Team Work Essay

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Teamwork is essential to the smooth running of many projects, organisations and companies. Much research has been conducted into the effectiveness of teams and their contributions to organisational success.

This essay considers one particular team consisting of two student nurses (members A and B) and 4 student radiographers (members C, D, E, and F), all 3rd year degree-level, whose task was to produce a poster for assessment over a one week period.

Theory and models of teamwork will be used to discuss all aspects of this team including team roles, communication, conflict and decision-making. Conclusions will then be drawn as to how the team could have been more effective in their completion of the task.
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Research has shown that teamwork increases efficiency (Thylefors et al, 2005 in Newson, 2006). A team can pool knowledge and skills and, if well motivated, create energy increasing a team’s efficiency beyond that of the individuals.

Modern views on teamwork also consider the satisfaction of the workforce by becoming more autonomous and reducing hierarchical structures (Ovretveit et al, 1997).

5 Team Development

The most commonly used model to discuss team development is Tuckman’s (1965) (in Huczynski & Buchanan, 2001) forming, storming, norming and performing model. However, the team concerned more closely followed the Cog’s ladder model (see appendix 1. for full description) (Walton, 1984).
1. Polite stage (day 1)
The initial introductions of the team members took place during a coffee break, however, the task was not clearly discussed at this stage and so roles were not yet defined. The members worked at a distance from each other to complete a treasure hunt task.
2. Why are we here? (day 2)
The goals were established and two subgroups (student nurses, A and B and student radiographers, C, D, E and F) emerged.
3. Bid for power (day 2/3)
Conflict and rivalry within the group prevailed. At this stage two members of the group, A and C, became identifiable as leaders.
4. Constructive phase (day 3/4)
The team did eventually reach this stage with activities being divided amongst members and all members participating.
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