the balance of teams and may be used to rearrange some individuals to better suit the teams. Also by doing these tests, team members can assess their styles. This will help to determine whether they are people or task oriented (how they are energized) and how structured they are (how they are organized).
By discussing the results of this exercise, you can re-assign team members to maximize natural behaviour. This should improve team performance, as well as increase trust and create a more peaceful work environment. These exercises should help transform the groups from being ineffective to effective groups.When choosing the leader there are two distinct types of leaders: formal and informal. It would usually be the case that formal leaders would be the ones who have coercive power or receive some reward for the team’s success while informal leaders naturally assume the position of leader in a group. By undertaking these exercises it should help the group select a formal leader. This leader would therefore have the respect of the group which should help the group function better as a team.
One of the major problems with the structure of the new groups is that there is no cohesion within them. Teams with cohesion function better as groups. This is because team members draw of others experience and knowledge. This lack of cohesion means that the groups cannot operate effectively as members cannot seek help from the other members of the group if they encounter a problem because the other members would have little or no knowledge of the area.The team would operate more effectively if some class of a forum existed where specialists form different teams, but with the same areas of expertise, could consult each other so that problems could be overcome more quickly and effectively.
This may be achieved through team leaders. If team leaders could discuss freely problems members of there groups are having with other team leaders it may help some of the problems that come from the lack of cohesion.When teams are properly assigned and a team leader is appointed they can then start to go through Bruce Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing team-development model and then into the later added 5th stage Adjourning, which will be discussed in more detail. This system should help change the team back into a more team based and flatter structure and make the team more strategically aware. By doing this the team should have a shared vision and be able to stand on its own feet without depending on a leader.
There are many different definitions of groups in society today that we can all relate and can see in every day practice. A basic definition of a group is provided by Martin Shaw where he defines “a group is two or more persons who are interacting with one another in such a manner that each person influences and is influenced by each other person”. Schermerhorn’s definition of a group described in the Principles of Organisational Behaviour is that of “a small group of people with complimentary skills who work together to achieve a common purpose for which they hold themselves accountable”. In the case study is pointed out that the groups do not have complimentary skills but that the individuals in the groups all have different skills, which they bring to the group. There are many issues that can arise from this situation both positive and negative due to individuals being taken out of their comfort zones and encouraged to work with personnel from different departmentsStages of Team Development Its is important that the groups in the organisation are made aware of the stages in the development of a group according to Tuckman ; Jensen and that initially groups forming at the beginning are not always smooth running.
Tuckman ; Jensen portray the stages “if trust is absent ,no one will risk moving first and all parts will sacrifice the gains from collaboration and cooperation in increasing effectiveness” ( Sabel 1993)The realization that trust is integral to the smooth running of the organisation has created an area of research showing the value of trust regarding the behaviour of the group or team (Trust within teams, The relation with performance effectiveness, Journal). The trust article highlights that high trust levels has an acute bearing on team effectiveness, relationships within the group and overall co-operation levels for the betterment of the organisation. Trust levels are extremely relevant to the new teams in the multi-national organisation who are weary of working with individuals outside their own department and to an extent outside some employees comfort zone.In today’s management world there is an increased emphasis of individual involvement through collaborating as teams to engage in the decision making process.
Academics (Smith & Barclay, 1997) perceive trust to be related to individual’s thoughts about other people’s motives and intentions underlying their behaviour. It is important that the organisation carries out as mentioned earlier team bonding exercises so that individuals can quickly ascertain what they perceive to be their co workers most likely intentions and motives.