Political behaviour in organisations
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The differential between group and team dynamics stems from the foundation definitions, Group is defined as a social community in which members have a commonality, the commonality need not be significant but enough for relativity. A team is defined as individuals who share a commonality which is dependent on each member to achieve the common goal. Brandon & Seldman, (2004)” Organizational politics are informal, unofficial, and sometimes behind-the-scenes efforts to sell ideas, influence an organization, increase power, or achieve other targeted objectives”
Team/group dynamics refers to the academic research into team/group behavioural traits and performance. The ‘dynamics’ are the environmental produce of company nature, individualism and relationships. Team Dynamics can often play a significant part on the overall success of a business directly through the execution of businesses operations. There is a strong causal link between the environment a team endures to outcomes such as KPI’s, Profitability of that organization and Staff turnover.
Various psychological studies have occurred in regards team dynamics most in the laboratory environment. Methodological issues within these studied means data extrapolated is ecological validity. However I will be using that evidence to support the explanation of dynamics in real life workplaces. Belbin theorized for a team to form individuals would assume different team roles unconsciously favouring personal strengths but workers would also be willing to uptake tasks they are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with for the general good off the team.
Defining team roles as “the tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way” Belbin created 9 team roles grouped into three; Actioned orientation, People orientation and Thought orientation. Belbin summarized that as organizations grow or move along the business cycle by the business benefitting from individuals contributing to the team there desired strengths. Whereas employees grow by up taking uncomfortable tasks and becoming competent in them threw reinforcement.
Psychologist Beckhard (1972) produced the (GRIP) thesis. Beckhard suggests the most significant factor within team dynamics is the business culture. Beckhard indicates the best teams are formed in company’s who provide clear SMART objectives (Goals). In companies where employees understand individual responsibilities and authority and where employees have a direct link to transparent clarity/help. Further noting companies that delegate accountability solely/evenly to staff created better teams (Roles).
Beckhard states a company’s nature towards interpersonal relationships can affect the dynamics of a team, Beckhard suggests a team that promotes passing on compliments or asking each other for advice can help boost team moral and relationship (interpersonal relationships). In combined with a systematic approach towards achieving goals frequent policy updates and collaborative means to decision making and conflict. A Collaborative effort from two psychologists Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers provides an alternate theory to how team dynamics are formed.
The theory suggests that there are four preferences (Extraversion and Introversion, Sensing and Intuition, Thinking and Feeling, Judgment and Perception). Participant’s personality type is then worked out by using the first letter of each option meaning there are a maximum of 16persoanlity types. This approach to team dynamics focuses solely on the individual members off the team and doesn’t take into consideration any other externalities such as company aims and objectives or staff retention.
Hofstede A IBM employee at the time created an Organizational culture approach to how team dynamics are fostered. Hofstede placed a higher value on the organizations role on team dynamics however he doesn’t completely negate individualism. Hofstede’s model is based on four key principles. Power Distance- Hofstede’s suggests that in some cultures workers are more acceptive of a larger power grip than other societies which prefer a horizontal structure. Hofstede’s argues that Masculinity vs.
Feminity plays a part in team dynamics, with male workers being more aggressive than female counter parts and companies were more likely to choose males for evening shifts or shifts which require a long distance of travelling. This would inevitably have a domino effect on the dynamics of various jobs as some sectors are heavily gender bias. Uncertainty Avoidance Index refers to the extent workers can adequately react to unforeseen and unexpected stimuli Hofstede’s theorizes that if a company has a very low index score upon unforeseen stimuli the team dynamics would be negatively affected.
The last factor Hofstede’s highlighted is the businesses positioning on long term orientation. Hofstede’s states that for the optimum team dynamics individual’s personal time orientation needs to be in line with the companies in example if Airbus had a present time orientation and my personal time orientation is of a longer term I probably wouldn’t feel fulfilled by policies or reward schemes and less likely to perform.
A common objective of most companies is to increase profits this can be done by maximizing output and minimizing inward costs. A Study conducted by American bureau of national affairs found that annually 11Billion is lost in the American economy due to premature staff turnover. The costs of training, specialist equipment and recruitment can be hard to breakeven this inevitably has an impact on the company’s long term financial objectives. The company may choose to promote from within to avoid Talent/skill set loss rather.
Gallup an American management consultant firm did a study on employee engagement they found that companies with engaged employees out performed those without by up to 202%. Dale Carnegie Training “it is said that employees don’t leave companies, they leave people” when reporting figures from the study they recorded that “80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged” this significant level of disengagement would potentially prevent employees from going above and beyond in job roles treating the job a pay check and less off a career.
It is clear the impact team dynamics has is significant but historically it has been a area of business not prioritized high enough. There has been various definitions of team dynamics the commonality between them is individualism however the extent to in which a company can control team dynamics isn’t minimalistic; It is businesses who have the final decisions about who they employee so one could say if team dynamics effect the achievement of organisational objectives it inevitably the businesses fault.