Teamwork in Engineering College

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Teamworkin Engineering

College:

Communicationhas become one of the integral elements in cases of successfulteamwork. In the modern management, the use of team works has becomea tool of getting the best from the employees. Different people arepart of working teams, and the success of each team work depends onthe individual contribution. In a simple definition, a team isreferred as a group of people who possess complementary skills andwork actively together with a common objective of achieving a commonpurpose/objective. Teamwork has remained a great way to get thingsdone in an organization. Different people, i.e. non-technical staff,managers, engineers all needs work in a team with effectivecommunication being the epitome of a successful team work. However,the establishment of teamwork is a daunting exercise due to themagnitude of the objective (Galashin&amp Popov 2014, p. 150).This, in turn, brings along an aspect of team work theories. Ateamwork theory is referred as an organized way of comprehendingcircumstances, procedure as well as behaviors of the team players.

Inengineering, project managers are the leaders and five key aspectsare essential for effective functioning of any engineering team.These considerations include interdependence (team members ought towork together and are linked to each other in a definite way as onecannot succeed unless all members succeed). Another consideration isgoal specification, cohesiveness, rules and norms, and lastlycommunication (Hartmann&amp Jahren 2015, p. 15).This paper focuses upon the dynamics of a group or a team of workersas well as including suggested ways that can be deployed executingthe team activities in a different way. In addition, the paperdiscusses different group work theories linking one of the activitiesof the group to another. Lastly, the paper will as well entailliterature review of different theories addressing working in groupsin an organization, not forgetting group tasks, individual roles,dynamics, and approach to the group tasks.

LiteratureReview

Differenttheories have been a device in an attempt to explain and understandthe aspect of teamwork, group formation and effective use of teamworkin organizations. According to Senaratne &amp Gunawardane 2015 (P.4), teams have become the primary working unit in the constructionindustry in addition to the engineering occupation. This has in turnled to managers in almost every organization, including theengineering sector to be aware of the teamwork theories that wouldwork excellently in their different organization. In addition, theneed to understand the practice of teamwork is an essential one interms of forming and managing teams within the engineering andconstruction industry. One of the major team theories to have beendevised and implemented in different organizations entails theBelbin`s Team Role Theory. According to Belbin, team roles aredivided into nine different roles that should be executed by everyteam that focuses on success. These roles by Belbin’s theoryinclude Plant, Resource Investigator, Shaper, Coordinator, MonitorEvaluator, Implementer, Complete Finisher, Specialist and TeamWorker. With reference to an article by (Strnadová et al 2014, P.18), the theory by Belbin focuses on maintaining a balanced team interms of team roles. With reference to case studies conducted in SriLanka, the author has deployed the use of Belbin’s team theory.

Inaddition to Belbin’s team theory, other team work related theoriesinclude Bruce Tackman’s Theory that was created in the year 1965.According to (Oladiran et al 2011, p. 180), this theory has been overtime has been applied by varying organizations, and entails fourmajor sections which are the formation, storming, norming as well asperformance. According to the author, the article analyzed the meritsand demerits of the theory, focusing on the different organizationwhich is best suited by the theory. However, one of the major factorsthat determined the best team formation and implementation theory isthe objective or the goals targeted by the management or anorganization as well as the achievement expected from the team. Thisis with reference to the article by (Oladiran et al 2011, p. 174),team roles, functional roles and individual contribution must allfocus towards the common goal of the team being established. More so,communication remains an integral element uniting the individualswithin a team, hence the achievement of the main key objective.

Hierarchyof Needs Theory as created by Abraham Maslow is another teamformation theory. According to (Ning &amp Porter 2014, p. 550) thetheory by Maslow was coined from motivation in humans with the use ofMaslow’s pyramid of needs, psychological needs are the basic needswhich are then followed safety needs such as health. According tothis theory, the needs for a successful team are the need for loveand belonging. The togetherness within a team makes a family, hencepromoting teamwork and love between the members of the team. Thenthere is esteem and self-actualization. With the achievement of humanneeds for motivation an individual (team member) fits into anyteamwork setting. Lastly, there is the Isabel Briggs-Myers and HerMBTI Theory, and John Adair’s Leadership Theory, which also formspart of theories behind team building.

Differenttheories have been applied in different scenarios as per the teamworkand working in groups. However, every teamwork or group has itspreferred theory in which the group is established. According to(Strnadová 2014, p. 17), the objectives and goals of a group are themain driving factor as how individuals in a group relate as well ashow communication is done within the team. Effective understanding ofthe teamwork is an essential tool towards the success. In the fieldof engineering, and with reference to our group the most effectivetheory for the establishment of the team, is Bruce Tackman’sTheory. Teamwork in the engineering sector is an essential towardsthe achievement of a successful engineer.

GroupTasks, Individual Roles Dynamics, and Approach to the Tasks

Effectiveperformance of every group is dependent on the group task, theindividual roles the strategies and dynamics on how to implement thetasks. Individuals in a group or team possess different and uniqueskills as well as strengths. Teams functions efficiently when membersof the team are valued. Roles come in four groups, namely taskroles, functions, maintenance, and dysfunctional roles. The team orthe group tasks vary from one group to the other as well as regardingwith the main goal or objective of the group. With regard to thegroup entailed in the paper, the group tasks entail tasks such asimplementation of the organizational strategies, as well ascoordinating the major group tasks.

IndividualRoles and Dynamics

Withthe availability of different team theories in existence the Belbintheory, best explained the grounds and functionality of our team.This, in turn, led to the division and allocation of the tasks inaccordance to the Belbin’s explanation. The theory is well definedto use the individual talents and personalities for the bestperformance of the team. Regarding out the team, there are differenttasks which were to be shared among the members in order to have theexpected maximum performance. To begin with there is theimplementation task, which entails organizing the team and the personis supposed to put plans and ideas from the members into executabletasks. There is also the coordinator between the workers in the team.His task is to ensure there is a continuous link between all hepersonnel’s, and clarifies goals, structures discussions for theteam and also are the decision executor (Amos&amp Klimoski 2014, p. 118).The coordinator will be entitled to the maintenance of the groupsfocus towards the realization of the goals and objectives. Othertasks within the team include the shaper, who is mandated with movingthe team forwards and in solving conflict whenever there is any.Finally, there is the team worker who is carrying out the manual workand executes the ideas once they have been planned and agreed upon bythe group.

Theteam’s dynamics are with our group are well-established behaviorand psychological process which holds the team together. One of theteam defining dynamics includes the team culture, such as mode ofcommunication, how every individual relates to each other. The teamis used to taking tea, lunch, and team building sessions together(Jia&amp Liden 2015, p. 1112).This has, in turn, helped build a stronger team relations as well asmaintaining respect among the members.

Regardingthe approach to the tasks, the leading team comprising of theimplementer and coordinator/shaper comes together and lays down thestrategies to execute the work/project. Once the plan is mapped, theplan is taken to the implementer who ensures all the resources arefor the implementation of the task. The task is then taken down tothe team workers who manually undertake the task specifics tocomplete the project. However, despite the defined flow of plan toundertake the teamwork, there are occasional communication and teammeetings to ensure effective coordination among all the team members.Lastly, there is the evaluation and giving the feedback with regardto the achievement of the groups’ goals (Hyldgaard, 2015).

Group’sSuccess and Constructive Improvements In Case I Was to Be Part of theGroup Again

Withreference to the tasks assigned to the group and the individualcontribution, the success of the group was immense. One of the majorstrengths is the devised channel of communication between theleaders/managers and the rest of the group members. With individualtasks contributing to the group task accomplishment, every individualwas essential to the achievement of the goal. One of the positives isthe periodic performance of assessment which helped in identificationof areas that needed improvement for better realization of the groupgoals. One key point behind our group`s success is the free to flowof information and communication platform which has adequately helpedin handling the conflicts. The platform/strategy identified inconflict resolution is a success as it allows for the contribution byall the members towards the identification of a common solution hencepromoting unity.

Interms of constructive improvement, one of the major sectors toimprove the group performance is the giving of feedback to themembers. Effective feedback in any teamwork is an essential tool inimproving team’s morale as well as an incentive for motivationtowards the realization of the goals set (Binsiddiq &amp Alzahmi2013, p. 125). However, when feedback isn’t given correctly or elsenot phrased correctly, and given at the right time, it can make agroup become standoffish hence becoming a hindrance to the successfulachievement of the objectives. With reference to our group, thegiving of feedback was left wanting as it was received differently bythe group members. In order to improve the group’s performance aswell as retaining more of the members, feedback should only be givenonly when something/task or any dynamics goes wrong. Feedback shouldbe made regularly. In addition, feedback should focus on workingbetter rather than feeling better. Feedback should be given not forthe group members to feel better, but to make them work better forthe common goal or for the individual tasks (Gottfredson 2015, p.27). More so, project leaders ought to be more open for upward aswell as lateral feedback, be precise, offer suggestions andsolutions, as well as choosing the right words to use whencommunicating. Finally, feedback shouldn’t be personal, and in thecase of criticizing, it should be done in private. With theimprovement of the feedback, giving, it would an ideal aspect inmaintaining the group together as well as being team member again.

Inconclusion, the success of teamwork is dependent on different factorswith communication being an essential element. The unconscious orpsychological force that influences the team’s performance andbehavior (team dynamics) also remain an integral part of any group’ssuccess in the focus towards the realization of the objective. It isevident that, in the engineering industry technical acumen is notenough for one to have a successful career in engineering, and, inturn, teamwork brings along advancement. Combined with different softskills as identified in the paper, teamwork can be of great benefitin the engineering sector. Some of the soft skills identified forsuccessful function of the team or group work is communication,creativity, collaboration adaptability, and leadership.

Bibliography

Binsiddiq,Y, &amp Alzahmi, R 2013, `Work Engagement And Group Dynamics InDiverse And Multicultural Teams: Critical Literature Review`,&nbspReviewOf Management Innovation &amp Creativity,6, 19, pp. 121-133, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Gottfredson,RK 2015, `How to get YOUR TEAMS to work`,&nbspIndustrialManagement, 57, 4, pp.25-30, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

HyldgaardChristensen, S. (2015).&nbspInternationalperspectives on engineering education: engineering education andpractice in context. Volume 1 Volume 1.http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&ampscope=site&ampdb=nlebk&ampdb=nlabk&ampAN=996866.

Ning,L, Kirkman, B, &amp Porter, C 2014, `Toward a Model of Work TeamAltruism`,&nbspAcademyOf Management Review,39, 4, pp. 541-565, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Oladiran,M, Uziak, J, Eisenberg, M, &amp Scheffer, C 2011, `Globalengineering teams – a programme promoting teamwork in engineeringdesign and manufacturing`,&nbspEuropeanJournal of Engineering Education,36, 2, pp. 173-186, Professional Development Collection, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Senaratne,S, &amp Gunawardane, S 2015, `Application of team role theory toconstruction design teams`,&nbspArchitecturalEngineering &amp Design Management,11, 1, pp. 1-20, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Strnadová,I, Cumming, T, Knox, M, &amp Parmenter, T, 2014, `Building anInclusive Research Team: The Importance of Team Building and SkillsTraining`,&nbspJournalOf Applied Research In Intellectual Disabilities,27, 1, pp. 13-22, Professional Development Collection, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Hartmann,B, &amp Jahren, C 2015, `Leadership: Industry Needs for Entry-LevelEngineering Positions`,&nbspJournalOf STEM Education: Innovations &amp Research,16, 3, pp. 13-19, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Jia,H, &amp Liden, R 2015, `Making A Difference In The Teamwork: LinkingTeam Prosocial Motivation To Team Processes And Effectiveness`,Academy Of ManagementJournal, 58, 4, pp.1102-1127, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Galashin,M, &amp Popov, S 2014, `Teamwork Efficiency and Company Size`,&nbspB.E.Journal Of Theoretical Economics,16, 1, pp. 337-366, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

Amos,B, &amp Klimoski, R 2014, `Courage: Making Teamwork WorkWell`,&nbspGroup &ampOrganization Management,39, 1, pp. 110-128, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,viewed 31 December 2015.

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