Is it possible to select team roles to form a successful team: Is team effectiveness bound by the resources available?
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
Teamwork within organisations is an area which generates a vast amount research. With the use of teamwork growing in firms and the need for many companies to try to refine both the operation of teams and the quality of their output, it is interesting to examine the variables that can affect being able to produce the ‘ideal team’. Alongside these variables comes the issue of organizations having the necessary resources available to create the preferred team.
In this report we look into some of the effects that different levels of resources can have on teams. To enable this comparison a small firm and a multinational firm have been studied with the view that that the multinational firm will have a high access to necessary resources such as employees, training, and incentive schemes etc., whereas the smaller company will be bounded by resource constraints. For the study a small accountancy firm of 22 employees has been studied against a substantial branch of a large bank. These two firms were selected due to them both being involved in the financial services sector, each having a contrasting access to resources and from the ability of the researcher to gain access.
The study was conducted through a questionnaire which was given to both firms and sought to discover the composition, selection process, and support which each of the firms experienced in the establishment and success of project teams. The questionnaire aimed to receive 20 responses from each company, but in reality received 10 responses from the small firm, and 23 from the multinational (which was approximately 50% of each sample sought).
The study shows that the resource present relating to the absolute number of employees within the two companies substantially influenced responses in such areas as, diversity, team change and selection methods, with the multi-national bank demonstrating greater appreciation of these areas due to the higher number of staff available. This was also apparent in areas involving incentive schemes and access to training. When it came to team roles and member opinions of team selection, both companies displayed concerns with overlapping roles and the presence of all relevant skill sets. With this, a view that more differentiated roles in teams could prove desirable was expressed within both companies.
The study concluded that both companies work within constraints when linking projects to available resources. The SME created teams from existing knowledge somewhat subconsciously, whereas the MNC sought to use a more formulated plan to select from the larger workforce available. Both companies felt their methods successful. There were many areas of consensus in the results generated by the two companies, with employees sharing similar philosophies on what would constitute an ‘ideal team’, however, the overriding outcome from the study was that the SME was bound in its choices and what it could offer due to the resources at hand. This combined with an observation that much of the literature examined disregards the key limiting factor, availability of absolute levels of resource.
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