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TEAM MANAGEMENT AS A TOOL FOR ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN SELECTED HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

Business Administration & Management Project Topics

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the Study

The human resources is unique in yet another significant way. This study is considering how effective human resources management constitutes an essential ingredient for harmonizing and seeking to match the expectations needs and objectives of the employees, with those of the organization on a continuous basis. In view of this development, organizational life requires at least some degree of co-ordination through operation of groups and team work. Teams are increasingly becoming the primary means for organizing work in contemporary organization.  Robins and Judge (2007:306) state that understanding of the nature, impact of groups and teams and their effects is vital if the manager is to influence the behavior of the people in the work situation. Therefore mangers must be aware of the impact of groups and teams and their effects on organizational performance.

 

Mahajam (2011:486) state that a team is a small number of people with complementary skills, who are committed to common purpose, a set of performance goal, and an approach for which they hold themselves accountable. Team building and team management is very necessary as many tasks can only be completed successfully by cooperating with others. Good communication with the team is vital to ensure common understanding; contribution of every person is valued and trusted. Besides, team members have responsibilities which include supporting, encouraging each other, demonstrating trust and respect. Teams are more successful in implementing complex plans, develop more creative solutions to difficult problems, they develop the saving approach to problem solving. This is why we have a popular saying that “two good heads are better than one”.  Nelson and Quick (2005:178) differentiates between groups and teams by stating that all work teams are groups, but not all groups are work team, Groups emphasize individual leadership, individual accountability, and individual work products. Work teams emphasize shared leadership, mutual accountability and collective work product.

 

Mahajam (2011:487) agrees that a group is essentially an assemblage of two or more persons who interact with one another, are psychologically aware of one another, and think of themselves as a group while a team is a group whose members influence one another toward the accomplishment of individual work whereas members of a team are collectively responsible for team work. Organizations are restructuring themselves to compete more effectively and efficiently, they have turned to teams as a better way to use employees’ talent.

 

Ilgen (1999:199) says that team efforts are required in many organizations (example; government agencies, aviation operations, military organizations, schools, police departments, sports institutions and hospitals) to meet their missions and goals. Boone and Kurtz (2005:349) confirms that team work is vital in business and many other areas. Teams can perform difficult and complex tasks, motivate their members effectively, and in some cases outperform individuals (Foushee 1984:162) than in the culture that is highly individualistic. Orasanu and Fisher (1997:216) agree that teams can be more productive, make better decisions than individuals. Teams can be a powerful organizational tools when organized, designed and managed correctly.(Guzzo and Dickson 1996), Ugbam,(2011:336) is of the opinion that teams emerge when a number of people have common goal and recognize that their personal success is dependent on the success of others. According to Mclntyre and Salas (1995), team work is a critical component of team performance and requires an explanation of how a team behaves. They mention fours keys behavioral characteristics that compose teamwork as follows:

  • Performance monitoring
  • Feedback
  • Closed-loop communication
  • Back-up behaviors

 

Teams have emerged as the corner stone of many organizations in recent times, and organizations are restructuring themselves to compete more effectively and efficiently. Oluwole (2010:14) asserts that working together as a team for common purpose is the foundation of all successful management and also that a true team is a living, constantly changing force in which a number of people come together to work. Robbins and Judge (2007:338) are of the view that teams have the capability to quickly assemble, deploy, refocus and disband. By this nature of team, management has found that teams are flexible and responsive to changing than are traditional departments or other forms of permanent groupings. Team is an important consideration in employee recruitment and training because it encourages employee to pool their talents and ideas to achieve more than they could achieve working as individual (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004:447). The essence of a team is common commitment and work teams are created for various purposes and thus face different challenges. Manager’s can deal more effectively with those challenges when they understand how teams differ. Sundstron, DeMeuse and Futrell (1990:125) list four general types of work teams as; advice, production, action and project teams. They maintain that each of these work teams identifies a basic purpose as thus; Advice Team- generally make recommendations, in contrast production and action teams carry out management decisions while project teams are involved in problem solving and application of specialized knowledge.

 

Oluwole (2010:7) states that teams detect flaws and find solutions to it. He further assert that teams are more successful in implementing complex plans, develop   more creative solutions to difficult problems, they develop time saving approach to problem solving. It is of interest to note that a good team of husband and wife will raise good children to make a good family and also a good family will produce a good community. In the same direction, a good team will make a good organization and a good organizational team can be an invaluable asset to the organization and society in general. Nzewi (2006:14) states that a bad team can break the internal structure of the organization. Robbins and Judge (2010:351) state that successful organizations are good at building teams and exploiting team work. They maintain that people need to be able to work in team; they need to subordinate their own agenda to the well being of their group. The most important strategies or strategy for building and managing teams for optimum performances is to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and well understood by everyone in the organization

(www.http://www.pon.harvarad.edu/freemium/team building-strategies-and your organiztions/-Acessed 28 sept 2011).

 

Parker (1990:147) asserts that team building is an organizational development strategy that is often used in organization to make work groups more cohesive, committed, satisfied and more productive. In agreement to this Onodugo and Igwe (2010:95) maintain that team building is one of the key comparatives for a successful organization. To Moorhead and Griffin (1995:481) team building has to do with organized members of organization working together in a spirit of cooperation and generally has one or more of the following goals:

  • To set team goals, priorities, or both.
  • To examine the way a group is working, [i.e. to examine process such as norms, decisions, decision making and communications].
  • To examine relationships among the people doing their work.

 

In building successful teams Mckee (2005) suggests that one of the most significant thing required for success is team-building and maintenance of leaders that can challenge, motivate, and empower their teams. Robbins and Judge (2010:361) stress that whatever the debate about a comparison between individual and group or team performance or self managed groups, effective team working is of increasing importance in modern organizations. This demands that the manager must be aware of and pay attention to a number of interrelated factors which includes;

  • Clarification of objectives and available resources
  • Organizational processes and clarification of roles
  • Empowerment, decision-making and channels of communication
  • Social processes and informal organization
  • Managements system and style of leadership
  • Training and development

 

1.2       Statement of the problem

Managing human resources is complex and problematic. People as individual or as members of a work group do not automatically embrace, and take as their own, the objectives of their organization that employs them as workers.

 

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