• Unit 6: Managing Groups and Teams

    We have looked at leadership, communication, and decision-making in this course. This unit will explore how those topics come together in managing groups and teams. Some teams are functional and incorporated into the structural design of the firm. Other teams are task-oriented. However, all teams are critical to the business' success and need to be managed in accordance with the makeup and function or task of the team. Any time a group of diverse individuals comes together, there may be friction, so managers need to know how to handle conflicts within teams. This unit examines how groups of people interact to form a corporate culture and a collective identity and how to avoid dysfunctional conflict and discrimination.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 11 hours.

    • 6.1: Group Behavior

      Members of groups are interdependent, meaning the team's performance is judged by the team results, not the individual performers. Thus, it is important to anticipate how teams may behave and how to influence ideal team behavior. This section will give you an overview of the types of groups and how they interact.

    • 6.2: Group Dynamics

      Group dynamics give rise to norms, behaviors, relationships, roles, and common goals. The dynamics include both the behaviors and psychological processes that occur within or between groups. Groups are always changing, and over time, the group's hierarchy can change, as can the member roles. This section will explore group dynamics and what makes a group successful in achieving its goals.

    • 6.3: Group Cohesion

      We have briefly considered group cohesion, but this section will explore the characteristics of a cohesive group and how the group leader affects the relationships within the group. We have not considered how to build a team or group in difficult circumstances. What happens when a team has to come together in times of an emergency?

    • 6.4: Characteristics of Group Development

      No matter the function or purpose of the team, you know that there are certain characteristics of effective teams. If you have ever had a group project at school (and dreaded it), you understand what happens when a team is ineffective. We have looked at the five stages of group formation using Tuckman's model (forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning). We have also considered punctuated equilibrium. However, other models analyze group development. This section will consider group development in more detail.

    • 6.5: Diversity in Teams

      We have considered what makes groups successful and effective and the importance of collaboration and cohesiveness. However, what happens when people are from different backgrounds and ethnicities? What if you are working with people from another country or for whom English is a second language? How does diversity affect the effectiveness of the team? What are the best practices when dealing with others in a diverse team? This section will address the factor of diversity in the workplace. We will consider the value of diversity, what constitutes discriminatory practices, and practices to manage diversity and foster a culture of inclusion.

    • 6.6: The Value of Diversity

      Many studies have been done on the value of having a diverse workforce. Teams also benefit from the different viewpoints from the perspectives of a diverse team. When we are engaged in problem-solving, we need to consider many ideas before arriving at an optimal solution. Furthermore, in a global business environment, we need to be able to work with people from other countries and cultures because they comprise our suppliers and customers.

    • 6.7: Managing Diversity and Inclusion

      Now that we know about the benefits and challenges of diversity and the legal consequences of discriminatory practices, how do we manage diversity and inclusion? The resources in this section will offer strategies you may practice to improve relationships and increase effectiveness. The information you will read will help reduce conflicts arising from prejudices and discrimination. There are also other reasons why conflict may arise in an organization; we will look at that next.

    • 6.8: Conflict

      We have considered how a diverse workplace can cause conflicts. However, there are also other ways groups and teams can experience conflict. This section will look at the causes of conflict. Not all conflict has negative consequences; however, when it does, managers need to be able to take it in hand so that the teamwork does not suffer.

    • 6.9: Teamwork

      Leadership in the organization requires being able to increase team performance. Teams also need to be able to work with other teams. This section culminates with an exploration of teamwork itself. How do teams function? What can we do to help teams function better? What are the characteristics of a high-performing team? The materials in this unit will provide answers to these questions and help you improve your skill sets.

    • 6.10: Team Challenges

      In this unit, we have primarily considered the internal factors that affect teams, although we have looked at working with other teams. However, other factors affect teams, including stakeholder or customer expectations, time, and organizational structure. In this section, you will explore additional elements that affect teams.

    • 6.11: Team Effectiveness

      Team effectiveness is not just about the internal effectiveness of the team but also the results they achieve for the organization. In this section, we will examine the characteristics of high-performing teams.

    • 6.12: Collaboration

      Throughout this unit, you have learned about team characteristics, performance, efficiency, and effectiveness. By this point, you know that team cohesion is important. So, how do leaders, managers, and team members foster that collaboration among members? We have learned about managing conflict. However, what happens when teams fizzle or they reach an impasse? Sometimes groups have to solve complex problems that may not have a readily identifiable solution. Other times, groups have to negotiate a solution to a problem. This section will look at collaboration from the perspective of leadership and behaviors.
    • Study Guide: Unit 6

      We recommend reviewing this Study Guide before taking the Unit 6 Assessment.

    • Unit 6 Assessment

      • Receive a grade