Team, Groups and Diversity In the Workplace - Essay Example

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he business environment has grown very competitive nowadays as more products and services are offered by competitors. Plus, globalization has created additional challenges for organizations because operations need to have a management approach that can tolerate diversity…
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Team, Groups and Diversity In the Workplace
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Download file to see previous pages Back in the old days, the big players were top management; however, business structures have changed placing emphasis on the crucial role of business units known as “teams” or groups”. Although we often hear these two words used interchangeably, it would be best for any leader to know the significant difference between the two. Group or Team: Why It Matters The most common definition of a group given by social scientists is that it is composed of two or more people that have social interaction which seems quite simple. So two or three people stranded in an elevator is already considered a group. However, Katzenbach and Smith (1993) defined group as “ two or more people who interact primarily to share information, best practices, or perspectives and to make decisions to help each individual perform within his or her area of responsibility” ( qtd. from Kane,1998). There is no need to meet a performance need nor to share accountability, according to the authors. They simply have to share experiences and help one another. On the other hand, a“ team is a group of people coming together interdependently and cooperatively by accomplishing a purpose and goal. We know that working in a team, they will be conflicts, but assisting each other, we can build a firm team. ( De Janasz-Dowd-Schneider, 2005,Pg.187) . The description can be plainly seen in the workings of any athletic team who need to train together for one purpose: win a championship. A small group can become a valuable team to any business unit. Once the team members are collective in their purpose and action, the leader would just steer them in the right direction for success to follow. However, one of the challenges in the work place today is diversity because globalization makes people from different cultures to work together. It is expected that conflicts would arise because people have different opinions on a certain issue. Challenges To A Team Hofstede’s statement is clear “Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster”. A diverse workplace presents different cultures which cannot be avoided. Culture is inherent in a society, and that culture affects and influences the way that particular society conducts its business (Henry, 1999). Nonetheless, even teams composed of one nationality would always have conflicts because humans have different beliefs. Katzenbach and Smith (1993), write in an article titled, The discipline of teams, note “When individuals approach a team situation, especially in a business setting, each has preexisting job assignments as well as strengths and weaknesses reflecting a variety of talents, backgrounds, personalities, and prejudices” (p. 168). Hence, team leaders need to face the challenge of bringing talented people together who may often disagree on a issue. Team leaders can be effective un dealing with conflicts by helping members cultivate trust and respect to other members of team. A team leader can place guidelines that can help the team achieve its objectives. Instead of criticizing a team member who is not performing well, assistance must be given first to enable that team member cope with the group. The Importance of Diversity While diversity may bring challenges to an organization, particularly to a team, it can also contribute to the success of an organization. First of all, diversity encourages creativity so people in a diverse team can come up with new products and services. Second, having a diverse set of team members would ensure you that your organization is attuned to global customers. Consumers are not only concentrated ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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