Team

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A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort which allows each member to maximize his or her strengths and minimize his or her weaknesses. Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realize their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations.[1]

Thus teams of sports players can form (and re-form) to practice their craft. Transport logistics executives can select teams of horses, dogs or oxen for the purpose of conveying goods.

Theorists in business in the late 20th century popularized the concept of constructing teams. Differing opinions exist on the efficacy of this new management fad. Some see "team" as a four-letter word: overused and under-useful. Others see it as a panacea that finally realizes the human relations movement's desire to integrate what that movement perceives as best for workers and as best for managers. Still others believe in the effectiveness of teams, but also see them as dangerous because of the potential for exploiting workers — in that team effectiveness can rely on peer pressure and peer surveillance.

Compare the more structured/skilled concept of a crew, and the advantages of formal and informal partnerships.

Contents

Team size, composition, and formation

Team size and composition affect the team processes and outcomes. The optimal size (and composition) of teams is debated and will vary depending on the task at hand. At least one study of problem-solving in groups showed an optimal size of groups at four members. Other works estimate the optimal size between 5-12 members. Belbin did extensive research on teams prior to 1990 in the UK. This clearly demonstrated that the optimum team size is 8 roles plus a specialist as needed. This Belbin citation September 2010.[citation needed] Fewer than 5 members results in decreased perspectives and diminished creativity. Membership in excess of 12 results in increased conflict and greater potential of sub-groups forming.

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