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Comparing the Group and Team

In the last decade in the industrial sector, the need for cooperation and collaboration in the workplace grows more and more. Many organizations deepen specialization, technological processes require integration, and information sharing is gaining a global character. Today, in the era of strong competition and the emergence of new technologies, group and team work plays a leading role in achieving tangible organizational results, helps to maintain the competitive advantages of companies; it is a tool to reduce the level of hostility and hatred between people. Robert Maddux said: “Talents need a proper organization of their work” (Maddux 2003). For a truly effective and comfortable interaction in the work community, for revealing all the best abilities in each group member, for the benefit of the common cause, there is needed not just a formal association in a group, but a team! Group and team are different things for different purposes.

Team is a small number of people with complementary skills, who are united for a joint solution of problems in order to enhance productivity, maintaining mutual responsibility (Kozlowski 2003). Working group is a union of two or more people of identical or different professions, working together and in concert in order to achieve the implementation of manufacturing task, maintaining responsibility for the results of their work (Gladstein 1984).

Comparing the group and team, is understandable that members of the group believe that they have joined together for convenience of management. Each operates independently of the others, sometimes even contrary to the others (Barrick 2007). At the same time, team members are aware of their interdependence and understand that achievement of personal and common goals requires mutual support. They do not spend time fighting with each other and do not try to succeed at the expense of others. Group members tend to focus only on themselves and their problems, as they are not involved in planning the group’s work. They attitude to the task is as of usual employees. However, team members feel themselves masters of their task, they are committed to the organizational objectives, which they personally have helped to define (DeChurch 2010).

Group members are told what to do, without asking their opinions on how better to solve the problem. Proposals are not welcomed in groups. At the same time, each team member contributes to the success of the task by investing his talent and knowledge in achieving team goals. Team members are suspicious to the motives of colleagues because they do not understand the roles of others. It is believed that anyone who expresses his opinion or dissent is sowing discord and does not want to support others. Discussing the team, it is seen that its members work in an atmosphere of trust. Ideas, opinions, questions, dissent, etc. are welcomed.

The group members are so cautious in their statements that real understanding is impossible. Unofficial games are often possible in groups, and extra word can cause a career while team members practice open and honest communication. They always try to understand another point of view (Klein 2009). Members of the group, having even a very good training can not fully use their skills at work; they are limited by the chief or other members of the group. At the same time members of the team are encouraged to get new skills and apply them in their work. Everyone feels the support of the whole team.

Group members often suffer from conflicts that arise and that they are unable to resolve. It happens that the leader does not have time to intervene, and the conflict seriously affects the work of a group. At the same time, team members consider the conflict as a normal component of human relationships and believe that such situations born new ideas. Therefore team members try to resolve the conflict quickly and constructively.

Members of a group can participate or not to participate in decisions affecting the whole group. Conformism often seems to them more important than the correctness of the decision. Team members participate in decisions affecting the whole team, but understand that if the team can not reach a consensus, especially in emergency situations, the final decision should be taken by the leader. Their goal is a positive result, and not adapting to circumstances (Salas 2008).

Concluding, it is worth recalling that one of the reasons why organization is created and functioning is the need for consolidation and coordination of different people to achieve the tasks facing the organization. Thus, any organization has permanent or temporary work groups and teams. Summarizing the differences mentioned above, it is seen that group and team are different things, meant for different purposes. Group members interact primarily to share information and to help each participant to work in its area of his responsibility. Performance of such a group is just the sum of individual efforts of its members. At the same time working team creates a positive synergy through coordinated efforts. Individual efforts of team members are embodied in a result that exceeds the sum of the contributions of all individual participants. I’m sure teams play an important role in the work of any organization. Unfortunately not every group is a team, and not every team is effective. The effectiveness of groups and teams can be assessed in terms of their results. On my opinion, both structures: groups and teams have the right for existence and development, depending on the goals of the organization.



Barrick, M.R., Bradley, B.H., Kristof-Brown, A.L. & Colbert, A.E. (2007). The Moderating Role of Top Management Team Interdependence: Implications for Real Teams and Working Groups. The Academy of Management Journal ARCHIVE, 50(3), 35-38.
DeChurch, L.A. & Zaccaro, S.J. (2010). Perspectives: Teams Won’t Solve This Problem. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 52(2), 329-334.
Gladstein, Deborah L. (1984). Groups in Context: A Model of Task Group Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 29(4), 26-27.
Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E. & Le, H. (2009). Does Team Building Work? Small Group Research, 40, 181-222.
Kozlowski, S.W. & Bradford S. B. (2003). Work Groups and Teams in Organizations. Handbook of Psychology, 12(5), 36-38.
Maddux, R. B. & Wingfield, B. (2003). Team building: an exercise in leadership. p. 65.
Salas, E., Cooke, N.J. & Rosen, M.A. (2008). On Teams, Teamwork, and Team Performance: Discoveries and Developments. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 50, 540-547.