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The Leadership Experience 7th Edition

The Leadership Experience (7th Edition)

Book Edition7th Edition
PublisherCengage Learning
Chapter 10, End of Chapter, DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, Exercise 1
Page 317

What is the difference between a ''team'' and a ''group''? Describe your personal experience with each.


Teams are considered groups, but not all groups can be considered as teams. The main difference between a team and a group is the capacity to achieve a shared goal and work together. A group is not considered a team when members are not interdependent and do not share a common goal. 

  • The level of success and achievement bears little weight to the formation of a team. The differentiating factor between a team and a group is the members' level of interaction, understanding, interdependence, and willingness to commit to a shared goal.
  • Teams function by working together toward achieving a common goal. They are relationship-oriented and aim to unite their members so that they can maximize their diverse set of skills, create effective solutions, and achieve success.
  • Groups function by grouping people together to collectively complete a set of tasks. They tend to be more task-oriented and individualistic because they do not depend on each other's strengths to perform their roles and become successful.

Sample Response

A group is defined as at least two people who are joined together for a specific purpose. A team is defined as a group of people who frequently interact with each other. 

  • A team is also a group, but it differs in that a team requires achieving a common goal and exerting additional effort toward building trust, teamwork, and coordination. 
  • A group is only considered a team when members can reconcile each other's differences and collectively use their strengths in performing their tasks, regardless of their performance or achievements.
  • Belonging to a team, whether at school or at work, is fulfilling because of personal connections with each member. Teams provide intrinsic motivation because members share achievements and work based on each other's strengths and weaknesses. Being in a team offers direction toward an identified goal that is determined either by members or their leader.
  • Belonging to a group tends to be more formal as the focus is more toward delegation and task completion. Groups rely on a set of guidelines to enable each member to act individually and exercise their discretion in completing tasks. Being in a group highlights the importance of following leaders and established hierarchies to successfully complete different tasks. 
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