Work Teams Module

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Industrial-Organizational Psychology Learning Module Work Teams: 

Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP Industrial-Organizational Psychology Learning Module Work Teams

Lesson Objectives: 

Lesson Objectives Know what constitutes a work team, and be familiar with different types of work teams. Know why the use of work teams in organizations is on the rise. Understand the most common reasons for work team failure. Understand how I/O psychologists are helping to make work teams more effective. Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP At the end of this lecture, you should:

Psychologists & Groups : 

Psychologists & Groups There is a long history of psychologists studying groups. For example, topics studied include: Intimacy among group members. Group composition. Group compatibility. Group motives & goals. Group process & productivity.

Psychologists & Groups (Hidden slide with additional speaker notes) : 

Psychologists & Groups (Hidden slide with additional speaker notes) There is a long history of psychologists studying groups. For example, topics studied include: Intimacy among group members. Group composition. Group compatibility. Group motives & goals. Group process & productivity.

What is a Work Team?: 

What is a Work Team? Many different definitions, but most have three elements: 1) An interdependent, intact social system. 2) One or more tasks to perform. 3) Operating within an organizational context. Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Examples of Work Teams: 

Examples of Work Teams Work teams are pervasive in industry, across all organizational levels. Quality control circles. Task forces. Safety committees. Sales teams. R&D groups.

Work Team or Not?: 

Work Team or Not? Which of the following are work teams? Students living on the same dorm floor. Students taking the same psychology class. Students working on a team research paper. Students on a committee charged with making recommendations to curb binge drinking. Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Why are Work Teams on the Rise?: 

Why are Work Teams on the Rise? During the past decade, the use of teams in organizations has increased dramatically. In today’s hyper-competitive environment, “old” organizational structures can be too slow, too unresponsive and too expensive to be competitive. Work teams can yield quality, productivity and cost improvements. Workers can benefit from increased autonomy and empowerment. Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Are Work Teams Always the Answer? : 

Are Work Teams Always the Answer? The short answer - no! Many organizations are jumping on the “teams bandwagon.” Organizations should ask themselves: Do people need to work together to get the task done effectively? Is expertise limited to a few people? Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

What is a Successful Work Team?: 

What is a Successful Work Team? A three-dimensional conception of work team effectiveness: 1) Quality/Quantity/Timeliness 2) The ability to work together again. 3) Personal growth & well-being. The relative weights that should be applied to these dimensions will vary according to the team’s circumstances. Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Why Do Work Teams Fail?: 

Why Do Work Teams Fail? Anecdotal evidence indicates that teams “work” only about half the time. Why? Inappropriate use of teams. Lack of support from organizational leaders. Lack of good information. Lack of team member skills. Work team effectiveness study. A work team’s success can be impacted as much by what is happening “outside” the team as it is by what is happening “inside.” Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

How do I/O psychologists help organizations to use work teams?: 

How do I/O psychologists help organizations to use work teams? Personnel Selection Training Performance Appraisal Compensation Organizational Development Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

The Future of Teams: Less Physical, More Virtual: 

The Future of Teams: Less Physical, More Virtual In the wired, knowledge-based economy, we’ll see less “neighborhood teams” and more “virtual teams.” Virtual teams can provide the organization with the same benefits (as well as some unique ones) as neighborhood teams, but the challenges that they face are magnified.

Team Decision-Making Exercise: 

Team Decision-Making Exercise The importance of team decision-making. Four team decision-making techniques: Majority Vote Multivoting Unanimous Vote Consensus Where should we go for Spring Break? Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Team Decision-Making Exercise (Hidden slide with additional speaker’s notes): 

Team Decision-Making Exercise (Hidden slide with additional speaker’s notes) The importance of team decision-making. Four team decision-making techniques: Majority Vote Multivoting Unanimous Vote Consensus Where should we go for Spring Break? Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Team Decision-Making Exercise - Debrief: 

Team Decision-Making Exercise - Debrief Which decision-making method did you use, and why? What were some of the benefits of the method that you chose? What challenges did your team encounter, and how did you overcome them? How effective was the decision that you reached? (and how did your team define effectiveness?) Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP

Instructor Resources: 

Instructor Resources The following books, book chapters and articles were used in preparation of the Work Teams module - you may find them useful for your own preparation. 1) Fisher, K. (1994) Diagnostic issues for work teams. In A. Howard (Ed.), Diagnosis for organizational change: Methods and models. (pp. 239-264). New York: Guilford Press. 2) Mohrman, S.A, Cohen, S.G. & Mohrman, Jr., A.M. (1995) Designing team-based organizations: New forms for knowledge work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 3) Hackman, J.R. (Ed.) (1990) Groups that work (and those that don’t): Creating effective conditions for teamwork. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 4) Shaw, M.E. & Costanzo, P.R. (1982) Theories of Social Psychology (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. (Note: Chapter 13 on theories of group processes is especially helpful) 5) Campion, M.A., Medsker, G.J. & Higgs, A.C. (1993). Relations between work group characteristics and effectiveness: Implications for designing effective work groups. Personnel Psychology, 46, 823-850.