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Tuckman's stages of group development

According to Tuckman’s stages of group development, any group within an organization (irrespective of its size and industry) goes through five different stages [1]. These are forming, storming, and norming, performing and adjourning. This model is also helpful in developing team maturity and ability changes in styles of leadership in order to develop more collaboration and shared leadership throughout the process. In order to make sure that the group runs smoothly and the goals and objectives are hit, following the stages of group development by Tuckman becomes imperative [2].

Taking this case into consideration, it is evident that the organization is aimed at designing the primary product line for the new joint venture between organizations from South America, Japan and the United States [3]. Different personnel were chosen from different organizations situated in the United States, South America and Japan, and it was found that every personnel had a different opinion about the design of the product. From the case, it is also evident that each member in the group was aimed at meeting the increasing demand of the market using the latest technologies. However, each individual’s approach regarding the same was different.

In the first stage of group development, the organization made sure that it conveys and discusses imperative things such as strategy, individual roles and team goals with the three different joint venturing organizations from Japan, South America and the United States in order to help them emerge as direct and individual members of the group [4]. However, the storming stage was the most difficult part for Jose as he encountered several issues and conflicts associated with the approaches of creating a successful joint venture. Jose was concerned as this could directly impact the responsibilities, goals, responsibilities and strategies of the team; hence, considering the third stage of norming, it is imperative for Jose to give constructive feedback to every individual associated with the joint venture programs and ask for help or assistance from them when required. Following this stage would help Jose in demonstrating presenting a clear structure for everyone and create a better sense of purpose, focus and alignment in a constructive and better way. This would make the team or the group more performing (the fourth stage of group development) [6]. It is imperative for Jose to consider and communicate the initial design parameters to the new personnel in order to meet the increasing demand and stay open to suggestions and comments as well.

Case study: Joint Venture between Organizations from Japan, South America, and the United States

However, considering all these aspects, it can be concluded that the overall group behavior could be characterized as a team that follows ethnocentrism. This is because the entire group (however individually) combined a positive attitude towards their respective cultural groups and had their own view points that would best suit the current situation of Jose and make the organization more productive their by high performing [5]. Every individual, in this case, was honest and aimed towards communicating their own perspectives, which for them could offer the best solutions to the issue encountered due to lash of opinions. However, looking at the brighter side of ethnocentrism in this case, it can also be said that the individual was self confident about their respective opinions and was also capable of defining social standards and behavior within the group, which, if followed, could help in marinating better uniformity within the team and the organization as a whole. These characteristics of the group also strengthen the conservative forces within the team and increase the effectiveness and efficiency [7]. It would also give individuals a sense of identity and belonging and strive the team towards developing better strategies and solutions for designing the product and better manufacturing system. However, the group came up with the conclusion of using the existing design and began implementing or executing the design of the plant immediately along with the manufacturing system [8]. This would help in avoiding conflict, thereby preventing incorrect assumptions among the group members. Implementing this technique will help in developing better coordination between the host and the parent organizations, and the overall culture of the parent organization can be easily transferred to the subsidiary organization. As a whole, the parent organization will have a better control over the different joint ventures and closely watch the functions and operations of the subsidiaries [10]. Effective communication will also develop better cohesion with the team members and address the growing concerns of the market associated with the marketing of caskets. Hence, following the group development stages process will enable the individuals in increasing team cohesion and attain the common goals of addressing the needs of the market.

The concept of teams, groups and team work is an imperative factor for the good performance of the entire organization. Considering this case about the group of professionals who had control and service the new joint venture between organizations from the United States, South America and Japan. The new organizations had to sell, make and service pet coffins for the burial of their beloved pets, mostly cats and dogs, where each personnel is assigned a different task according to the task force. The task force was to create and establish the initial design determinants for the new products in order to address the growing demand all over the globe. The diverse nature of the group can and has affected the actions and activities of the committee by not getting comprehension and participation of all the members in the meeting. However, if I were in Jose’s position, I would make sure to keep the group headed towards the stated goal and objective and not agree with the recommendation made by any one member of the team [8]. However, I will make sure that I address and respond to every opinion of the team members. For this case, I believe that it was not right to adjourn the meeting before obtaining the outcome that would approach toward the goal and objective set during the entire meeting.

Strategies for Developing Cohesion in Diverse Teams

Jose could have implemented different diversity strategies that would have helped him in strengthening the cohesion of the team and bringing the team members more close to each other. Bringing individuals together from a compressive and variety of backgrounds creates several chances and opportunities for the organization [9]. However, the challenges are high as well. Hence, implementing the following strategies could help Jose in making a firm decision in favour of the joint venture with organizations from Japan, South America and the United States.

Strategy 1: setting a clear and inclusive vision for the entire team:

Implementing this strategy would help Jose in communicating the organizational purpose and picture of the organization for the future and make the team members understand their respective operating values and accordingly take action. Maintaining a clear communication channel and increasing the quality as well as quantity of the conversation between different members of the team is also recommended. Doing this would help in communicating the issues and conflicts that might take place and develop better and corrective solutions for the issues encountered.

Strategy 2:  promoting inclusive and compassionate leadership within the joint venture:

It is also recommended that Jose uses an inclusive d compassionate leadership style as top down approaches to leadership are the least effective manner of handling diversity within organizations [11]. Implementing this style of leadership would enable the newly formed joint venture in improving their overall manufacturing system and keep the new members involved and engaged as well. This could also create a safe workplace for the employees and increase the morale of the key members of the team at the same time.

Strategy 3: increasing involvement of the team members

Having a diverse team enables organizations in tacking any issues (encountered) more easily and effectively. This is because a diverse team is responsible for delivering better opinions and viewpoints that would drive the team and the organization towards success. Hence, it is recommended that Jose understands the importance of managing diverse teams and encourages participation and listening to what other group members are staying in order to give them constructive feedback [12]. Implementing this strategy would enable the organization in creating a better and more significant impact on the overall business decisions and will help in constructing an effective manufacturing and management system for the organization as well.  

A task force team could be defined as the group of individuals who come together from different positions, branches, and points of view aiming to facilitate or promote the creation and effective development of concepts and ideas, thereby creating new opportunities and chances to solve issues more appropriately [13]. Task force teams are usually empowered to make valuable decisions without the requirement of approval from the top management. On the other hand self, managed teams are primarily designed and created to give team members a sense of power and ownership over the entire job within the organization. Self managed teams are more authoritative and take pride in their respective works. Hence, these teams are also responsible for minimizing the interferences and second guessing by other individuals. Task force teams are also used when an organization goes through a complex or difficult situation within any specific department, unlike self managed teams (where the more concern is on empowering team members).

Strategy 1: Setting a clear and inclusive vision for the entire team

If I were in the place of Jose, I would have aimed at developing a team that is self managed as task force teams are not responsible for implementing any recommended strategies. In addition to this, the task forces team do not have the power of compelling others to accept the recommended strategy for the organization, and this would have created a lot of conflict among the team members [14]. Hence, if I were in the place of Jose, I would have aimed at following a few strategies that would have helped me in handling the complex situation encountered and obtain a conclusion more easily and effectively. I would have focused on identifying the employees and the team members who could be really fit for the self manage the team and observing if these members are even interested in participating. I would have made sure that all the members of the team were aware of the team goals and objectives, and accordingly, I would have guided them towards understanding the values and concerns of forming the joint venture and keep them aligned towards it for a longer period of time [15]. If I were in the place of Jose, I would have made sure that every personnel is given individual responsibility and roles in decision making and allowed the personnel to take the teams towards the correct path for success. I would also have considered a training session with the employees and the new personnel from different organizations in Japan, South America and the United States and adopt a new style of the team as well. This would have allowed me in shaping better and more constructive feedback with the team and keep them committed towards forming a strong, productive team offering unique and imperative advantages for the organization and the joint venture newly formed.

I would have also made sure that I used different social tools in order to communicate with the new personnel in a better manner. This would have helped me in sharing more information and learning across different borders frequently. I would have also made frequent critics of the personnel selected for joint venture if I were in Jose’s places. This would have allowed me in solving problems more quickly and facilitate better sharing of thought, ideas and information. Using and implementing these strategies would have allowed me in handling the new members of the team (for joint venture) in a better way than Jose, and this would have promoted rapidness in creating the new manufacturing system for the organization using the existing designs [16]. I believe that implanting these strategies would have allowed in creating new doors of opportunities for the joint venture, and the organization would have easily met the increasing demands of the customers and the business market.

References

  1. Guttenberg JL. Group development model and Lean Six Sigma project team outcomes. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma. 2020 Feb 10.
  2. Super JF. Building innovative teams: Leadership strategies across the various stages of team development. Business Horizons. 2020 Jul 1;63(4):553-63.
  3. Purwanto A, Zuiderwijk A, Janssen M. Group development stages in open government data engagement initiatives: a comparative case studies analysis. InInternational Conference on Electronic Government 2018 Sep 3 (pp. 48-59). Springer, Cham.
  4. Robb MA. Stages of Group Development and Group Preparation. Group Art Therapy. 2022:107-15.
  5. Keith KD. Ethnocentrism: Seeing the world from where we stand. Cross?Cultural Psychology: Contemporary Themes and Perspectives. 2019 May 8:23-38.
  6. Bizumic B. Effects of the dimensions of ethnocentrism on consumer ethnocentrism: An examination of multiple mediators. International Marketing Review. 2019 Sep 9.
  7. Hanus G. Ethnocentrism in polish consumer food behaviour as a determinant of short supply chain development. European Journal of Sustainable Development. 2020 Oct 1;9(4):169-.
  8. Bizumic B. Ethnocentrism: integrated perspectives. Routledge; 2018 Oct 9.
  9. Shemla M, Wegge J. Managing diverse teams by enhancing team identification: The mediating role of perceived diversity. Human Relations. 2019 Apr;72(4):755-77.
  10. Li Y, Koopmann J, Lanaj K, Hollenbeck JR. An integration-and-learning perspective on gender diversity in self-managing teams: The roles of learning goal orientation and shared leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology. 2021 Sep 30.
  11. Homan AC, Gündemir S, Buengeler C, van Kleef GA. Leading diversity: Towards a theory of functional leadership in diverse teams. Journal of Applied Psychology. 2020 Oct;105(10):1101.
  12. Mayer J. Managing Culturally Diverse, Virtual Teams.
  13. Janssen DJ, Ekström M, Currow DC, Johnson MJ, Maddocks M, Simonds AK, Tonia T, Marsaa K. COVID-19: guidance on palliative care from a European Respiratory Society international task force. European respiratory journal. 2020 Sep 1;56(3).
  14. Baumgartner H, De Backer J, Babu-Narayan SV, Budts W, Chessa M, Diller GP, Lung B, Kluin J, Lang IM, Meijboom F, Moons P. 2020 ESC Guidelines for the management of adult congenital heart disease: The Task Force for the management of adult congenital heart disease of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Endorsed by: Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC), International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ISACHD). European heart journal. 2021 Feb 7;42(6):563-645.
  15. Gerpott FH, Lehmann-Willenbrock N, Voelpel SC, Van Vugt M. It’s not just what is said, but when it’s said: A temporal account of verbal behaviors and emergent leadership in self-managed teams. Academy of Management Journal. 2019 Jun;62(3):717-38.
  16. Magpili NC, Pazos P. Self-managing team performance: A systematic review of multilevel input factors. Small Group Research. 2018 Feb;49(1):3-3.
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