Monday, March 29, 2010

Typology of Work Teams

Chapter Eleven picks up a right after Chapter Ten left of with groups. Chapter 11 goes more in depth into groups and defines the difference between a group and a team. A team is a "small group of people with complementary skills who hold themselves mutually accountable for common purpose goals, and approach" (Mackin). A group is a little different. A group is, "two or more freely interacting people with shared norms and goals and a common identity. So, where a group acts together with individual purpose, a team is composed of individuals all working to reach the same goal together.
The section I found most interesting in Chapter 11 is where they list the "four general types of work teams and their outputs."
The first type of team is a an Advice Team. Advice teams consist of committees, review panels, and advisory councils. These teams have a low degree of technical specialization, and a low degree of coordination with other work units. Advice teams normally output decisions or proposals.
The second type of team is a Production team who's degree of technical specialization is low, but degree of coordination with other work units is high. Production teams often work in cycles that contribute to a continuous process. They wok more on a day-to-day basis. Example of production teams are anything from customer service, to retail sales.
Project Teams are the third type of team Chapter 11 discusses. Projects require creativity to solve problems. They have a high degree of technical specialization and can have both low and high degree of coordination with other work units. This depends on if this group is a traditional unit (low), or a cross-functional unit (high).
The last type of team is an action team. Action teams, consist of sport teams, surgery teams and even entertainment groups. Action teams, have both a high degree of technical specialization and degree of coordination with other work units.
It's very interesting to note the different qualities that different teams consist of.

Mackin, Deoborah. "The Difference Between a Group and a Team." The Sideroad. .


  1. It is intriguing how many teams there are and how so many more teams, and sub-groups can come about due to the degree of the project or what is needed. I think the Action Teams are the most interesting because they combine people who specialize and are excellent at different things and once combined they can potentially accomplish phenomenal feats.

  2. ^^ I agree.
    Some action teams are given ridiculous tasks and are able to accomplish amazing things. Its interesting to wonder how things would be if all of these groups werent existent. I think that it would be human nature to work to form these specialized groups. By having groups with specific purposes, people are able to complete their tasks much more efficiently.