Monday, 24 November 2014

What can determine if a business is successful?

       What is team cohesion? Cohesion is an important aspect that is needed in any team as cohesive means sticking together/united. This is the bond that keeps the team together by preventing group fragmentation. Bonding is completed by having common goals as this is the key part for it to be team cohesion. Cohesive teams consist of proposing objectives, clarifying goals, seeking informations and keeping track of work. Members of this team support each other by ensuring everyone is included team discussions and having their input heard.

       Why do businesses want cohesive teams? Businesses want cohesive team as members of this group will be on the same page and will have different roles that are suitable for their skills. If the team members are able to give their own views on the objectives that have been chosen by the leader they can step forward in the right direction to reach the target. Having a cohesive team is a valuable asset to have for a business as it allows certain task to be completed that wouldn’t be able to be done by a regular team.

Theories relating to cohesion    

Tuckman’s Theory: Tuckman’s Theory explains how groups can be developed into real teams given the right structure to become one. His theory consist of four stages, the first stage is Forming: first time members of this group get together and gives members time to adjust to the situation and observe other members of the group. At this stage members of group are polite to one another and have their own agenda meaning no goal has been set. The next stage that follows is Storming: the group has been become more established and begin storming ideas. With this they become more vocal and compete with one another with their own agendas in place. At this moment the team are in many disagreements and conflict may occur but this is an important stage for a group to become a team as it allows them to be open. After this stage has been completed, Norming is next up. This stage involves members of the group agreeing on a common goal and a leader has been chosen.  At this point all the roles for each member has been set to suit their skills and experience. The final stage of Tuckman’s Theory is Performing. This is the stage where the team’s life cycle is at its peak such as goals are being achieved through good team work. However, even with a good team assembled there will be conflict caused from time to time within the team. 
This theory links to cohesion as it shows the process on a group of members becoming team cohesion through four simple stages. These stages help normal individuals to understand the values of team cohesion by enforcing these stages to improve themselves through team work.

Belbin’s Theory: Unlike Tuckman’s Theory, Belbin believed that a team was made up of a variety of roles. Belbin believed there were nine roles that are required in a team and these are:
Plant: Belbin’s Theory has a role called “Plant”. The name explains itself as this role is given to the person who is creative, imaginative and unorthodox; similar to a plant sprouting flowers. This role is suitable to people who are able to solve difficult problems, but tend to ignore minor problems and greatly involved in communicating effectively.
Resource Investigator: The next role in Belbin’s Theory is Resource Investigator. The person that has been assigned this role is enthusiastic and communicative. They are able to explore a range of opportunities and work well with others. However, a downfall of theirs is that they can be over optimistic and will lose interest after initial enthusiasm has disappeared.
Co-ordinator:  As the name of this role suggest, someone that is a co-ordinator is mature, confident and a likely chairperson. They are able to make all goals clear to the group and regularly does decision-making. A person that fits this role may be seen as manipulative and controlling as they will believe their opinion is the right opinion.
Sharper: A person that fits this role is challenging and shines under pressure. They do this my using their determination and courage to beat any obstacle that may come across them. However, they can be easily angered by others and ignorant of their feelings.
Monitor Evaluator: This role sounds up a person that is even tempered, strategic and discerning. This means they will not be misguided by their own personal opinion and will review all options before coming to a decision. They lack drive and inspired leadership qualities that prevent them from being a leader.
Team Worker: The key role that is needed in Belbin’s Theory is the team worker as they are good listeners and builds with relations with others and tries to prevent confrontation to occur in the group. They are co-operative, sensitive and diplomatic that can be a disadvantage when making decisions in a crisis.
Implementer: This role is most suited for someone is well disciplined, reliable and efficient. They are able to act on ideas, but may not be able to see new opportunities. They are needed in a team as they are able to plan workable strategy can carry it out as efficiently as possible.
Complete Finisher: As the title suggest, this role was given to someone who provides the necessary finishing touches and makes sure the task is completed on time. They are able to search out the errors as they have an eye for detail. At times they maybe a worrier as they may think the team may not meet the deadline.
Specialist: This is the person who provides the group with specialist knowledge and keep the teams work in check. However, they have a tendency to focus on their own chosen subject and may zone out from the group to do so.

Obstacles to cohesion                   
There are many reasons why obstacles to cohesion may occur and prevent the team from being formed. 1) One example is the team goals set were poorly defined meaning the team are not clearly aware what is asked from them and ay lose interest quickly. 2) Another obstacle that leads to cohesion’s team downfall is if there is a high turnover of team members. If there are a large group of members then team members are sharing roles which can create conflict between opinions. Those two mentioned above are just two types of obstacles that can face cohesion teams. 3) Another obstacle is a weak or authoritarian team leadership. If the team leader is unable to keep the group working to the goals then the team leadership is causing this as the team leader should enforce rules to prevent team members from slacking off. 4) Linking to this obstacle, another obstacle that teams face are members competing for team leadership. Having a quantity of members all wanting to be leaders will cause the team to be split and following different orders/opinions. 5) When a team is formed there may be personal problems between one another in the group that can cause conflict to occur frequently and prevent any positive progress for the team. 6) The last obstacle I will be explaining is the members formed as a group do not fit the criteria to be able to reach the goals and members are given roles that are not suited to their abilities.

How to overcome obstacles using the theories 
Tuckman: Using Tuckman’s Theory to overcome obstacles is very useful as each stage can cater to prevent or resolving an obstacle that may appear. For example one obstacle could be that team goals are poorly defined. If the team follows Tuckman’s theory and begin from forming then to storming then they will be able to question what the goal is and decide on how they will reach the goal. After they have passed these stages, they are now on the right in achieving the goal as they are all achieving the same aim and having chosen/assigned roles suited to their abilities.
Another obstacle that may come up is a high turnover of team members, this can be easily sorted by using Tuckman’s stage to identify which remembers are needed i.e. in forming members will decide on a leader which will decide who is useful to the team succeeding and then deciding on which roles each member will have in the storming stage. This will decrease the amount of members in the group.
An obstacle that can be sorted by using Belbin’s theory is internal challenges to team leadership. Belbin’s theory involves giving each member specific roles that all play and are needed for a team to succeed. If members acknowledge that their role as let’s say a Complete-Finisher they will feel empowered and will stop trying to gain leadership as they will know they are an important asset for the team.

Another example of an obstacle that a team may face is little opportunity for career progression for team members. This can be easily sorted by assigning a member a role that they aren’t quite familiar in Belbin’s Theory such as a complete-finisher being a plant in a certain will allow them to gain experience and improve their skills. The person being a Plant will not affect the team negatively as they will be learning and improving on their skills that are needed for a Plant which means they can be a Plant for a different task in the near future.

Comparing the roles of different members of a team.           
role name
strengths and styles
Team member and how you identified this
Coordinator (CO)*
able to get others working to a shared aim; confident, mature - (originally called 'Chairman' by Belbin)
Dion: The reason I identified Dion as the coordinator is because she was able to get members of the group working by using her confident and maturity to show how serious she was in achieving the aim. She made sure everyone took the balloon activity seriously and all members were on track.
Shaper (SH)*
motivated, energetic, achievement-driven, assertive, competitive
Waheed: I identified Waheed as the Sharper as he was the energetic one in the group. He was ready to get to work and was motivated in achieving the aim without getting distracted.
Plant (PL)*
innovative, inventive, creative, original, imaginative, unorthodox, problem-solving
Elidon: I believe I was the plant as I was creative on in the group. I was the one who suggested a creative balloon chair rather than going for a simple design and did many test on balloon chair to solve any problems that occurred.
Monitor-Evaluator (ME)
serious, prudent, critical thinker, analytical
Michelle: She was the serious one in the group. Didn’t want to waste time having pointless conversation, but was quiet at times thinking of ideas on how we could improve the balloon chair.
Implementer (IMP)
systematic, common sense, loyal, structured, reliable, dependable, practicable, efficient (originally called 'Company Workers')
Adrian: He was the reliable one in the group as everyone knew what he was capable of and allowed him to work on building the balloon chair as he was one the team could depend on doing it without destroying the chair.
Resource Investigator (RI)*
quick, good communicator, networker, outgoing, affable, seeks and finds options, negotiator
Olivia: I identified her as the resource investigator for the main reason she was the best communicator out of all of us. She was able to negotiate with members in the group who were causing conflict to come to a reasonable agreement.
Team Worker (TW)
supportive, sociable, flexible, adaptable, perceptive, listener, calming influence, mediator
Natalie: It was clear to say that Natalie was the supportive one in this activity as she kept everyone stress free by socialising with us and being a good calming influence while others were building the balloon.
Completer-Finisher (CF)
attention to detail, accurate, high standards, quality orientated, delivers to schedule and specification
Elidon: I think I fitted this role perfectly as when the balloon chair was near to completion, I made sure that it was able to handle a person’s weight and met the criteria need for a chair.
Specialist (SP)
technical expert, highly focused capability and knowledge, driven by professional standards and dedication to personal subject area
Olivia: Olivia was also the specialist as she had a plan on how the balloon chair would look like before and was dedicated it making the balloon chair a success by concentrating on the area (planning) she was strongly good at.
Paternalistic Leadership: The last management style I will be explaining is Paternalistic leadership. This type of leadership describes a leader that makes the decisions but listens to input from their employees however their decision is final. The leader believes in encourage a sense of belongings towards employees and a sense of involvement in the business. This will help employees to be motivated as the leader considers everyone as an importance to the business individually and tries to maintain the productivity of the employees to a high level.
Key Leadership Theories:
I will now be reviewing three types of leadership skills theories that are an importance to what a leader should be and have.

French and Raven: The first theory I will be reviewing is the French and Raven theory that believes a leader is based on the power and authority they have. This theory considers power to be the ability to force through decisions and uses authority to involve the right to make these decisions. French and Raven suggests that a good leader is someone that has both and power and authority. Their authority is the title they have been given as a leader and the power is how they use the authority provided this title to make members of their team to do various things asked by them.
There are many different powers that this theory believes existing in the business world and these are:
Charismatic Power- the leader’s power is dependable on what the personality they have i.e. aggressive. An example of this is a football coach that has a personality that motivates and praises their squad to do things.
Legitimate Power- this power is given by the official title given to the leader and the legal power obtained by this title. An example of this is the head teacher at Palmer’s that can decide on what should be done to some extent because of the legal power they have.
Expert Power- this power is given to someone who has a high status in the group due to their skills relevant to the decisions being made. An example of this is when a business is considering buy new computers for their offices, the I.T Technician’s opinion will be valuable to the business when making the decision on what they will be buying.
Reward Power- this type of power involves using rewards to have a significant amount of power by rewarding those who deserve and taking rewards from those who are not achieving to the standards set by the leader.
Coercive Power- a person that has this type of power has the ability to force others to do what they say through any means such as bullying or peer pressure. This can be when a leader wants someone to do what they say and uses their title to force them to do it or they will face punishment as an outcome if they don’t obey.

John Adair: The next theory I will be reviewing is the John Aider Theory. This theory is based on the opinions of John Adair that believed developed a helpful model that can help anyone wanting to become a leader. John Adair produced a model that he considered showed how good leaders can motivate their team with three overlapping circles that had achieving the task, managing the individual and managing the team.

The model above suggests that if a leader can balance these three factors then they will be to increase the whole productivity of the team and increases team determination. Only when a team leader is able to balance all three of these factors well then the team will be in a situation where they are most productive. Being more productive will allow the team to clearly identify what must be done (resources needed) to achieve the goals set. The leader must be able to manage their team, task and individual. It is important for the leader to be able to control their team but also keep their self in check and set a good example of the whole team to follow.
Tannenbaum and Schmidt: The last leadership style I will be reviewing is ‘Tannenbaum and Schmidt’. This leadership theory consist of the three main forces that it believes influences the leadership style, which is why it’s the ‘Continuum of leadership styles’. This theory believes the leadership style taken by an individual depends on their background such as their characteristics. The situation that the leader is leading in plays a big part i.e. the state the business is in.
Telling- Telling is best suited when someone  under the authority of the leader is unable to come up with a decision on what they should be doing or take responsibility for themselves.
Selling- Selling is best suited when some under the authority of the leader is discreetly ready to make decisions and take responsibility themselves.
Testing- Testing is when a subordinate is comfortable in their own abilities and begin trying out decisions for themselves.
Consulting- Subordinates have the freedom to make decisions of their own choice and leader doesn’t not tell them what to do.
Empowering- This is where the leader is not use their authority to intimidate his subordinate, but allows them to self-manage and allows their ideas to be contributed