The report is a reflective account on the attitude and approach of a group followed in presenting a task. The report provides an answer to three questions divided into Task 1, Task 2 and Task 3. In task one there is an assessment done on the impact of the attitude of the team in a group work. The report however presents the assessment in the context of Tuckman and Jensen’s theory on team development. The second task is an evaluation on the impact of the competencies and capabilities of the individuals towards a group. This evaluation is done in the context of the Belbin’s theory relating to team roles for a task. The report also presents recommendations as a part of task 3 where steps for improving the effectiveness of the group mentioned.
Task 1: Assessing the Impact of the Team’s Attitude towards Group Work
While forming a team I have found that it is a time consuming process as the members go through recognizable stages from being a group of strangers to a united group having common set of goals. Thus, understanding the team’s attitude towards the group work through Tuckman and Jensen’s theory on team development is important which helped the team become more effective in a short time. Bruce Tuckman, a professor of psychology, helped in the identification of four stages to team development (Fransen, Weinberger and Kirschner 2013). These stages include forming, storming, norming and performing, experienced by every team. He also suggested that every team goes through an initial unproductive stage until it becomes self-sufficient.
According to Haines (2014), three issues determine the performance of the team. These issues include the content, the process and the feelings. Content focuses on activities undertaken by the team, process is to how the team moves towards its objectives and feelings implies the feeling of the team members towards each other. In this context, through his research Tuckman found that it is a common nature of most of the team to focus primarily on the content leaving aside the process and feelings. This helps in explaining that teams that appear to be stronger on paper can under perform in real situations.
As per Tuckman, the life cycle of a team has four stages. The dynamics of the team undergoes a dramatic change at every stage from the periods of uneasiness and inefficiency to a period of higher performance. Let us now look at each of the stages:
The Stage of Forming:
This is a stage where like most of the team members my team was polite and positive. Some were anxious whereas others who were excited about the team work (Porter and Wimmer, 2012). The leader however plays a vital role at this particular stage since there is no clear outline on the roles and responsibilities of team members. Here, the team members worked together and made an effort in knowing their colleagues.
The Stage of Storming
The team enters into storming phase when people starts pushing against boundaries created in forming stage. However, at this stage most of the teams fail (Posthuma and Al-Riyami 2012). This stage began with the conflict of team members in respect to their natural working styles. Different working styles led to the creation of unforeseen problems. Storming also happened when the team members challenged the authority regarding the clarification of their position. There were even questions related to team goals. In absence of the clearance about the teamwork, the members felt overburdened with the task in hand (Cheung 2012).
The Stage of Norming
This is a stage when the people in the team started resolving the differences, appreciate the strengths of the colleagues and respected the authority of the leader. At this stage, socialization amongst the team members took place where they reached a position where they could ask for constructive feedback and help from one another (Colombini and McBride 2012). At this stage, members also developed a strong commitment to the goals and work towards its progress. However, in most cases there is an overlapping between the norming and storming because new task at this stage forces the team to lapse back to the behavior of the storming stage.
The Stage of Performing
The performing stage reached when hard work of team members leads to achievement of the goals (Edson 2012). In this stage, the leader can delegate much of his work and concentrate on the development of the team development.
Thus, my team could work faster by considering the stages of Tuckman and initiating the necessary changes at each of the stages.
Task 2: Evaluation of the Impact of Individual’s Capabilities and Competences towards Group Work
The Belbin theory explains the evaluation of the impact of individual capabilities and competencies towards Group Work. According to Belbin, understanding of a role with a group can help develop strength and at the same time effectively manage the weakness of team members (Batenburg, van Walbeek, and in der Maur 2013). Thus, with the help of this theory, I was able to create a more balanced team. Belbin helped in identification of nine team roles and divided each of the roles into three groups. These groups are people oriented, action oriented, and thought oriented. Each of the team roles is associated with interpersonal and behavioral strengths. There is also weakness of the team that according to Belbin is the allowable weakness that exists in a team (Smith, Polglase and Parry 2012). These areas need potential improvement. However, the nine-team roles of Belbin include:
Action Oriented Role (Zarzu, Scarlat and Falcioglu 2013) includes the Shaper (SH), Implementer (IMP) and Complete Finisher (CF). Shaper (SH) represents the people in my team who initiate team improvement. These people are not only dynamic but also extrovert who helps in stimulating others. They also question norm and put forward the best approaches in solving problems. On the other hand, Implementer (IMP) represents the people in the team who convert the concepts and ideals as per the plans and practical actions (Senaratne and Gunawardane 2015). They are the most disciplined and well-organized people of the team who work efficiently and systematically. The Complete Finisher of the team is the people for whom the completion of the project has been possible. At the same time, they also make sure that there are no emissions or errors and attention paid to every detail.
People Oriented Role includes the Coordinator (CO), Team Worker (TW) and Resource Investigator (CF) (Meslec and Cur?eu 2015.). The Coordinator represented here acts as a chairperson who takes the initiative of guiding a team. The Team Workers (TW) represents the people responsible for providing support and ensuring that the teammates can effectively work together. These people are the negotiators in a team who are diplomatic, flexible and perceptive. Resource Investigator (RI) are the people within a team who helps in exploring options that are available, negotiating resources and developing contacts on the team’s behalf.
The Thought Oriented Roles included the Plant (PL), Monitor-Evaluator (ME) and Specialist (SP) (Belbin 2012). Plant represents the innovator who is creative and is responsible for forwarding new approaches and ideas. They are introverts by nature and prefers in working apart from the team. Monitor-Evaluator (ME) plays the role of evaluating and analyzing ideas of other people. Specialist (SP) is the people in possession of specialized knowledge necessary for the job. They possess enough pride on the skills and abilities that they possess.
However, being a small team of four, my team focused on the action-oriented role of Belbin’s Theory.
Task 3: Recommendations Leading to Effectiveness of the Group
The recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the group include the following:
- Emphasizing the Importance of Teamwork: It is important to convey to the group why the particular assignment needs a group work
- Teaching Teamwork Skills:Each member of the group must know their individual responsibilities and their individual contribution in achieving the goals of the group.
- Using Team Building Means for Building Cohesive Groups:The members of the group must know each other well and be in talking terms.
- Thoughtful Consideration of Group Formation: Groups selection thoughtfully done to enhance productivity
- Ensuring Reasonable Workload and Clarity of Goals:The group members must have clarity of goals and objectives of the task.
- Considering the Roles of the Group Members:The roles of the members assigned clearly, so that they can individually contribute in the completion of the task
- Ensuring Request for Interim Reports and Feedback of Group Process:The group must ensure maintaining a timeline about how they are going to go about the task.
- Allowing Individual Members in Keeping Track of Contributions: There should be an individual report mentioning from every member that helps in the identification of their contribution.
- Ensure the inclusion of Peer Assessment in the Process of Evaluation:A peer assessment at the beginning of the process helps the members identify the problems experienced at a particular stage.
The report ends with various recommendations on improving the effectiveness of the group. There is also an evaluation done on the impact of capabilities and competencies of the individuals towards the group done in the context of Belbin’s theory relating to team roles. The report also assesses the attitude of the team that affects the group. This assessment done based on Tuckman and Jensen’s theory on team development.
Batenburg, R., van Walbeek, W. and in der Maur, W., 2013. Belbin role diversity and team performance: is there a relationship?. Journal of Management Development, 32(8), pp.901-913.
Belbin, R.M., 2012. Team roles at work. Routledge.
Cheung, C.H., 2012. The “storming” stage: Conflict as a Source of Learning. Peer-Led Team Learning: Leader Training, Online at https://pltlis. org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Group-Dynamics-and-Leadership-Cheung-Storming-Stage. pdf.
Colombini, C.B. and McBride, M., 2012. “Storming and norming”: Exploring the value of group development models in addressing conflict in communal writing assessment. Assessing writing, 17(4), pp.191-207.
Edson, M.C., 2012. A complex adaptive systems view of resilience in a project team. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 29(5), pp.499-516.
Fransen, J., Weinberger, A. and Kirschner, P.A., 2013. Team effectiveness and team development in CSCL. Educational psychologist, 48(1), pp.9-24.
Haines, R., 2014. Group development in virtual teams: An experimental reexamination. Computers in Human Behavior, 39, pp.213-222.
Meslec, N. and Cur?eu, P.L., 2015. Are balanced groups better? Belbin roles in collaborative learning groups. Learning and Individual Differences, 39, pp.81-88.
Porter, H. and Wimmer, G., 2012. A winning strategy: Using Glory Road to illustrate the stages of group development. Journal of Leadership Education, 11(2), pp.247-256.
Posthuma, R. and Al-Riyami, S., 2012. Leading Teams of Higher Education Administrators: Integrating Goal Setting, Team Role, and Team Life Cycle Theories. Higher Education Studies, 2(3), p.44.
Senaratne, S. and Gunawardane, S., 2015. Application of team role theory to construction design teams. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 11(1), pp.1-20.
Smith, M., Polglase, G. and Parry, C., 2012. Construction of student groups using Belbin: Supporting group work in environmental management. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 36(4), pp.585-601.
Zarzu, C., Scarlat, C. and Falcioglu, P., 2013, June. Team composition and team performance: achieving higher quality results in an international higher education environment. In Proceedings of the Management, Knowledge and Learning International Conference (Vol. 2013, pp. 1321-1328).