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Groups, teams and international team work Project Cycle Management ----- A short training course in project cycle management for subdivisions of MFAR in.

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Presentation on theme: "Groups, teams and international team work Project Cycle Management ----- A short training course in project cycle management for subdivisions of MFAR in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Groups, teams and international team work Project Cycle Management ----- A short training course in project cycle management for subdivisions of MFAR in Sri Lanka MFAR, ICEIDA and UNU-FTP Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) Iceland United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP) Iceland Iceland Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

2 content Lecture content Understanding groups Group development model Conflict management Group decisions Turning groups into effective teams Team leaders Benefits of teamwork Working in international groups/teams Dimensions of culture

3 Learning objectives After this lecture participants will understand the role and functions of groups and teams, and have gained an insight into the cultural diversity of international team participants

4 Understanding group behavior Group –Two or more interacting and interdependent individuals who come together to achieve particular goals Formal groups - established by the organization –Have designated work assignments and specific tasks –Different types exist Informal groups - occur naturally in the workplace in response to the need for social contact

5 Group development Tuckman and Jenson model of group development (1977) suggests that new groups (and teams) generally go through five major, but quite separate, stages of development at each stage –Orientation or forming –Conflict or storming –Collaboration or norming –Productivity or performing –Changing or adjourning

6 Stage 1 Orientation or forming - people join the group either because of a work assignment or for some other benefit –Begin to define the group’s purpose, structure, and leadership –This stage marked by much uncertainty Group members have a strong dependency on formal leadership in this stage The first stage may be smooth and pleasant, or intense and frustrating, for some or all group members, depending on the similarities in style, needs and tolerance for ambiguity

7 Stage 2 Conflict or storming - acceptance of the group’s existence Conflict over who will control the group Conflict cannot be avoided at this difficult and crucial stage, because it deals with power and decision-making, two issues critical to the future of the group Group members will challenge the formal leadership in an attempt to regain individuality and influence

8 Stage 3 Collaboration or norming - relationships and a sense of group identity develop Group assimilates a common set of expectations of what defines correct member behavior The group members can finally pull together as a real group, not merely as a collection of individuals Group members are now committed to working with each other and functional relationships have developed. Trust, a key factor in group performance, begins to deepen

9 Stage 4 Productivity or performing - group structure is functional and accepted Group energy has moved to task performance Group members have learned how to work together in a fully functioning group They now have the skills to define tasks, work out relationships, and manage conflict and work towards producing results The group has a sense of its own identity, and members are committed to the group and its goals

10 Stage 5 Changing or adjourning - group prepares to disband –Attention devoted to wrapping up activities When the group has reached its intended outcome, group members must redefine or establish a new purpose for their group or end the group The natural tendency for any group that has successfully achieved its goal is to attempt to remain intact. However, clearly some groups must end when their task is completed

11 Conflict management Traditional view - conflict must be avoided Human relations view - conflict is natural and inevitable in any group Conflict need not be negative Conflict has the potential to be a positive force for performance Interactionist view - some conflict is absolutely necessary Functional conflict - supports the goals of the work group and improves its performance Dysfunctional conflict - prevents group from achieving

12 Debate is the scientific way! –Scientists argue and have debates when they write scientific articles in journals “Good” arguments can make things clearer and drive people to introduce a better logic Certain amount of conflict is healthy Conflict and group performance


14 Conflict-resolution techniques UncooperativeCooperative Cooperativeness Assertiveness Unassertive Assertive Forcing Resolving conflicts by satisfying one’s own needs at the expense of another’s Avoiding Resolving conflicts by withdrawing from or suppressing them Collaborating Rewarding conflict by seeking an advantageous solution for all parties Compromising Resolving conflict by each party giving up something of value Accommodating Resolving conflicts by placing another’s needs and concerns above your own

15 Group decisions –Effectiveness and efficiency of group decisions Effectiveness depends on criteria of success Size of group affects effectiveness –Groups of 5-7 are the most effective –Odd number of members helps avoid deadlocks

16 Group versus individual decision making Criteria of effectiveness Groups Individuals Accuracyx Speedx Creativityx Degree of acceptancex Efficiencyx

17 Turning groups into effective teams What is a team? –Work team - formal group made up of interdependent individuals who are responsible for the attainment of a goal –Work teams are popular in organizations

18 Benefits of teamwork The ability to establish and sustain successful teamwork is an essential skill in the design and implement projects activities Takes longer but produces better results Collaboration improves the effectiveness of problem solving Teams can result in fewer levels of official hierarchy

19 Benefits of teamwork Multiskilling gives flexibility Increase in autonomy and empowerment –Can contribute to a better quality of work life for those involved Teams encourage democratization by increasing participation in decision making Cross-functional teams focus on processes –Share knowledge more widely between institutions and departments

20 Characteristics of effective teams

21 Team decision making Advantages of teams as compared to individuals Provide more complete Provide more complete information information Generate more alternatives Generate more alternatives Increase acceptance of a Increase acceptance of a solution solution Increase legitimacy Increase legitimacy Disadvantages of teams as compared to individuals Time consuming Time consuming Minority domination Minority domination Pressures to conform Pressures to conform Ambiguous responsibility Ambiguous responsibility

22 Working in international teams Two distinct tasks emerge: To understand cultural differences and the ways they manifest themselves To determine similarities across cultures and exploit them in the team formulation

23 Mixed experience Although the personnel involved will usually have had experience of designing similar activities in other regions or countries, they may not have an in-depth knowledge of or insight into local circumstances, needs, and constraints This essential ingredient has to come from local partners

24 Culture defined Culture is an integrated system of learned behavior patterns that are characteristic of the members of any given society

25 Elements of culture Language (verbal and nonverbal) Language (verbal and nonverbal) Religion Religion Social institutions Social institutions Education Education Values and attitudes Values and attitudes Manners and customs Manners and customs Material elements Material elements Aesthetics Aesthetics

26 Values and attitudes Values of western culture Alternative values Function affected The individual can influence the future Life follows a preordained course Planning and scheduling We must work hard to accomplish our objectives Hard work is not the pre- requisite for success; wisdom, luck, and time are also required Motivation and reward system Commitments should be honored A commitment may be super- seded by a conflicting request Negotiating or bargaining One should effectively use one’s time Schedules are important but only in relation to other priorities Long and short range planning A primary obligation of the employee is to the organization The individual employee has a primary obligation to the family Loyalty, commitment, and motivation The best qualified person should be given the position available Family issues and friendship can determine employment Employment, promotions recruiting, selection

27 Dimensions of culture Differences in cultural lifestyle can be explained by: Individualism and collectivism Power distance Uncertainty avoidance Masculinity Geert Hofstede

28 Individualism vs. collectivism –Individualism - Loosely knit social framework –People are supposed to look after their own interests and those of their immediate family –Wealthier countries tend to be individualistic –Collectivism - Tightly knit social framework –People expect others in groups in which they are a part to look after them –Owe absolute loyalty to the group –Poorer countries tend to be collectivistic Four dimensions of a national culture Geert Hofstede

29 Power distance - degree of acceptance of unequal distributions of power in institutions and organizations Large power distance society accepts wide differences in power Low power distance society plays down inequalities Uncertainty avoidance - degree to which people tolerate risk and unconventional behavior Low - tolerate risks and opinion differences High - political and social mechanisms created to provide security and reduce risk Geert Hofstede Four dimensions of a national culture

30 Masculinity –Assertive, competitive, tough –Values of acquisition of money and material goods Femininity –Taking care of others, concern for relationships and the living environment and tender –Show sensitivity and concern for the welfare of others Geert Hofstede Four dimensions of a national culture

31 Cultural dimension scores for 12 countries UncertaintyAvoidance Individualism Power Distance Masculinity 10000 100100 5050 5050 Japan France Mexico Brazil Germany Netherlands U.S.A Great Britain Arab Countries West Africa Indonesia Hong Kong Japan Arab Countries Mexico Brazil France Germany Great Britain U.S.A Netherlands Hong Kong West Africa Indonesia

32 References Department for international development (2002). Tools for development: A handbook for those engaged in development activity. Downloaded 1 st March from: fid.pdf Hofstede, Geert (1991) Cultures and Organizations; Software of the mind. McGraw Hill, London. Hofstede, Geert (2007). Cultural Dimensions. Downloaded 20th May from: Hucynski; Buchanan (1997). Organizational Behaviour. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press Basic group concepts

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