I would begin by saying that I had a great learning experience with my team this semester. There were many things that I didn’t know about performance, team dynamics, cohesiveness, conflict resolution etc. that I have learned in this course. Relating the experiences I had during the course of this semester to the Organizational Behaviour (OB) theories has helped me improve my personal conduct.
As mentioned by McShane and Steen (2009) teams are “groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other” (p. 184). Our group consisted of four members in the beginning and then we had two members join in, as they were late in joining the class for various personal reasons. I would confidently say that on the whole, we are a fairly functional team but we had our share of issues. I will discuss some of those issues in the light of team/group conduct and some of my individual actions that I think were catalytic in causing some issues.
Group Analysis for Team:
Our team would be classified as a highly virtual team, as we were almost solely using information technology (IT) to communicate (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 186). We didn’t meet outside the class, as IT worked fine for our team. We are all working full-time, so we thought that IT is the best strategy to work with. . We decided to formally assign tasks related to the team project to the team members after the mid-term. But after mid-term and the interview with the AHS representative, we were not able to carry on with the action plan as effectively.
I will discuss few of the reasons that I think would’ve caused it. To begin I don’t suspect social-loafing in our team’s case, as everyone did have an input and everyone did the part assigned to them, which is not the case with social-loafing (Lawrence, 2013b, p. 1). Due to the nature of the project, it needed reciprocal interdependence, as we all had to get back and forth with each other to accomplish it. Reciprocal interdependence is the highest degree of interdependence and needs a lot of exchange of individual input (McShane & Steen, 2009, p. 189). So, if one member of the team was late in handing something in on-time, it would disrupt the workflow for the whole group.
I think that the composition of our team was also a reason that we had trouble putting everything back together. We all had different motivations, skill levels and the aptitude towards working with others. We are all at different level of emotional intelligence, which relates to the ability “to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in oneself and others” (Lawrence, 2013a, p. 2). Overall we showed a lot of empathy and positive social skills, which could be seen in Kevin’s case. His mother became ill and he had to leave for China. All the team members decided to take care of his part in the presentation!
One reason that it took us longer to understand each other could be that we are a very diverse team. Being diverse means that there is a better chance of experiencing more conflict due to different backgrounds, values and experiences (Lawrence, 2013b, p. 4). We had members from four different ethnicities in our group. So, I think that all of these factors played a role in some of the differences that arose in our group.
Another prominent factor that hindered our team building is the use of IT and working as a virtual team. We had no meetings outside the class hours, which gave us no real “opportunity or resources to develop as a team” (Lawrence, 2013c, p. 4). If it happens then the progress of team development stops and it just confines to a work group level, where individual member bring their work together but there is no positive synergy between the group members (Lawrence, 2013b, p. 2). To overcome this we decided to meet face-to-face for to put more coordinated effort in our presentation (p. 2).
Personal conduct in Group: