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Problem Solving Team

List and describe the four most common types of teams likely to be found in today’s organizations.
It is known that a team in any organization is a group of employees who work together in order to achieve their common goals. Usually team members have different skills and experience in order to cope with tasks of different levels. There are four most common types of teams that can be found in today’s organizations.

They include the following ones:

  • Problems solving teams;
  • Self managed work teams;
  • Cross functional teams;
  • Virtual teams. (Types of Teams, 2009, para.2)

A problem solving team consists of the employees who work in one and the same department. This group may have from 5 to 12 employees. Usually they gather together each week in order to discuss the most important issues concerning the efficiency of work, the ways to improve quality and, of course, the issues concerning the work environment. However, this type of teams does not have the opportunity to implement their proposals without the authority’s consent.

Self managed work team is a group of employees who can manage their work without any supervision. It means that they plan their everyday activities themselves. Sometimes this type of teams is called self directed team. Self managed team consists of 10-15 employees who are very active and responsible.

If it is a fully self managed work team, the members can choose a person of the team who will be able to evaluate the work of each member in the team.

Cross functional team is a group of employees who came from different organizational units, or departments but perform one and the same task. Usually they belong to the same hierarchical level. They have different levels of experience and different skills but they try to use their knowledge having the same task. Usually the representatives of this type of teams use action learning in order to solve the major problems.

Virtual team is a group of employees who use computers in order to achieve their common goals. They may never meet each other face-to-face as they always communicate by means of new communication technologies. All the members of the virtual team are self-motivated people who can work independently. Usually they are experienced specialists who can work effectively and without much control. The major goal of the virtual team is connected with the final result. That is why all the members of the virtual team are result oriented. One of the most important challenges of virtual team is to maintain trust between the employees. Communication skills also play an important role in the effective work of virtual teams. (Steward 2)


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Dale, B., Wiele, T., Iwaarden, J. (2007) Managing Quality. John Wiley & Sons.
Duarte, D., Snyder, N. (2006) Mastering Virtual Teams: Strategies, Tools, and Techniques that Succeed. Jessey Bass.
Fisher, K.(2000) The Distance Manager: A Hands on Guide to Managing Off-Site Employees and Virtual Teams. McGraw- Hill.
Lipnack, J., Stamps, J. (2000) Virtual Teams: Working Across Boundaries with Technology. Second Edition. Miley.
Parker, G. (2002) Cross-Functional Teams. Jessey Bass.
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