Team Management Essay

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In the 1970’s researchers undertook research to determine why some teams succeed and others fail. For instance, Dr. Meredith Belbin with his team from Henley Management College aimed to unearth the dynamics that caused problems in teams and therefore prevent such conflict from manifesting. In his research, Belbin found out that the strategy used in managing teams is the team role approach in which each has a role to contribute to the group (Belbin, 2011). In addition, Tajfel developed the social identity theory that can be used in managing teams. Therefore, this essay focuses on the team role approach, the changes that have occurred since then and a proposal on the best way to manage a team.

The team role approach assumes that each individual in a group contributes in a distinct way from another person. The managers ensured that a group had people to perform different roles to make it functional. The plant role was assumed by a person who is creative at solving problems and coming up with solutions that are distinct from the conventional ways of solving problems. The monitor evaluator provided a rational view of the decisions viewed by the group. The coordinators were necessary for a group to maintain objectivity within the group so that the group does not lose its meaning (Belbin, 2011). The resource investigators were important to provide inside information to the outside opposition. The implementer’s role was important in designing a practically feasible plan to facilitate the accomplishment of goals. The Completer Finishers were important in scrutinising the final work for any errors (Belbin, 2011). The team workers identified the work to be done and were willing to do it on behalf of the team, while the shapers challenged the members and ensured momentum in the right direction. The problem that faced managers was to ensure that in each group, every role was well represented.

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Tajfel on the other side stated that social identity was a source of pride for people. Therefore, the managers applied this theory in challenging the different teams to be the best from all the other teams (Tajfel, 2010). The group members of the outstanding teams were proud, and the members of the other teams were challenged to be the best team.

The team management techniques used in the 1970’s were usually top down in hence inhibiting creativity and innovation. However, in today’s world, the team members are empowered, and therefore innovation and creativity can come from any member of the group (Kozlowski & Bell, 2008). Additionally, the technology advancement in today’s world makes it more complicated to manage people and therefore a new set of skills necessary to manage teams.  Besides team leaders in the1970’s expected that the group members would give their best n a group. In contrast, today’s group leader knows that one of his roles is to inspire and motivate the team members so that they give their best

The best approach to managing a team is to apply Bruce Tuckman theory. Tuckman divides the group formation stage into five segments. The first stage is the forming stage, and the roles are not assigned, and the team members are anxious at this stage. The storming stage is the second phase, and during this time, the team members push the boundaries of their roles and conflicts are likely to emerge (Kozlowski & Bell, 2008). The norming stage is the third phase, and people learn to compromise and to find common ground for achieving group goals. The fourth stage entails performance. At this stage, the members understand what is expected of them, and they work towards the achievement of group goals. The adjourning stage is the final phase at which the group is dissolved. Through knowing the phase at which the group is, the manager can choose the skills and management techniques to apply to keep the group together.

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  1. Belbin, R. (2011). Management Teams: Why They Succeed Or Fail. Human Resource Management International Digest, 19(3).
  2. Kozlowski, S. W., & Bell, B. S. (2008). Team Learning, Development, and Adaptation. Group Learning, 15-44.
  3. Tajfel, H. (2010). Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge University Press.
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