Types Of Team

Formal teams or groups are created deliberately by managers carrying out specific tasks to help the organisation achieve its goals. The most prevalent type of formal group is the command team, which includes a manager and all employees who report to that manager. In some organisations that want to de-emphasize hierarchy, the titles may change.




Another type of formal team is the committee, which generally lasts a long time and deals with recurrent problems and decisions. For instance, your university or college probably has a committee for student affairs to deal with recurring issues that involve students’ lives. While members of this committee may come and go, the committee remains in place over time.

A quality circle is a kind of team. At Reynolds Metal Company’s McCook Sheet & Plate Plant, based in McCook, IIIinois, quality circles have been a significant component of a quality programme that has dramatically improved productivity and quality since 1981. In a programme called Cooperative Hourly and Management Problem Solving (CHAMPS), quality circle teams meet for an hour weekly to discuss work- related problems, investigate the causes, recommend solutions, and take corrective action. When a team has completed its investigation and identified a solution, it makes a formal presentation to the plant management and staff. Of the almost 475 solutions offered in the first four years of the programme, almost 400 were approved. The total savings from the ideas has been eight times their cost, a significant amount in a major manufacturing facility where cost control is very important. Over a three-year period, McCook was able to double the pounds of aluminum per employee that it shipped and deliver more than 2,000 items to a specific customer without a single rejection.

Some formal teams are temporary. They may be called task forces or project teams. These teams are created to deal with a specific problem and are usually disbanded when the task is completed or the problem is solved.

Informal teams or groups emerge whenever people come together and interact regularly. Such groups develop within the formal organisational structure. Members of informal teams tend to subordinate some of their individual needs to those of the team as a whole. In return, the team supports and protects them. The activities of informal teams may further the interests of the organisation. Saturday morning games, for example, may strengthen the players ties to each other. A women’s group may meet to discuss various actions that can make the organisation a better place for women to work.

For example in 1990, female employees at the telephone giant, NYNEX Corporation, formed mentoring circles to assist women in moving up the corporate advancement leader. NYNEX women created these informal groups independently and outside management auspices. The groups encourage, recognize, and strengthen the bonds of women at all levels of the company. The NYNEX employees turned to the group format because there was a shortage of female upper-level managers to serve as mentors. However, participants believe the group process is actually better than individual mentoring. In the circles, which have a minimum of eight participants and a maximum of twelve, the mentored women have an increased exposure to different ideas and an increased network.

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