Management Course: Discussion Topic 5

Prompt: You have been assigned to a class project with three or four other students, none of whom you have met before (online course situation). To what extent would team cohesiveness improve your team’s performance? What actions would you recommend to build team cohesiveness among student team members in this situation? How might a team contract help establish goals?  What should be included in a contract?

 

 

 

Support your answer by utilizing research that you have gathered from at least 2 sources other than your text. Finally, be sure to cite your sources in APA formatting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A detailed and thoughtful response to the topic is required (minimum of 500 words). RUBRIC IS ATTACHED BELOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Additionally, emphasis is placed on your ability to conduct and synthesize scholarly research. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Your posts should be professional in content and follow the APA standards. Be sure to city your sources in APA formatting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAMPLE RESPONSE:

 

 

 

Virtual teams involve members who operate across space, time, and organizational boundaries and use technology to communicate and work together (McShane & Glinow, 2013).  The distance caused by using a virtual environment can cause added difficulties to the team dynamic and make it harder for the work to be accomplished correctly and in a timely manner.  All members of the team need to communicate and have their portion of the work done at an appointed time.  In order to for everything to go smoothly, there needs to be team cohesiveness. 

 

            Team cohesion measures the level of attraction team members feel toward the team and how motivated they are to remain part of it (McShane & Glinow, 2013).  Having cohesion would make all the members feel that they wanted to be part of the team.  This would cause motivation for the team members to perform well and to actively communicate with other team members.  In order to be successful and do well on the assigned project, communication and motivation are essential.  Everyone needs to be part of the decision-making and the work so that there is diversity in the ideas and so that the work can be checked and added to.  People who feel that they belong to a group are much more likely to be dedicated to its success and will put more effort into the work.

 

            One way to help build cohesion in a virtual group is to create a mission (Huhman, 2013).  Creating a mission means that the group decides on a set of goals and how to accomplish those goals within a certain time frame.  It is necessary to determine what skill set everyone has so that the work can be divided up appropriately.  Those with the best writing skills should be assigned different tasks than those people who are more creative.  Another method is to communicate effectively and consistently with the team members (Huhman, 2013).  Without open channels of communication, the work flow will suffer.  Everyone needs to keep the others informed as to the progress of the project, any issues that are appearing, and what life events may be coming up that could hinder progress.  The team members should ask for feedback on the work being submitted (Huhman, 2013).  Feedback is a great way for others to be kept up to date on the work being done by all members and for corrections to be made if necessary. 

 

            Having a team contract can create a set of boundaries and requirements for team members.  If there is every a question or doubt about a topic, the contract can be consulted.  It gives a sense of focus to the group that might otherwise be lacking.  Since every member of the team will work together to develop the contract, it is a way to create cohesion and camaraderie within a virtual team. 

 

A good contract needs to include a code of conduct, the ground rules for participation, and the communication methods that will work best for all team members (team, n.d.).  The code of conduct can state how the project will be done and how the team will operate in different situations.  Participation rules should state what each team member will be doing and that there will be open communication with equal participation from all members.  For communication, it needs to be decided what types of communication is available and will benefit the project. Team meetings can be set up as well as the rules that need to be followed for when communication takes place. 

 

 

 

 

 

Huhman, H.  (2013, June 5).  8 ways to build a cohesive team.  The Huffington Post.  Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-huhman/8-ways-to-build-a-cohesiv_b_3390565.html

 

McShane, S. L., & Glinow, M. A. (2013). Organizational behavior: emerging knowledge, global reality (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

 

 

 

Team contracts to outline the rules of a team.  (n.d.).  Management Study Guide.  Retrieved from http://managementstudyguide.com/team-contracts.htm

 

 

 

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