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Good working relationships and team-work amongst staff in the workplace is vital for any organisation. Ideal team-working is the combined efforts of a collection of people, working together to achieve a mutual aspiration or objective. This assignment will explore one of the main team-working theories developed by Bruce Tuckman, identify factors which contribute to change and conflict within the workplace and explore organisational cultures within a social care setting.
Bruce Tuckman introduced his team-working theory in 1965. (Organisational Behaviour – David Buchanan & Andrzej Huczynski). He demonstrated four stages starting from the initial bond between staff to the achievements based on effective working relationships. The first stage “Forming” described the initial assembly of the working staff, creating a primary bond and identifying the common task within the group. “Storming” was the second phase which explained how staff began to introduce intentions within the group. Potential personality clashes are believed to emerge in this phase and this can be very damaging for the development of the team. In some cases the team will never blossom beyond this point due to personal disagreement and conflict within the group.
“Norming” is the next phase, where a more harmonious working relationship develops. The staff work well together without the constant aid of a team leader or manager. “Performing” is the peak stage in a team, demonstrating ideal and flawless working relationships and a high level of achievement and team ambitions. The team members display excellent communication skills, a similar set of values and ethics and share the leadership and responsibility.
Tuckman later described a fifth and final stage to working in a team “Adjourning and transforming”. This is the process of staff members within the team either parting the team for alternative ambition, or a new team member being initiated, which Tuckman believes to temporarily revert the team back to the earlier “Forming” stage.
The appointment of a new manager or team leader can also cause change in a working environment and this can have a massive impact on the team. If the manager is incapable of managing the team sufficiently e.g. ensuring the staff are meeting goals and sharing the work load equally, then this will lead to conflict within the working team. Without an organised and accommodating team leader, the rest of the staff will begin to suffer, as the staff will be often left feeling disregarded without any routine or structure.
The perpetual change in legislation relating to Social Care means that staff are constantly having to learn or having to adopt new procedures and working practices. This constant change can create conflict within a workforce as it is often met with resistance by certain staff members. Conflict can also arise through personality clashes, discrimination, and staff shirking their responsibilities.
Some examples in relation to discrimination can be race, religion or gender. Treating a staff member differently or less favorably than the rest of the workforce can have a negative effect on staff morale and may cause that individual to have low self-worth. In extreme cases this can lead to dismissal as it goes against the Equality Act 2010, although a lot cases of discrimination in the work place is very subtle and often mistaken for a personal clash between staff members. Discrimination can often be undetected by other staff members or management.
Organisational culture refers to the beliefs, attitude and principles of a particular organisation. It has been suggested that “culture is to an Organisation what personality is…