BUILDING EFFECTIVE TEAMS:
Chapter 2: The Need for Teams
Chapter 4: Team Building and Development
Chapter 5: Goals - Effective Team Goals
Chapter 7: Competent Team Members - Effective Teams
Chapter 8: Unified Team Commitment - Effective Teams
Chapter 9: Team Collaboration
Chapter 10: Team Standards of Excellence
Chapter 11: External Team Support and Recognition
Chapter 12: Principled Leadership - Effective Teams
Chapter 13: Inside Management Teams - Effective Teams
Chapter 14: Training Activities for Teamwork
In Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong Carl E. Larson and Frank M. J. Lafasto's fourth characteristic of effective teams is unified commitment. This is commonly called "team spirit." Unified commitment is composed of two elements: commitment and unity.
Commitment consists of mental and physical energy. Effort is the minimal requirement to be on the team - you must be willing to work at it. Team success involves many intangibles, including attitudes and energy.
Unity is group spirit. Teamwork comes about as a result of identification with a team (Sherwin 1976).
Teams work differently, and achieve goals in differing ways. This is okay - the leader and team members should concentrate on coalescence, unity, and "emotional bonding."
Fostering unified commitment is one way to create a more effective team. Keep in mind that involvement enhances commitment.
Differentiation and integration must be balanced. We must appreciate differences, and require unity. Too much requiring unity can lead to groupthink and stifled creativity. Too much differentiation leads to "analysis paralysis," conflicts in values/vision, and conflict in the area of personal vs. team goals.
Leaders must deal with non-productive/self-serving members in order to help the team to function.
Most American workers acknowledge low levels of commitment. Daniel Yanklovich and John Immerwahr surveyed workers in 1983, and only 25% said that they were working as hard as they could be (Nelson-Horchler, 1985: 47).
Katzenbach and Smith (The Discipline of Teams: A Mindbook-Workbook for Delivering Small Group Performance 112) write that common commitment includes the purpose team members believe in or direction the team goes, sometimes in responses to management . The purpose belongs to team (collectively) and to team members (individually). These are transformed into specific performance goals.
Sanborn (Teambuilt: Making Teamwork Work) identifies three types of commitment: unilateral, consultative, and consensus. Hersey and Blanchard identify five kinds of team commitment: 1) commitment to the customer (internal and external); 2) commitment to the organization (and its management); 3) commitment to self ; 4) commitment to people (individuals and work team); and 5) commitment to the task (mission) (420).
It is difficult to define the term group cohesion, and Bettenhausen gives a biography of authors that have written about the subject of the definition of cohesion (Bettenhausen 361). An early study about group cohesion was done by Organ and Hamer in 1950 (Bettenhausen 351).
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