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Assignment 9 - Review Questions
Terms in this set (21)
Describe how groups and teams can enhance organizational performance in gaining a competitive advantage.
One of the main advantages in using groups or teams is the opportunity to obtain synergy. When employees work in a group, they can produce more or higher quality outputs than when each person works separately.
What distinguishes a formal group form an informal group?
Formal groups are those that managers establish to achieve organizational goals. Informal groups are formed by managers or non-managers because they believe that groups will help them achieve their own goals or meet their own needs.
Compare the functions of a command group to those of a task group.
Command groups are the departments or units that perform a significant amount of the organization's required tasks. These groups are created as a part of the overall organizational structure design process and are usually referred to as departments or units.
A task force is formed by managers to accomplish specific goals or to solve problems within a certain time period. Often task forces are formed for short periods and then are disbanded once their work is completed. Managers may form task forces to address a longer-term problem or issue facing the organization. These types of forces are often referred to as standing committees.
How can managers ensure that self-managed work teams are effective?
Managers can take a number of steps to ensure that self-managed work teams are effective:
• Give teams enough responsibility and autonomy to be truly self-managing
• Make sure that a team's work is sufficiently complex so that it entails a number of different steps or procedures that result in a finished product or accomplishment.
• Carefully select member or self-managed work teams.
• Realize that the manager's role is one of mentoring or coaching the team and is not direct supervision.
• Analyze the type of training that team members need and provide it.
Identify the five key elements of group dynamics.
The five key elements of group dynamics are
• Group size, tasks and roles
• Group leadership
• Group development
• Group norms
• Group coheesiveness
Contrast pooled task interdependence with reciprocal task interdependence.
Pooled task interdependence exists when group members make separate and independent contributions to group performance. In a group with reciprocal task interdependence, the work of each group member fully depends on the work of other group members.
Describe how groups develop over time.
Researchers have identified five stages of development that most groups go through.
• First, in the forming stage, members start to get to know each other and reach a common understanding of group goals.
• In the second stage, storming, group members experience conflicts and disputes over who should be the group leader.
• In the third stage, norming, close ties develop among group members as the group arrives at a consensus about group goals and group behavior.
• Once the group reaches the fourth stage, performing, the real work of the group gets accomplished.
• Groups reach the fifth stage, adjourning, only if the group is disbanded, as with a task force.
List the three reasons that group members conform to group norms.
Group members conform to norms for three reasons:
• They want to obtain rewards and avoid punishments
• They want to imitate group members whom they like and admire
• They have internalized the norm and believe it is the right and proper way to behave.
What are the factors that contribute to the level of group cohesiveness?
Four factors contribute to the level of group cohesiveness:
• Group size
• Effectively managed diversity
• Group identity and healthy competition
• Successful achievements
Managers and raise or lower the level of cohesiveness to promote moderate levels of cohesiveness in groups by influencing these factors.
Describe the three ways to reduce social loafing in groups.
Social loafing occurs when individuals within a group put forth less effort working in the group than they would if they were working alone. Three ways to reduce this tendency is to:
• Identify individual contributors to a group when possible
• To emphasize the valuable contributions of individual members
• Keep the group size at an appropriate level
Identify the two phases of the communication process.
The communication process consists of two phases:
• The transmission phase
• The feedback phase
Outline the basic components of the communication process.
The communication process begins when the sender initiates the message, encodes the meaning into words and gestures, and sends the message through a medium to a receiver. The receiver then decodes the message to interpret its meaning and responds to the sender, giving feedback that helps the sender understand whether the meaning has been understood. Noise often accompanies communication and can hamper any stage of the communication process.
Describe the two methods for encoding messages in communication.
The two methods for encoding messages are verbal communication and nonverbal communication.
Verbal communication is the process of encoding messages into words, written or spoken.
Nonverbal communication shares information by means of facial expressions, body language, or style of dress.
What are the three factors that managers need to consider when choosing a communication medium for any message?
The three factors are:
• Information richness
• The time needed for communication
• Whether there is a need for a paper or an electronic trail or written documentation that a message was sent and received.
Describe the communication networks that exist in groups and teams.
These networks include a wheel network in which information flows to and from one central member of the group. In this type of network, other group members do not need to communicate with each other to perform well.
In a chain network, members communicate with each other in a predetermined sequence.
In a circle network, group members communicate with others who have similar experiences, beliefs, areas of expertise, or office location.
Wheel, chain, and circle networks are most often found in groups that are not teams. An all-channel network, usually found in teams, is characterized by high levels of communication, with every team member communicating with every other team member.
Explain why participation in external groups is as important as participating in internal company networks.
For some managers, participation in external interest-oriented networks is just as important, or even more important, than participation in internal company networks. Networks of contacts working in the same discipline or field or with similar expertise or knowledge can be very helpful in many situations.
How does groupware give managers a new option for managing organizational communications?
Groupware is computer software that enables group and team members to share information with each other to improve their communication and performance. With groupware, members in different locations can easily share information electronically, saving time and money for the organization.
When does filtering of information most often occur?
Filtering often occurs when senders withhold part of a message because they mistakenly believe that the receiver does not need the information or will not want to receive it. Filtering is most likely to occur when messages contain bad news or problems that subordinates fear they will be blamed for.
Identify the three important communication skills managers need as receivers of information.
Three important skills that manager need as receivers of information are:
• The ability to pay attention
• To be a good listener
• To be empathetic
Why do some managers find it difficult to pay attention and to be good listeners?
Because managers often fulfill multiple roles, they become overloaded and forced to think about several things at once. This is why they sometimes do not pay sufficient attention to the messages they receive. Managers may not always be good listeners because, like many people, they may like to hear themselves talk more than to listen to others.
Explain why differences in linguistic styles, when not understood by senders and receivers of messages, can lead to ineffective communication.
Differences in linguistic style can be a particularly insidious source of communication problems because linguistics style is often taken for granted. People rarely think about their own linguistic styles and often are unaware of how linguistic styles can differ.
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