1. What are the major obstacles to team success and what can managers do to overcome those obstacles.
Process losses (p. 224) are the largest obstacles to team success. Process losses result from the interactions that are necessary to keep the team functioning, but do not result in the output of the team’s objective. This includes settling disputes, developing understanding, and negotiating roles. Managers can overcome process losses by designing teams that are composed of individuals that will work well together. Additionally, investing in team development early in team formation can prevent process losses in the future when team effectiveness may be more crucial. Finally, focusing on team cohesion may help to create a team that can focus on the task at hand with little or no need to struggle with issues that lead to process losses.
2. Group/team cohesiveness has mixed consequences. What are some of the factors that determine high performance for teams that are also highly cohesive?
In order for a team with high cohesiveness to perform at it’s maximum potential, the team’s tasks must be highly interdependent. If team members can complete their tasks without relying on other team members, the cohesiveness of the team is a non-factor. Additionally, the team’s norms must be compatible with the organization’s goals. it is possible for a highly cohesive team to have norms that might be considered “bad habits.” For example, the team may work well together, but find it acceptable, or even encourage, a high level of absenteeism. In this case, the team may be highly cohesive, but their production is sub-par.
3. After reading our media story for Lesson/chapter 8, you will know something about a research study conducted by UNT Professor Craig Neumann that comments on psychopath’s behavior of individuals in managerial or supervisorial positions. What characteristics do psychopaths exhibit when in managerial positions? Have you observed supervisors, managers, or team members with these characteristics? Explain, etc
Many of the factors that are generally considered preferred for leaders (logical, decisive, etc.) may appear to be traits exhibited by psychopaths. Unfortunately, the perception of these traits is actually just a misreading of the psychopath’s true traits. For example, decisions that may appear to be based on logic may really be made with a complete lack of empathy or emotional intelligence. Fortunately I have never worked for a psychopath. I have had one manager that I would consider borderline, but really I think he was just extremely greedy. His actions and decisions displayed a complete lack of empathy, but I think they were motivated by greed and personal gain rather than a real lack of empathy.