Chapter 2 Textbook Notes - Chapter 2 Improving Your...

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Chapter 2 Improving Your Performance in Teams A team is a unit of two or more people who work together to achieve a common goal. Organizations can create different types of teams: Formal teams (such as committees) become a part of the organization’s structure. Informal teams (such as a task force or problem-solving team) disband once they reach their goal. Cross-functional teams pull together people From a variety of departments With different areas of expertise and responsibility Participative management is the effort to involve all employees in decision making. A successful team can provide advantages, such as Increased information and knowledge Increased diversity of views Increased acceptance of solutions Higher performance levels Teams can also have disadvantages, such as Groupthink—members are willing to abandon personal opinions in favor of group cohesion Hidden agendas—private motives affect the group’s interaction Free riders—noncontributing members aren’t held individually accountable Cost—coordinating group activities costs time and money The most effective teams Have a clear objective and a shared sense of purpose Communicate openly and honestly Reach decisions by consensus Think creatively Know how to resolve conflict Lack of trust and poor communication are the most common reasons for failure in teams.
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Collaborative writing and presenting efforts Let the team exploit each person’s unique skills Require special effort to maximize productivity and minimize conflict To collaborate effectively Select collaborators carefully Agree on project goals before you start Give your team time to bond before diving in Clarify individual responsibilities Establish clear processes Avoid writing as a group Trying to compose as a group is usually slow and painful For shorter projects, assign the actual writing to one person For longer projects, assign sections to individual writers Make sure tools and techniques are ready and compatible across the team Check to see how things are going along the way Collaborative writing technologies can help you manage complex projects. Content management systems have formal processes, such as check-out and check-in procedures, workflow rules, etc.; often used to manage large websites Wikis are usually less formal and promote quick, direct collaboration Enterprise wikis add features such as access control, rollback, etc. Wiki benefits: Simple to use Freedom to post or revise material immediately, without authorization Wiki writing guidelines: Relax expectations of authorship control and recognition; it’s about the team Encourage people to edit and improve content whenever then can Focus on text content; formatting and design options are usually limited Using editing and commenting tools appropriately (e.g., use the comment page, rather than inserting comments directly into the content) Experiment in the sandbox first to get used to the wiki’s capabilities Group dynamics are the interactions and processes that take place in a team.
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