Group Dynamics and Leadership

3618 Words15 Pages
Successful teamwork: A case study

Pina Tarricone
Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
Joe Luca
Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Abstract: Why are some teams successful and others unsuccessful? What criteria or attributes are needed for success? Contemporary teaching and learning practice over the past few years in higher education institutions has seen a proliferation of open-ended constructivist learning designs that incorporate collaboration. This has promoted the need for identifying essential attributes needed for successful teamwork. This study reviews the literature with a view of identifying a framework that educators can use to help
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Successful teams are motivated, engaged and aim to achieve at the highest level;
• Interdependence - team members need to create an environment where together they can contribute far more than as individuals. A positive interdependent team environment brings out the best in each person enabling the team to achieve their goals at a far superior level (Johnson & Johnson, 1995, 1999). Individuals promote and encourage their fellow team members to achieve, contribute, and learn;
• Interpersonal Skills includes the ability to discuss issues openly with team members, be honest, trustworthy, supportive and show respect and commitment to the team and to its individuals. Fostering a caring work environment is important including the ability to work effectively with other team members;
• Open Communication and positive feedback - actively listening to the concerns and needs of team members and valuing their contribution and expressing this helps to create an effective work environment. Team members should be willing to give and receive constructive criticism and provide authentic feedback;
• Appropriate team composition is essential in the creation of a successful team. Team members need to be fully aware of their specific team role and understand what is expected of them in terms of their contribution to the team and the project; and
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