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Work Team

A small number of people with complementary skills who hold themselves mutually accountable for pursuing a common purpose, achieving performance goals and improving interdependent work processes.

The Advantages of Teams

Teams can improve customer satisfaction, product and service quality, employee job satisfaction, and decision making.

The Disadvantages of Teams

Teams can be prone to high turnover, social loafing, groupthink, and minority domination.


Training team members to do all r most of the jobs performed by the other team members.

Social Loafing

Behavior in which team members withhold their efforts and fail to perform their share of the work.

When to use teams

Teams should be used when there is a clear, engaging reason or purpose; when the job can't be done unless people work together; when rewards can be provided for teamwork and team performance; when ample resources are available; and when they will have clear authority to manage and change how work gets done.

When to not use teams

Teams should not be used when there isn't a clear, engaging reason or purpose; when the job can be done by people working independently; when rewards are provided for individual effort and performance; when the necessary resources are not available; and when management will continue to monitor or influence how work gets done.

Traditional Work Group

A group composed of two or more people who work together to achieve a shared goal.

Employee Involvement Team

A team that provides advice or makes suggestions to management concerning specific issues.

Semi-Autonomous Work Group

A group that has the authority to make decisions and solve problems related to the major tasks of producing a product or service.

Self-Managing Team

A team that manages and controls all of the major tasks of producing a product or service.

Self-Designing Team

A team that has the characteristics of self-managing teams but also controls team design, work tasks and team membership.

Cross-Functional Team

A team composed of employees from different functional areas of the organization.

Virtual Team

A team composed of geographically and/or organizationally dispersed co-workers who use telecommunications and information technologies to accomplish an organizational task.

Project Team

A team created to complete specific, one-time projects or tasks within a limited time.


Informally agreed-on standards that regulate team behavior.


The extent to which team members are attracted to a team and motivated to remain in it.

The optimum size for a team

6-9 members.


The first stage of team development, in which team members meet each other, form initial impressions, and begin to establish team norms.


The second stage of development, characterized by conflict and disagreement, in which team members disagree over what the team should do and how it should do it.


The third stage of development, in which team members begin to settle into their roles, group cohesion grows and positive team norms develop.


The fourth and final stage of development, in which performance improves because the team has matured into an effective, fully functioning team.

Structural Accommodation

The ability to change organizational structures, policies and practices in order to meet stretch goals.

Bureaucratic Immunity

The ability to make changes without first getting approval from managers or other parts of an organization.


The degree to which a person believes that people should be self-sufficient and that loyalty to one's self is more important than loyalty to team or company.

Team Level

The average level of ability, experience, personality, or any other factor on a team.

Team Diversity

The variances or differences in ability, experience, personality, or any other factor on a team.

Interpersonal Skills

Skills, such as listening, communicating, questioning and providing feedback, that enable people to have effective working relationships with others.

Skill-based pay

A compensation system that pays employees for learning additional skills or knowledge.


A compensation system in which companies share the financial value of performance gains, such as productivity, cost savings, or quality, with their workers.

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