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October 05 2014 22:59
05 October 2014
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1. Teamwork and team leadership...................................................................................................................
05 October 2014
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Teamwork and team leadership
Author: Nurmi, Raimo
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Abstract: Some of the advantages and disadvantages of teamwork are explored, suggesting that in present day companies teamwork is a must for the coordination of departments. Four team leadership styles are examined: dictatorial, compromise, integrative teamwork and synergistic teamwork. The advantages and disadvantages of each are outlined. It is concluded that synergistic teamwork, wherein the team creates something new and greater than the addition of individual team members' resources, offers the best percentage outcome.
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Full text: Raimo Nurmi: Professor at the Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland
Teamwork as a form of co-operation
Teamwork may have two kinds of objectives: co-ordinating and innovating. They may, at first sight, look incongruent, but, in fact, they can be combined even during the same session. Researchers into creative work have concluded that it is, to a great extent, an ability to combine opposite things and processes - both divergent and convergent thinking are needed in creativity.
Far too often the rigidity and formality of the line organization, its power and reporting relationships accentuate the vertical interaction in the organization at the cost of horizontal communication. Teamwork is one measure to open the horizontal communication, and to add to the elasticity of the whole organization. In a functional organization the functions are interdependent, and they need continuous co-ordination. Objectives and performance reviews give a basis for co-ordination. When this has been done, teamwork may be most helpful to make the objectives shared.
Trainers of creativity have found teamwork to be a splendid instrument of innovation. Innovation can be exercised in all teamwork. The presence of a team increases the level of arousal and excites new ways of thinking. Novel ideas are oftentimes strange combinations of two or more old ones. Then different persons with different backgrounds can find something new, something that is more than any one of them knew without and before the teamwork. This is synergy or the "1+1=3" effect.
Teamwork is not the panacea for problems in co-operation. Poor application of teamwork corrodes individual responsibility and decision rights. It is possible to waste time and and get on people's nerves by teamwork that leads to nothing. Teamwork has been used for the purpose of burying things instead of getting them decided.
Teamwork has been used as a camouflage of autocratic management. Hidden agendas in the meetings may make it impossible for the team to reach anything. Teamwork can slow down decision making, if decisions are not allowed to be taken by individuals or if people do not have the courage to make them without the express acceptance of a formal team meeting. But teamwork can also be utilized as a superb instrument for innovation and co-ordination. This is to say that teamwork can be applied properly or improperly. Teamwork does not prevent managers or organizations from failing. In order to add some value, teamwork has to be managed properly, it needs to be built on a responsibility-based organization, simple rules of conduct and skill in teamwork. The first social psychological laboratory experiments in the late nineteenth century dealt with the effectiveness of teamwork. The question then was, which is more effective,