Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in Teams

According to the text, a team is a “unit of two or more people who share a mission and collective responsibility as they work together to achieve a goal.” The team’s performance is a sum total of each individual’s contribution to the group. (Bovee, Thill and Mescon, Ed. 2007, p. 269).
Team work has several advantages for businesses and the people who work for them. Higher quality decisions are usually the result of several people sharing their input based on their individual life and occupational experiences that may provide a broader perspective of the problem at hand.
Many companies have learned that engaging employees to participate in decision making results in increased commitment to solutions and changes at various levels of the company. Other benefits include decreased competition because of collaborative efforts and interdependence, and improved flexibility based on a lack of permanence within the company, as compared to formal departments. (Bovee, Thill and Mescon, Ed. 2007, p. 273).

Key disadvantages for forming teams include inefficiency and groupthink. If the teams consist of employees who are not motivated to complete tasks on target goal and budget, the teams will spend more time discussing the problems than actually implementing problem solving strategies. This can manifest in socializing, politics, structural disruption rooted in friction between departments, and the dreaded “groupthink.”
Groupthink happens when individual team members are pressured into going along with the majority perspective to achieve consensus. Sadly, this leads to diminished individual motivation (team members believe their say is irrelevant). Further, teams can cause excessive workloads because employees are required to participate in the team action items in addition to their regular job responsibilities. (Bovee, Thill and Mescon, Ed. 2007, p. 273-4).
Thus, working in teams can be a good thing, so long as the teams are able to perform the tasks within the scope provided and participation in the teams doesn’t cause strife among the employees.

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