This essay will be demonstrating aspects of group work by the analysis of a group I am able to reflect my personal experience from. This group is part of my everyday life so I have many interactions that I am able to reflect on and relate to the theory that I am basing my essay on. The theory that I am utilising is Tuckman’s stages of team development. The group that I will be discussing in my essay is known as a work group. These groups are common now in organisations because what was originally tasks being completed by individuals, they are now being ompleted by groups (Levine & Moreland, 2008).
This type of group is shaped by the changes in the organisation and the transformations they have gone through in economic, strategic and technological advances which has caused a shift from work organised around individual jobs to team based work structures (Kozlowski & Bell, 2013). The organisation in question is from the Financial Services Industry, which we are classed as a retail bank branch. Our work group is diverse comprising of group members D, B, G, F, A and myself working unanimously to complete financial sales and services to our clients.
Being a work group we are comprised of two or more individuals, we exist to perform tasks relevant to our organisation, we share one or more common goals, exhibit task interdependencies (e. g. tasks being completed by certain team members for workflow, goals, knowledge and outcomes), interact socially by face to face interactions with clients and team members or virtually (over the phone), manage and maintain our boundaries and are embedded in the organisations own set of boundaries, constraints and operational standards (Kozlowski & Bell, 2013).
Our group leader is D. D follows the direction of a task-oriented leadership. He does this as he runs the business and would like to have coordinating work activities, attention to administrative details, monitoring sales and preparing reports for the business. He uses this method as a way of creating clarity of our purpose and to create precise task definitions, which are two main strengths of of task-oriented leaderships (Basu, 2017). Using Tuckman’s stages of group development, I will show my progression of integrating into this already formed group. There are implications of already joining an established group.
The irst initial feeling is of being left out. When you enter a situation where others already know one another this can feel difficult. But this does not make the members of the group bad people. Because an already formed developmental structure is formed, they will likely seek out to interact with one another. In this type of group this helps build relationships (Bonior, 2017). My first interaction with this group was at the start of September 2016. This is when I initially joined the group. Being nervous and cautious I was experiencing Tuckman’s first stage of group development which is Forming.
Within forming the initial observation of this experience for me was testing our roles and dependency of the leader. I was trying to understand the orientation of the tasks that were given. Since I felt I had no direction I sought dependency on my group leader D for training, how to complete tasks correctly and to the standard of our organisation (Tuckman, 2001). We will always begin our days with a catch up meeting. This allows us all to explain what we have to complete collectively, as often we will be responsible for progressing a sale through that is not originally out own.
We ay also require assistance from other members so this is crucial that we have the daily meetings to complete a sale from start to finish. Also in this other team members have strengths that will assist with progressing the file. The team meeting enhances our effectiveness to achieve our results and to be innovative. The innovation in this meeting refers to the introduction or application within team ideas, processes, products and procedures that would be useful to the team (De Dreu & West , 2001). I found myself forming an impression of my other team members through my interactions with them.
This is normal to experience within the forming stages, however it was raising the interactions to be ethically challenging. In this situation of first joining the group the ethical issues that were raised was ethical relativism, which is the question of is there universal values that apply to everyone or is it relative to a particular individual, country, organisation, etcetera. (Donaldson & Werhane, 1983). The progression of the group by D, who wanted to have us effectively and collaboratively work together as a team to complete sales and allow him to focus on growing the business.
By D doing this he would then bring more process work for us to complete. I was overwhelmed by the workload coming to me with limited training and planning from the leader. What could have helped the groups and my effectiveness would be proper training and planning from the start. This would have helped to persuade my methods of processing work from the organisations requirements and enhance the productivity with our groups goals (Arthur Jr, Bennett Jr, Edens, & Bell, 2003).
Because our group was already established, myself coming into the group caused it to go through all the stages once again. The next stage I saw 4 months into the role is Storming. Storming is when conflict in the group arises and our own emotional responses begin to play a part in our decisions and interaction. This was seen majorly when our group leader D would be sick or on holidays (Tuckman, 2001). In storming I felt the role of the leader shifted because the other group members’ B and G would feel the need to delegate all tasks to myself while they manage my workload and turnaround time.
This caused conflict as I did not agree with the dominance of another group member who was the same role as me from n organisations perspective. However, this conflict would be suppressed by myself in order to continue to work together. This showed that G was attempting to cause the conflict by trying to dominate myself. He was seen as having a domineering personality. These are people who are asserting their own will without considering the needs of other people. But this power that G felt he had was soon removed when D returned.
This also only can work if all group members are cooperative of the change in leadership, in this case I was only because conflict was merging when I refused to conform (Hill, 2017). Ethical issues that were raised in storming were mainly from a conflict in power roles. The conflicts would bring in personal traits from other group members that could end the group being able to function. As my own experience of being dominated by G the frustration of the change in power gave thoughts to me leaving the group.
This idea of leaving the group was my way of causing conflict as I could not physically approach the group member because the issues with power struggles were only for a short period of time. But I found that D would not address this power struggle as he was not aware of it. This risked D in overseeing issues in the group and could be perceived as if he was ignoring the feelings of group members (Brown & Trevino, 2006). The next stage that I find our group has moved on to is the stage of norming. Norming is the openness to other group members.
The group is now forming feelings and cohesiveness, new standards evolving and new roles are adopted. In this stage exchange of relevant interpretations, intimate and opinions are expressed and interpersonal structure become the tool of task ctivities, energy of the group being channelled into our tasks and solutions emerge (Tuckman, 2001). Now norming into the group I felt my purpose was understood by me. I knew my role and what I was responsible of. The ethical issues of power struggles and dominance were now able to be addressed with the group and more of an understanding as to why the team member G was being dominate in power.
This understanding of what was an issues for the group shows that intimate emotions are being triggered and we are gaining an understanding of other group members. Other group members are able to espect one another and this gives us the chance to complete our task effectively. Once doing this with GI was able to work effectively with him. The stage of norming made me feel like a cohesive unit. A sense of community is formed so that we are unanimously completing tasks that arise. Trust has been formed and the dynamic of the group is improved by being able to adapt to one another.
Group dynamics deals with the attitudes and behavioural patterns of the group. In our group we have seen the issues of power that always played a part of the storming stages. Power is a key dynamic in the group because we are smaller the risk of power imbalances is common. Power imbalances can be fixed by offering empowerment to the team. It needs to be distributed throughout the group in order to effectively become experts in group tasks. By my group members feeling empowered they are able to be experts in tasks (Hill, 2017).
Our group processes involve decision making on tasks. As a group this is superior because our group dynamics generates potentially more information, knowledge, different alternatives to task results, solution acceptance and ncreases our legitimacy of being a collaborative group. Decision making can often be placed on the owner of the groups tasks, however in order to get a result of a task we need to consider as a group different alternatives and the use of different group members knowledge to get the outcome our organisation needs (Chand, 2017).
Legal issues that surround our group involve the fundamental rights of a workplace. Cultural diversity is the main legal issues that could have an effect on our group. This is because even though we a joint collaboratively as a group e still identify with our values and express a particular cultural identity and as we understand it, is socially constructed, complex and dynamic. Even though we are a small team, the majority of our group come from a Caucasian background, however two members are from a different cultural background.
This can cause some unspoken power struggle as cultural identities are associated in larger society that some cultural identity groups have greater power (Ely & Thomas, 2001). In conclusion, from reflecting on my experience in a group I have learnt that there is always a constant power struggle. Whether it be from a group member who has a domineering nature or my own feeling of trying to suppress my view in order to have the group collaborate effectively it always plays a part.
I never realised that leadership would be challenged in a group that is in a way forced to collaborate to the standards of an organisation. However, it is by us joining collaboratively we form interpersonal and emotional relationships that work together. Another part that strengthens the work group is by consistently meeting together to reevaluate our goal. The goal does often change as the tasks that come to the group to handle will differ from each situation.
But being able to meet and debrief so everyone can offer their alternative view, gives the result of our tasks a thorough and effective outcome. I can reflect on the fact that we are still not close to the stage of performing, as we seem to stay in norming as our leader often does have time off which causes the shift in power. The power shift is needed in scenarios of the group still needing direction as the organisation still needs to run regardless.