What is your definition of successful competition

Teamwork: definition and success factors

Many think that teamwork essentially means working on something together. That is a mistake. Many also think that the success factors can only be found in the team itself. That is also a mistake.
This is where the chapter begins. It works with one definition Clarity about what teamwork is. Then it shows how important the Success factors the view of the whole context is. The system in which a team is embedded is decisive. In preparation for the other chapters, it outlines the central ones Challenges when using teams. ...

Teamwork: definition and characteristics

What is Teamwork? The following hits the core definition:

Teamwork is the work-sharing of tasks by several people who organize their cooperation largely autonomously.

The special thing about teamwork is not the division of labor into processing tasks. Tasks are also shared among individual employees who are directed by a boss. The special thing is that autonomy across wide areas of cooperation. With this self-organization go important featuresof teamwork along with:

  • More intense communication. Employees in teams communicate more with each other, they have to coordinate and coordinate themselves.
  • More choices. Autonomy in teams means that team members are more concerned with decisions that a manager would otherwise make.
  • team spirit. Teams develop a stronger sense of togetherness, a social identity and a strong bond. This is called group cohesion.
  • independence. It sounds paradoxical at first. Why should someone be more independent when they work in a team? In fact, the division of labor means that team members often have to assume a certain role and fulfill it reliably - without a boss constantly looking "over their shoulder".

These characteristics of teamwork also have consequences for the demands on employees. The catchphrase being able to work in a team sums up a lot that influences communication, togetherness and reliable independent work.

Teamwork, team psychology, team development: this is how you lead teams!

Your book too this Online text.

Teams are trendy. But the reality is: Many simply accept that teams are often unproductive and team decisions are bad, that members slow down instead of promoting ...

Discover the current knowledge of psychology now - unleash your teams with the potential of decades of research and practice!

The plus for your team.

Teamwork is not a sure-fire success. The next section shows the success factors.

Teamwork: Success Factors

What are Success factors for teamwork? Many only concentrate on the teams themselves. That is not enough. A look at the context is crucial. Teams don't just exist in isolation. You are in one context integrated, which is shown in the following figure. You can roughly delimit different structural levels: Individuals who are integrated in a team, teams that are embedded in organizations and the environment in which the organizations are (cf. Mathieu et al., 2008).

With this context, there are clear interactions with the team. It is therefore the individual Success factors in context too optimize.

A team consists of several Individuals. Their number and characteristics influence the behavior of the team and its functioning in the interests of the company. Think of demographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender, cultural background, time of affiliation in the company, social class) but also skills and personality characteristics. The team, in turn, has a strong impact on the members; for example through social norms that determine which behavior is socially accepted and desired and which behavior is sanctioned.
The teams themselves are of course an important success factor for teamwork. Success factors here are, for example, cohesion, rules and norms in the team (which behavior is normal?), The distribution of roles in the team and the level of conflict.
Teams, on the other hand, are usually in one organization (such as a company). Companies are not always team-oriented; they often even unconsciously prevent successful teamwork. A company influences the existence and functioning of teams, for example with incentive systems and personnel selection. There are seldom incentive systems that reward individualistic behavior and punish cooperation and thus make teamwork more difficult.
Individuals, teams and organizations are in one more environment embedded. Here, for example, the national culture plays a role in the extent to which teamwork is desired and possible at all (cf. Ma and Becker, 2015). Managers with international experience can often see how differently well teamwork works in different cultures. For example, there are cultures in which you quickly trust new colleagues and cooperate (e.g. Germany) and cultures in which trust and cooperation grow only very slowly (e.g. China). Overall, collectivist and egalitarian cultures seem to offer advantages for teamwork (Earley, 1999; Kirkman, Gibson and Shapiro, 2001).

In addition to the structural levels, there are also on each level Processes. On the one hand, the team itself changes. When teams change, team development phases play an important role, which are also dealt with in a separate chapter. On the other hand, the processes also include the tasksthat a team has to do. Depending on the design of these tasks, they are generally suitable for teamwork or not, teams work better or worse.

This chapter makes it clear that the performance of teams also depends heavily on the context in which they are integrated. This applies to the individual people who make up a team, the organization is integrated into the team and the environment of organizations (such as the national culture). The work item is also an essential context for teams, because not every team is suitable for a specific task and not every task is suitable for teamwork at all.

The success and failure of teams are therefore often to be found in context. In order to lead teams successfully, it is therefore necessary not only to look at the team in isolation, but also at the Expand perspective and the whole Context as a “living space” for teams to be taken into account and, if possible, to be optimized.

This expanded perspective on teams, taking into account the overall context, is crucial for successful teamwork. This is a central theme in the further text.

The greatest challenges in teamwork in practice are discussed in the next section.

Teamwork: Challenges in Practice

Teams are zeitgeist and right now “in”. Still you should not uncritically euphoric be. Teams are not automatically guaranteed to be more productive. A team can be a blessing or a curse depending on the work assignment, context, composition, or leadership of the same. There are cases in which teamwork actually enables the potential of the individual members to be tapped. On the other hand, there are many examples of teams failing and stifling the productivity of individual employees.

In practice, the aim is to build teams in which the individual grows beyond himself - and to avoid teams that stifle the individual and stifle the motivation and ability of the members to act. Precisely because teams can no longer be avoided in practice, it must be clarified when they are used rather pointlessly, how this can be avoided and under which conditions team performance is at its maximum. Important Challenges in practice are:

  • What does a team-oriented context look like, what do teams need to live, what suffocates them?
  • Which tasks are suitable for teamwork, when should teams and groups be used, when shouldn't it be?
  • How can efficient teams be put together?
  • How can you develop and maintain existing teams?

The numerous following chapter summarize the current state of business psychological research in a practical way.

The last section gives references for further deepening.

Teamwork: literature

Current literature tips on teamwork.

The next chapter introduces the characteristics of teams and distinguishes them from other social groups.