Oxytocin is a brain chemical that is releasedby the brain during sexual orgasms. What is unorthodox is, the same reactionoccurs when people work together in a good team.
Salas,et al, (2000) defines teamwork as, when a group of individuals are “interacting adaptively, interdependently, anddynamically towards a common … goal” in cohesion. Functional teamsmake way for effective performance management to be embedded in theorganisation’s culture. This is “the continuous process of improvingperformance by setting individual and team goals which are aligned to thestrategic goals of the organization” (Armstrong, 2017). The correlationbetween the two would be critically examined in the following paragraphs,acknowledging various factors such as; task conflicts vs. relationshipconflicts, industry dynamics and the concept of groupthink, with the issue athand being the nature of this link. Initially, teamwork within an organisationleads to the prevalence of healthy competition within and among teams.”Cooperation supports synergy while competition fosters invention and choice.” (Christopher M.
Avery, 2001)Team members would voice their ideas without hesitation and this results intask conflicts. This “increases group members’ tendency to scrutinize taskissues and to engage in deep and deliberate processing of task-relevantinformation. This fosters learning and the development of new and sometimeshighly creative insights, leading the group to become more effective andinnovative” (Carsten K W De Dreu, 2001) (Jehn, 1995). Therefore, team goalsare directly aligned with that of the organization’s as task conflicts restrictsthe team from deviating from task objectives.
This gives rise to bettereffective performance management, supporting the claim of positive correlation. Secondly, industry dynamic trends such ascollaborative spaces in the workplace instead of cubicle set-ups allowsemployees to cooperate more and make team work more convenient. Researchconducted by the CEO of the Swedish digital innovation agency, Unicorn Titans’,Oscar Berg, surmised, “56% pointed out collaboration-related measureas the factor that will have the greatest impact on their organization’soverall profitability”. This aids in the achievement of organisation’smarketing objectives of increasing profitability as collaborative team spacesand work assists in the development of effective team goals.Another trend is the precedence of virtualteams over traditional ones.
Jessica Lipnack (1997) describes virtual teams asone which, “works across space, time and organisational boundaries with linksstrengthened by webs of communication technologies”. Global software companies likeIBM and SAP have well rounded virtual teams, which allows their employees toengage in flexible working practices which is a contributing factor to theirsuccess. Research conducted by Frank Siebdrat and his team, evaluated theperformance of 80 global software companies. The conclusion they came to was,more dispersed teams often outperformed “co-located” teams (2009).
Ergo, thisvalidates the positive correlation between team work and effective performanceas flexible working practices enables employees to decide on the location andhours that is of utmost convenience to them. Therefore accommodating theaccomplishment of team objectives in line with that of the organisation. On the contrary, there are a number offactors which undermines the claim made initially about the existence of apositive correlation between teamwork and effective performance. The psychologicalphenomenon of groupthink is one of these factors whereby “the characteristicsand consequences of de-individuation contain forces which provoke a negligenceof risks” (Hart, 1994). “Whether or notgroup cohesion was really at the root of groupthink” (Mark Schafer, 2010) was assessed byIrving Janis, as there is a tendency of the group members to go alongheedlessly with what the leader suggests without a difference of opinion. Amore classical reference of this would be The Pied Piper in Hamelin by RobertBrowning (1888), which is “analogous to the psychosis of groupthink” referredto as the “Pied Piper Syndrome” where “the elders and the children committeddelusional decision making” (Wilcox, 2010). Hence, limitedscrutiny of tasks by the members lead to ineffective decision making as thepros and cons of the decision are not analysed and weighed properly beforegoing forward with it.
This would lead to inefficiencies and wastages withinthe organisation resulting in team objectives not being met promptly. Consequently,leading to the un-accomplishment of organisational objectives, which directlyopposes what effective performance management warrants. Additionally, another factor that questionsthe positive correlation is relationship conflicts. Task conflicts between teammembers, which was discussed above are imperative to the overall achievement ofobjectives and health of the organisation.
However relationship conflicts, “aboutpersonal taste, political preferences, values, and interpersonal style” (Carsten K. W. De Dreu, 2003), is detrimental tothe harmony and unification of teams, which is a deterrent towards effectiveperformance. In consideration of this, conflicts within the group are “bound upwith lower productivity due to high claims of time and energy used up by theconflict” (Pelled, 1996) (Janice Langan-Fox, 2007).
This misappropriation that could be appropriated to the task and teamobjectives instead, adds on to the team ineffectiveness and the inefficiency ofthe organisation as a whole. To surmise, “Relationship conflicts were shown tohave a negative impact on task performance” (Jehn, 1995) (Janice Langan-Fox, 2007). This validates thenegative correlation between team work and effective performance as taskobjectives are not achieved to carry out the raison d’etre of the organisation. The factors presented in the above paragraphsindicate either a positive or negative correlation between the two keyvariables of this research paper, team work and effective performance. Theauthor’s conclusion is, the correlation between the two is positive in nature.
A sound argument has been made in the fourth and fifth paragraph against thisassumption. However what weakens this resolve is, conflicts though destructivein actuality is essential to foster a competitive nature within anorganisation. Any organisation consists of departments or teams made up ofindividuals with contrasting views from one another. The concept of group thinkis not expedient to this conclusion because, though the uniformity and”we’re-all-in-it-together” atmosphere is agreeable and goes along with thenotion of “ikigai”, a low proclivity towards questioning and raising doubt,limits innovation.
IfeanyiEnoch Onuoha, theNigerian author says, “Healthy curiosity is agreat key in innovation” and innovation is the path to victory in the everevolving business environment.