• Unit 5: Managing Groups and Teams

    Whether your power base is legitimate or otherwise, you may find yourself potentially in a leadership position within a group or team. But what is the difference between a group and a team? This was touched on in the first unit, but further distinction is needed here. Groups are often formed organically. Think about a group of car enthusiasts: they come together because of a similar interest. There may not be an underlying goal other than to share ideas and discuss topics of mutual interest. Teams are formed more strategically. For example, think about a professional sports team; management carefully selects and trains players, and together they work toward the common goal of winning games. 

    Teams should function in the way a group does: with a more relaxed atmosphere, which will allow each contributor to feel comfortable in his or her role. Maintaining this atmosphere can be difficult, because teams sometimes work in very stressful environments. This is why building a good team with great dynamics is so important and so challenging. A team that functions well together will be more productive than a team that does not have a good dynamic. Thus, this unit will enable you to explore the world of teams and groups. You will learn about the internal processes that underlie team/group formation and maintenance as well as the role of leadership in these types of settings. The unit opens with a discussion of diversity. While the value of diversity in an organization is not restricted to team processes, scholars and business practitioners both agree that team performance is improved by a diverse membership.

    As stated throughout, this course will not make you a good leader or member of a team, but it can give you the tools that will help you recognize what makes a team effective and identify the players that serve best as leaders.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 28 hours.