Work Team vs Work Group

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Last updated: April 1, 2019

Work Teams and Work Groups sound the same but in essence are very different. A Work team by definition is a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. Team members (1) operate with a high degree of interdependence, (2) share authority and responsibility for self-management, (3) is accountable for the collective performance, and (4) work toward a common goal and shared rewards(s).A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members. Work teams are an interdependent collection of individuals who share responsibility for specific outcomes for their organizations. They vary in size and can be large or small, no specific numbers of people are required to make up a team.

Skills are not specified to form a team either.Two or more individuals that can collaborate and have skills that will complement each other and are working towards a specific goal can make up a team. Work groups are groups of individuals that work interdependent of each other and must rely on each other for a common goal. Work groups are the traditional work unit or department groups with a supervisor who plays a strong role as the boss. Almost everyone has had some experience with this work setup, especially in a first job. Each person in a dependent work group has his or her own job and works under the close supervision of the boss.The boss is in charge and tells the employees what the job entails and what is expected.

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The supervisor is the facilitator and delegator helping each other and covering for one another is uncommon and done under the direction of the supervisor. Tasks such as problem solving, work assignments, and other decisions affecting the group come directly from the supervisor. Work groups can perform short term, however in the long run they tend to just maintain decorum and keep operations in order.Members operate separately and at the direction of the supervisor and making improvements, increasing productivity, and leveraging resources efficiency are not common with work groups. Some work groups have each person responsible for his or her own main area. In independent work groups the supervisor or manager tends not to function like a dictator or boss instead, staff members work on their own assignments with general direction and minimal supervision. Sales associates, research scientists, accountants, lawyers, police officers, librarians, and teachers are among the professionals who are independent work groups.

People in those occupations come together in one department because they have a common goal, but almost everyone in the group works independently. If members of an independent work group receive the guidance and support they need from Upper level management they excel and achieve goals.References1. http://www.

businessdictionary. com/definition/team. html2.

Bodwell, Donald J. (1996, 1999) “High Performance Team Essential Elements”http://rampages. onramp. net/~bodwell/hpt_eelm. htm


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