i387c managing information services and organizations






Module 1 >> Module 2 >> Module 3 >> Module 4 >> Module 5

Module 1. Unit 4: Working in Teams

Teamwork is an essential part of work in any type of organization. Working in a team, however, requires a great deal of effort on everyone's part. Mink (1993) describes two types of teams: functional and logical. Functional teams are work groups aligned in the organizational structure, while logical teams are created to accomplish a particular task. He goes on to describe the behavior of teams "in terms of process and content ...commitment and productivity." (133)

Another taxonomy of a team includes the types described in the chart below.

Functional team Group that reports to a single boss and may or may not work together to meet goals.
Cross-functional team Group comprised of team members from different functions throughout the organization whose time is divided between organizational functions and particular functional responsibilities
Tiger team Group of team members from different functions across the organization all of whose time is devoted to the team's efforts.
Ad-hoc or task force Temporary group put together to solve particular problem or explore an opportunity
Committee Ongoing group that develops and monitors policy, practice, or planning.

Adapted from ManageMentor on Leading a Team

Members of a team must find ways to be productive while at the same time accommodating individual personalities, gifts, and idiosyncrasies. Social and procedural mechanisms should be in place for communication, problem-solving, respect for and flexibility of deadlines, etc. The success or failure of a project is dependent upon the functionality or dysfunctionality of a team.

Students in graduate programs such as ours often complain about group work. The complaints derive in part from the competitiveness of graduate study. In truth, professional work in the "real world" requires team and group work. The primary difference between academic group work and professional group work is that members of your professional work group, don't change every semester!

==> Continue to Module 2 Unit 1




Read Quinn, p. 103-260.


In your group have a discussion on successful teams on which you have work or played. Why were they successful? What kinds of problems have you experienced in teamwork? How were they resolved? What types of rules for behavior (informal or formal) were agreed upon? As a group create a document (MS word document) that summarizes your group's

  • rules for communication and behavior
  • strategies for managing team problems
  • criteria for evaluating team member performance

Please name the file group#-teamwork.doc

Select a representative from your group to post a summary of your group's team evaluation criteria.

Assignment (individual)

Locate a substantive and informative article on "Working in Teams." Annotate the article and citation and add to your Management e-Portfolio.


Post Digital Drop Box
Due June 8 11:30pm
Post Post group summary to discussion board forum entitled, Teamwork.
Value Participation


thanks to patrick williams for template design
Last update 7 june 2006