A more diverse group may take longer to reach peak performance due to the number of cultures, language differences, and interpretation of the tasks to be completed, but once they do develop, diverse groups are equally productive and may even be more creative in problem-solving because members have access to a broader base of ideas for solutions. Communication: Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of successful teamwork. Open and constant communication both vertically and horizontally can decrease the number of misunderstandings and thereby also reduces conflicts within the team.
Conflicts most often result due to misunderstandings between members of the team. Both conflicts and criticism will at some time occur and can be constructively solved through good communication. An example of this occurred in our group during the interval of the Sonique Sound Systems board meeting. The two board members on the day were advised to be more assertive during the second half of the meeting and hadn’t shown enough authority as chairpersons of the board in the opening half. Initially it appeared as though one member from the Glasgow site was the vocal and authoritative person.
During the second half of the meeting our two chairpersons illustrated assertive and authoritative qualities which altered the tempo and direction of the conference. This would not have happened without the help of the constructive feedback and criticism from fellow group members Another very important aspect of communication is constructive feedback. Teams require information on the progress they are making in order to see what is effective and what is not. Trust: High level of trust among the team members is crucial for conducting successful teamwork.
Our team was fortunate, as all members had worked with each other previously on various assignments. Due to this we felt confident in the other members and their abilities for perform towards the predetermined objective. A situation where trust was placed on other group members’ shoulders occurred during our preparation of the Sonique Sound Systems case study. As a group we were given product and site information to study in order to come to decision of what electrical parts should be sent to each of our three European sites.
As there was a time restriction, the most productive method we used was to split the group into two teams of two members in each. One team took note of the pros and cons of each product, while the other team looked at each European site’s plus and minus points. By using this method, each team had complete confidence in the other team’s decision, and trusted each team’s judgement, although a downfall was that there was no ‘expert’ opinion. Effective Teams: Effective teams do not just happen.
They are meticulously put together consisting of a group of highly skilled, highly motivated individuals who have a clear picture of their goals and can receive clear and tangible evidence of their achievements. There must be an opportunity for individual success within the framework of the group’s goals. There must be recognition of professionalism from co-workers, peers and the outside world. These are the factors that contribute to winning sports teams and there is no reason to think that other groups will respond any differently. Decision Making
The work of managers, scientists, engineers and lawyers — the work that steers the course of society and its economic and governmental organizations — is largely the task of making decisions and solving problems. It is the task of choosing issues that require attention, setting goals, finding or designing suitable courses of action, and evaluating and choosing among alternative actions. The first three of these activities–fixing agendas, setting goals, and designing actions–are usually called problem solving. The last, evaluating and choosing, is usually called decision making.
Models of Decision Making There are several models of decision making but in our study we have used the three which we feel are most applicable for our situation. Rational Economic Model The rational economic model assumes that decision making is and should be a rational process consisting of a sequence of steps that enhance the probability of attaining a desired outcome. 8 Rational economic model of decision making 9 Referring to the work shop we did on Sonique Sound Systems, we, the Frankfurt site, decided to implement this model in our agenda.
Although we did so, we found that the agenda was not being followed by the Glasgow site as they leapt directly into the third stage. Facilitation on our part was required during the whole meeting to avert deviation from the set agenda. Comparison of the Rational Economic Model and Reality The model assumes that all alternatives and their consequences will be considered. However this was not possible as there was no information on which sites manufactured which products, profits, who supplies material, what kind of skills employees have.
Another assumption was that accurate information about alternatives was available at no cost but in reality, due to the fact that estimation process involved time and effort and available information being only partially relevant to the problem, we had to make decisions based on incomplete, insufficient and partly accurate information. The final assumption of the model is that decision makers are rational beings, but in reality members lacked the mental capacity to store and process all the information relevant to a decision. March and Simon’s10 Administrative Model of Decision Making
March and Simon’s administrative decision making model11 is descriptive, it explains how individuals actually make decisions. On the basis of a simplified and approximate account of the situation; the decision maker’s definition of the situation, decision makers choose how to respond to problems and opportunities. They neither take into account all information appropriate to the problem or opportunity, nor do they consider all potential alternatives and their consequences. They may generate alternatives and consider the consequences of the alternatives and their own preferences.
The information they consider is based on their definition of the situation as a result of psychological12 and sociological13 factors. The model acknowledges that in reality, decision makers are restricted to their decision processes, and hence have to agree upon a less than an ideal solution. Bounded rationality14 limits the decision maker’s ability to make optimal decisions. Comparison of March and Simon’s administrative decision making model and reality The model assumes that the definition of a situation is likely to be incomplete and that it is impossible to generate all alternatives and forecast all their consequences.
In our instance, due to lack of some critical information in the Sonique Sound Systems case, this assumption holds true. Another assumption of the model is that final decisions are frequently predominated by personal and political factors. Individuals make decisions that are ‘good enough’ rather than ‘ideal’. They ‘satisfice’15 rather than ‘maximize’16. In our case only the first part of this assumption holds true. Prior to the meeting, intimidating phrases such as “ready for a fight? ” and “you stand no chance” were used and set the start of a hostile and confrontational atmosphere.
Each member knew the history of the attendees, a Lyon member in particular went around seeking opinions of other group members. The Glasgow members used words of ridicule and constantly interrupted other members in order to gain predominance. During the coffee break, the Frankfurt and Lyon members decided to form a coalition in order to mobilize power and make the meeting more productive. The latter part of satisficing assumption, however contrasts with our situation where appropriate decisions were made as a result of comparing all the products with the different sites.