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4Establishing Teamwork in Organisations

Establishing Teamwork in organisations

Task: Is establishing team work difficult in organisations?


Executive summary

Teamwork in organisations is critically important in formulating and implementing a strategic vision and goals. However, teamwork involves bringing together individuals with varying personal ambitions and aspirations. Moreover, organisational aspects such as leadership, management structures, culture and interpersonal relations have a profound influence on the success or failure in establishing effective teamwork. The first step in establishing teamwork in organisations is the recruitment of the right people to complement each other in organisational teams. Establishing rules and procedures to be enforced by management is also vital in ensuring the consistency of purpose in teamwork. Organisational leadership should also support teamwork by enforcing rules, interpreting plans and motivating individuals towards a shared vision. It is also important to note positive human relations in organisations promote cohesion between individuals in teams and thus enhances productivity through teamwork. Clearly, successful establishment of teamwork in organisations should consider the aforementioned factors.

Table of Contents


4Selecting people with the right skills and knowledge 1.

5Setting rules 2.

6Leadership role 3.

8Managing Human relations 4.



Establishing teamwork in organizations


Teamwork in organizations entails a combination of individual efforts, skills, knowledge and abilities towards achieving a common organizational goal [ CITATION Mic12 l 1033 ]. Notably, teamwork is supposed to improve organizational efficiency in reaching its goals and objectives. However, it is only fair to contend that there is a significant degree of resistance in combining the efforts of people with different personal interests, attitudes, abilities and ambitions to work towards a common course [ CITATION Tom10 l 1033 ]. Additionally, the success of teamwork in organizations is also heavily dependent on the knowledge and managerial skills of the organizational leadership [ CITATION Wes08 l 1033 ]. Clearly, establishing teamwork in organizations entails a deliberate effort of understanding the organizational goals and the individual motivators of its people in order to develop a system that effectively combines the skills, talents and knowledge in the organization towards a higher common goal. This paper offers a crucial evaluation of the practice and theoretical background that informs the formation of highly efficient and effective teams in successful modern organizations.

  1. Selecting people with the right skills and knowledge

The success of any organization is highly dependent on the skills talents and experience of its human resource [ CITATION Dia12 l 1033 ]. Therefore, it is imperative that an organization develops systems and procedures of recruiting the best talent in the job market. According to Sahoo & Mishra (2012), staff recruitment is a strategic function in organizations that involves efforts in attracting, selecting and placing suitable candidates for job positions. Arthur (2012) further notes that staff recruitment is a rigorous exercise that should reflect the strategic orientation of an organization. Indeed, the recruitment plan should be consistent with the strategic plan and vision of the organisation. As such, the human resource function in any organisation should be cognisant of the strategic goals and their implementation plan. Such awareness will ensure that organisations recruit individuals that complement the productivity of their existing teams. Indeed, recruitment is the primary activity in forming highly effective organisational teams. The top management should be actively involved in setting the guidelines that determine the recruitment process
[ CITATION Wes08 l 1033 ]. Poor recruitment may be costly to an organisation in terms of poor performance output and ineffective organisational teams. This explains the reason why companies such as Alphabet (formerly Google), Facebook and Boston Consulting Group use tough recruitment processes to determine the right candidates for the job [ CITATION Jac13 l 1033 ]. Evidently, success at establishing effective teamwork is to a large extent determined by the choice of recruitment process and its relevance to the strategic goal and vision of an organisation.

  1. Setting rules

Organizational teams can only be effective if they are governed by rules, which may be written or unwritten. Rules establish how work should be done, how individuals should relate and what entails success or failure in relation to set goals and objectives. Unwritten rules are established by the culture of an organization. For example, a company like apple that believes in disruptive innovation is likely to support the efforts of teams and individuals that focus on unconventional improvement of existing products and services. However, it is important to note that organizational culture is to a large extent influenced by the leadership of an organization [ CITATION Gle11 l 1033 ].

According to management theorist, Max Weber, the success of an organization is highly dependent on the predictability of its systems [ CITATION Wre08 l 1033 ]. Weber advocated for bureaucratic organizations with rules and systems that govern operational plans. In a bureaucratic system, superiors and subordinates act predictably within known and stable rules. Such an environment is crucial in enhancing the growth and productivity of teams in an organization. However, in entrepreneurial firms, rules and hierarchy are not normally emphasized by the charismatic leaders [ CITATION Joy11 l 1033 ]. In such organizations, the predictability of decisions and stability of rules are determined by the personality of the entrepreneurial manager and the value system that he/she subscribes to. The efficiency and productivity of teamwork in entrepreneurial organizations is influenced by factors such as trust between individuals and close interpersonal relations.

Organizational rules and procedures should be designed to enhance efficiency and productivity of teams [ CITATION Gle11 l 1033 ]. However, organizational rules and procedures relating to management of productivity in organizations have led to conflicts between labour and capital. The emergence of radical industrial unionism in the 20th century is a product of conflict between workers and business owners [ CITATION Wre08 l 1033 ]. Apparently, the success of an organisation at assembling productive teams and setting rules is dependent on the delicate balancing of the goals of a business and interests of individuals involved.

  1. Leadership role

The style and approach of Organisational leadership is a major determinant of success or failure in the productivity of teamwork in organisations. Leaders motivate their followers towards the achievement of organisational goals and vision that are larger than individual aspirations. According to Harley (2010), the organisational leadership as the vision bearer defines the purpose and long-term vision of the organisation to the employees and concerned stakeholders. The leadership must ensure that teams at every organisational level are focused on objectives that contribute positively to the ultimate vision of the organisation.

The leadership should inspire and motivate teams to overcome challenges and distractions in the implementation process of strategic plans. As noted by West (2012), the leadership of an organization should actively involve subordinates in developing, implementing and evaluating strategic plans. West (2012) argues that such an approach to strategic planning is critical in enhancing cohesion and productivity in organizational teams. When subordinates are involved in decision-making and developing plans, they gain a sense of ownership and responsibility in ensuring the success of their teams. It is clear, therefore, that an organisation’s leadership is directly responsible in ensuring that teamwork is highly coordinated to achieve efficiency in relation to implementation of goals.

The responsibility of establishing rules that govern relations and determine success for organisational teams is partly the responsibility of leadership. Leaders should as well enforce the rules in the organisation fairly to the effect that subordinates have a good understanding of the existing reward and punishment system. Since some Rules may be deeply entrenched in the culture of an organisation, it is imperative that leaders lead by example in upholding the culture or an organisation. Harley (2010) contends that leaders enforce rules through systemic procedures that are firmly anchored on the culture of the organization. Henri Fayol’s principles of management also affirmed that management can induce certain behaviours in employees. This means that management has a direct and significant influence on how rules and procedures are enforced in organisations. Therefore, it is fair to uphold the argument that the enforcement of collective rules and procedures by leadership, contributes positively to the efficiency of teamwork in organizations.

  1. Managing Human relations

Employees are arguably the most valuable asset in any organisation since the formulation and implementation of any strategic plan cannot be achieved without their participation [ CITATION Dia12 l 1033 ]. Motivated employees are likely to sustain high levels of productivity in their jobs. During the industrial revolution, capitalist regarded employees merely as factors of production whose only motivation to work was pay [ CITATION Wre08 l 1033 ]. In some instances, managers considered improving productivity through coercion and punishment for mistakes. However, as humanity adopted more progressive social and political awareness, it became clear that employee productivity cannot be enhanced forcefully. The conflict between labour and capital also emphasized the need for a better contract between employees and business owners. Currently, the most profitable organisations are likely to be regarded as the best workplaces. This means that better treatment of employees and satisfaction of their intrinsic needs has a positive influence on the organisational productivity.

Proponents of behavioural management faulted scientific management as an ineffective approach towards boosting organisational productivity as it did not consider the social and human nature of employees [ CITATION Adr12 l 1033 ]. According experiments conducted by Elton Mayo in the Hawthorne Studies, human relations and their social needs are crucial in managing productivity in a business. The results of Mayo’s experiments led him to conclude that things of social consequence were far much better motivators than economic incentives (Lecture 4 notes). This argument reinforces a widely held contention by behavioural theorists that employees can be motivated to perform exemplary by addressing workplace matters that have significance in employees’ social lives. For example, maintaining stronger interpersonal relations between employees and management can increase the level of trust and cooperation that would in turn benefit the organisation. Indeed, the productivity of teams can also be influenced by the quality and nature of interpersonal work relations between team players. Managers must be emotionally intelligent to have an appreciation of how fair treatment of employees can contribute positively to teams’ efficiency [ CITATION Tom10 l 1033 ]. Evidently, strong interpersonal relations and social motivation of employees through approaches such as recognitions and longer vacations, can sustain high productivity by employees and in extension their professional work teams.


From the research and theoretical evidence detailed in this paper, it is fair to contend that establishing teamwork in organisations is an involving task that should consider several success factors in organisations. Selection of the right employees to play important roles in the organisation is a crucial part of establishing highly effective teams that support its strategic vision. This means that establishing effective teamwork is an all-encompassing agenda that involves prior planning to guarantee success. Teamwork in organisations should also be supported by a predictable environment with stable rules. The leadership should guide individuals towards a common vision by enforcing the established rules. The leadership should adopt a role of supporting the efforts of teams provided they contribute positively to the success of the organisation’s strategic vision. Successful teamwork in organisations is also heavily reliant on the level of motivation in employees. Motivation in employees can be enhanced through established and maintenance of human relations that have positive social impact on employees.


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