Team effectiveness in organizations
You are expected to address the following objectives in your report:
1. From your initial understanding of the case context/background, outline one (1) Management Issue (problem, challenge or opportunity) that would be
relevant to managers in relation to Leadership. Use Chapter 12 LEADING from your Textbook/Week 7 course site resources to assist with identifying a
relevant research area. Also, remember to consider the SWOT analysis tool;
2. Source relevant academic literature (at least 5 Journal Articles) that relate to views/ arguments/ themes about your chosen Management Issue;
3. Use the academic literature to support your claim that the Management Issue identified can be considered to be a relevant issue;
4. Identify a relevant Theory/Model that relates to the Management Issue identified, suitably explains the existence of the issue, and helps you to
understand the issue;
5. Use the academic literature to assist in critically discussing your chosen explanation and choice of Theory/Model in a balanced manner;
6. Indicate how the academic literature proposes the Management Issue you identified could be addressed through a Recommendation.
1. This report is NOT a case study; the purpose of the case story is to provide you with a scenario that exposes a Management Issue you can research.
2. A Management Issue is something that managers have to address within their organisation and work (e.g. problems, challenges, or even
opportunities or threats relating to the Management approach taken, influencing the management functions, requiring consideration). Managers will
notice there is an issue because they see symptoms existing in their organisation now, or potential symptoms in the future.
By addressing the Management issue that is connected to these present or potential symptoms, managers will enhance the operation of their organisation.
HINT: Use the SWOT analysis tool to help you identify your Management Issue!
3. A minimum of 5 academic standards – or scholarly – reference sources are required.
Structure (This is a report; which means that a Title, Table of Contents and headings are used).
The report will have the following structure:
1.0 Introduction (Approximately 150 words)
The Introduction is essentially an overview of the report, framing and stating the Management Issue, explaining the importance of the Management
Issue and previewing the report’s overall argument (presented in a clear statement at the end of the Introduction). Your argument is critical, as you will
need to defend/support your argument through your report. The statement of argument also helps to establish the report’s logical structure.
Typically, the following questions are answered:
What is the context (case facts), relating to and/or leading you, to your chosen Management Issue? Are there any case symptom/s that are
important to framing the case? (present these facts briefly – 2 to 3 sentences);
What is the Management Issue? (brief statement – 1 to 2 sentences);
Why is the Management Issue worthy of research? (brief statement – 1 to 2 sentences);
What is the structure of this report? (brief – 1 sentence);
What is my argument? (brief statement – 1 to 2 sentences. This statement links your Theory/Model to your Recommendation. Your argument is
developed and explored further in the Critical Discussion and Recommendation/s sections of your report).
These stages help you in framing the Management Issue, supports your research and development of your writing in the report.
2.0 Issue Identification (Approx. 200 words)
This section presents an outline of the Management Issue and a discussion of why it is regarded as a Management Issue worthy of further research. In
this section you expand on the brief statement – Why is the Management Issue worthy of research?, from your Introduction. This should be supported
with research evidence; it is useful if this evidence is empirical (from Journal articles).
Typically, the following questions are considered:
Why is the Management Issue indeed an issue? (for the organisation and in the general research);
Why is it worthy of further research? (expansion of the Introduction brief statement, substantiating the issue’s importance).
What does research show has happened with similar Management Issues elsewhere?
3.0 Critical Discussion (Approx. 600 words)
The Critical Discussion presents your explanation and argument in a logical manner, supported by research evidence (using a deep, critical approach to
discussing your argument). In this section, focus on comparing and contrasting the author’s arguments from each Journal Article, through explaining the
relevant Theory/Model, that you argue best helps to understand the Management Issue and why it exists. In other words, critically discuss why the
chosen Theory/Model addresses the specific Management Issue identified from the case (In this section, focus on critically discussing the Theory/Model,
rather than the case, with minimal, if any linking back to Flight Centre. You must also consider any criticism, including a counter argument (an alternative
position – this may be presented through a second Theory/Model, which will support stronger and deeper Critical Discussion) to the Theory/Model of
focus in your Critical Discussion. This is essential in defending your argument through providing a balanced Discussion.
Typically, the following questions are considered:
What is the Theory/Model that is most relevant?
How does the Theory/Model explain the Management Issue?
What criticism or alternative/opposite views exist?
Why is the chosen Theory/Model still relevant?
4.0 Recommendation/s (Approx. 200 words)
After the Critical Discussion of the Management Issue and associated Theory/Model, you should explain one (1) clear and practical Recommendation
(can be split more specifically into two (2) areas, but no more) that can be taken by managers to minimise the influence of the relevant factors and so
reduce the problem or challenge, or maximise the factors to capitalise on the opportunity (your Recommendation/s must be applied to Flight Centre.
These recommended actions should be supported by your literature research to explain why they would be of benefit. Your Recommendation/s must be
linked to your initial argument statement and be practical and manageable in the context of Flight Centre.
Typically, the following questions are considered:
What does the literature suggest can be done to resolve the Management Issue?
What evidence of success exists?
How do those suggestions apply to the case Management Issue?
What suggestion/s do I recommend for Flight Centre?
5.0 Conclusion (Approx. 50 words)
The conclusion completes the report by stating the outcomes or implications of the argument or discussion presented before. A conclusion has no new
evidence but rounds off the report by summarising the main points (Ensure that you link your concluding remarks back to your argument statement from the Introduction).
A Reference List contains the sources of information directly used in the report to support the argument. The list should not include reference to material that has not been directly cited – in the report. APA 6th Edition referencing style is to be used throughout.
Academic Reference sources (i.e. Journal Articles) must be of peer reviewed, scholarly standard. Articles and Reports obtained from the Internet are additional sources that will NOT be accepted as Academic reference sources.
A minimum of five (5) academic standard – or scholarly – reference sources (Journal Articles) are required.
Appendix (if required – ex. SWOT analysis)
Team effectiveness in organizations
Title page 1
1.0 Introduction 3
2.0 Issue identification 3
3.0 Discussion 4
3.1 Katzenbach and Smith Model 4
3.2 Lencioni Model 5
3.3 The T7 model 5
4.0 Recommendations 7
5.0 Conclusion 8
6.0 References 9
The unprecedented story of success for Brisbane Roar Football team is one of commitment, teamwork, courage and self-belief that saw Ange Postecoglou transform the team from an average performer to two-time champions of the Australian A- league soccer competition, besides breaking the longest unbeaten record in 36 consecutive match wins in all competitions. On his first season at the club, Postecoglou who had been the coach for the under- 20 national team, The Roar football club only managed to finish in the second last place, before he embarked on an ambitious plan to transform the team to a title contender and finally champions for two consecutive years.
The case of Brisbane Roar ascension to the top is synonymous with Ange Postecoglou’s team leadership skills. From the team membership, culture, composition, and member functional competence, the manager ensured that there were team efficiency and cohesiveness which resulted in the ultimate success of the club. This paper recognizes the central role played by team leadership in the success of Brisbane Roar and in the corporate scene. It details the components of team formation, and how leadership influences team success. Elements of team formation such as cognitive, motivation, affective processes and coordination will also be discussed. Finally, the paper concludes with recommendations on how best team leadership can be integrated into overall management in order to guarantee success.
- Issue Identification
The relevance of team leadership in the corporate world is best explained by Lencioni (2002) who noted that ‘”Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare (p. vii).” It’s subsequently estimated that almost all fortune 500 companies employ teams in their business, with project teams, standing committees, virtual task forces, and quality circles as classic examples of teams utilized in the modern corporate world.
Work teams appear to be gaining significant strength as jobs get bigger, organizational structures become more complex and the reality of globalization and internationalization sets in. Zaccaro,S.J. et al (2001)notes that not the individual, but the team holds the keys to organizational success. Despite the growing need for successful teams, it’s important to note that successful teams do not just happen, but rather take time and effort. Bergmann and De Meuse (1996) in their maiden study on self-managed teams noted that most employees lack the basic team skills of conflict resolution, interpersonal communication and problem solving, thus necessitating the importance of team leadership. Such leadership offers support and guidance in order to attain high team performance. In the following section, the process of team leadership will be explored in depth.
Several models of team effectiveness have been fronted have been fronted by researchers. In this paper, we review the Katzenbach and Smith (1993) model, Lencioni (2005) model and the Korn/Ferry T7 model.
3.1 Katzenbach and Smith Model
According to this model, most people realize the capabilities occasioned by teams but often face the natural resistance of moving away from individual roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities (Ginnett, 2005). Often times, individuals do not accept the responsibility for others or collective team performance. According to this model, overcoming this resistance requires that team members understand and consequently accept and apply the basic tenets of teamwork, which according to this model include collective work products, personal growth and performance results. The performance of the team depends on commitment, accountability, and skills. Consequently, successful teams deeply committed to their collective goals, purpose, and approach, and understand that the wisdom and success of teams results from the focus on collective work products, performance results and personal growth.
3.2 Lencioni Model
This model argues that the success of teams depend mostly on the understanding of the avoidance of the causes of team dysfunctions. According to this model, several aspects determine a team’s dysfunction and include the absence of trust, lack of commitment, fear of conflict, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. The management of these aspects in a team environment is critical in determining the success of the team at all levels.
3.3 The T7 model
According to Burke, (1999), Michael Lombardo and Robert Eicher (1995), in their review of the literature identified five internal factors and two external factors that impact on team effectiveness. Thus, internal factors include thrust, talent, task skills, teaming skills, and trust. External factors identified included team leadership and organizational support.
Utilizing the case study for Brisbane Roar Football team, the recruitment of a new manager brought with it a high level of thrust in management, clarity of goals and commitment among stakeholders. Although his first season was not memorable, his subsequent seasons with the club bore evidence of his meticulous preparation and team cohesion and strategy, clarity of vision and team commitment. There was clear and truthful communication of the managers and clubs expectations of the team member’s performance. Even though the new manager did not strike an instant success, he was honest with the management that his was a strategy that was expected to bear fruit in the long run and therefore the management and team had significant trust in the new manager, resulting in the success of the club in subsequent seasons.
During his first year in charge, Ange Postecoglou embarked on ensuring that he had the right talent to mold into a formidable team. He personally scouted for talent and ensures that such talent was well integrated into his training methods. Although some of the top talents originally in the team left, citing his strict methodology, he was able to bring in players that were willing to learn. Borrowing from his extensive experience as a player and manager, he was able to achieve great success with minimal resources.
Ange Postecoglou focused not only on individual skills but collective team performance. As opposed to many teams where we have few very successful players, his team focused more on a collective play, with more player integration through short passes, possession, and attack. While players still managed to concentrate on individual specialization and skills, there was a focused emphasis on team cohesion and performance, which enhanced teaming skills which eventually led to a successful team.
Morgeson, (2010) agrees that while the above factors are necessary for high performing teams, there would be a little success without the necessary leadership and organizational support. We are informed that even when his team was trailing during his first season at the club, Ange Postecoglou had management support and they allowed him to implement his new style of play in the team. Apart from providing overall direction to the team, he was actively involved in the management of stakeholders such as the management and ownership of the club, media, and sponsors while letting his technical team to implement his team strategies. All the above factors, coupled with leadership and managerial support led to the unprecedented success of the club.
Patrick Lencioni in his ground-breaking work underscores the relevance of teamwork and notes that it’s not the strategy, talent nor technology but rather teamwork that carries the key to organizational success in the modern corporate scene. The above discussion consequently notes the increasing importance of teams effectiveness in organizations with the 7T team effectiveness model identifying thrust in management, clarity and commitment; trust in communication, actions and within the team, talent acquisition, enhancement, allocation and deployment; teaming and task skills; organizational and leadership support as some of the critical success factors in teams.
It’s therefore recommended that organizations must ensure that they provide a conducive environment for teams to thrive by offering the necessary support, leadership and other components that guarantee the effectiveness of teams. Factors that create team dysfunction as identified by Lencioni (2002) , such as the absence of trust, lack of commitment, fear of conflict, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results must also be managed or avoided so as to ensure team effectiveness and success. The role of teams in organizations must also be elevated to virtually every aspect, as opposed to specific projects.
The above discussion details the case for teamwork, drawing from the success of for Brisbane Roar Football club as a result of strategic team cohesion and effectiveness. It shows that there is a lot that organizations can learn from the management of elite football teams, in their quest to attain sustainable success in their activities.
Zaccaro,S.J. et al (2001) Team leadership. The Leadership Quarterly 12 (2001) 451–483
Burke, C. S. (1999). Examination of the cognitive mechanisms through which team leaders promote effective team processes and adaptive performance. George Mason University
Morgeson, et al (2010) Leadership in Teams: A Functional Approach to Understanding Leadership Structures and Processes. Journal of Management, Vol. 36 No. 1, January 2010 5-39 DOI: 10.1177/014920630934737
Ginnett,R (2005) Leading a Great Team: Building Them From the Ground Up, Fixing Them on the Fly. www.executiveforum.com
Lencioni,P(2002), The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Jossey-Bass, ISBN 0-7879-6075-6