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Case study: group management - Essay Example

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The young company, Socaba.com, has experienced the best and worst thing that can happen to a close partnership; growth.1 When a company is founded, built, and achieves success through the entrepreneurial spirit, there often comes a time when the needs of the organization actually work against the talents of the very people who formed it…
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Download file to see previous pages In this case, the team failed to become cohesive because of the lack of communication skills, the fact that there was no channel established for the exchange of information, and therefore the group-forming dynamic never made it to a stable phase.
The communication skills demonstrated within this organization were inadequate to permit the team to ever come together. The entrepreneurs were a set group whose blend of friendship and business acumen made them comfortable to the point of being insular. Conversely, the management team was more accustomed to the standard, corporate means of communications and was not an integral part of the founders' group. This created a boundary between the two. As Gottlieb notes, one of the significant "characteristic of successful organizations is that they have many individuals who function as boundary spanners, people who move freely between the internal and external environment..." (10). In this case, there was no individual that operated to cross the boundary and bring the two groups together into one. This natural polarization facilitated each set "closing ranks" and established the unlikelihood of there ever being group cohesiveness.
In terms of communication models, we can apply at least one element of the Shannon/Weaver model to understand that there was never an appropriate channel for communication defined. In the model, the transmitter (Tx) has to establish a line of communication with the receiver (Rx) for there to be meaningful exchange of information. From the case study, we can easily observe that this channel was never constructed; from either side. The entrepreneurial team knew that they had to have management assistance to keep their venture capitalist happy. The managers, naturally, came in expecting to establish sound financial and managerial procedures with a minimum of interference from people who might have good ideas, but no expertise in operations. In the absence of either group establishing a means for there to be an exchange of necessary, transitional information, the difficulties described can be completely expected. If the transmitter and the receiver are on totally different frequencies, as in this case, effective communication will not happen.
Finally, we can look to Tuckman's model of group stages and see where the process broke down. This group formed at the behest of necessity, driven by the venture capitalist. Within the forming and storming stages, the two independent units chose to preserve their own viability and comfort at the expense of company cohesiveness. Intentionally or not, when the two sets of leaders failed to overcome the natural barriers between entrepreneurship and management, they failed the storm test and were never able to reach a workable relationship. Hence, within the parameters of the Tuckman model, there was a completely predictable breakdown which prevented any further progress.
As demonstrated above, this team was never able to form a cohesive unit because of the absence of appropriate interpersonal skills. This caused a domino effect resulting in no clear communication line or channel being established for the groups to come together. Because the two groups were never able to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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