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- Optimum team size is approximately 4-6
- Diversity on a team increases productivity but lengthens the process
- Every team member should have clearly articulated roles
- Norms help establish and control team members’ behaviors
- Diversity among team members fortifies the team but extends the process of getting work done
- Types of diversity to consider:
3. Team Norms
- Norms are rules that have some amount of agreement and are enforced through social sanctions
- Norms define appropriate behaviors
- Norms establish mutual understanding and team identity
- Areas to consider for establishing team norms include:
- Handling disagreements
4. Team Size
- Small teams are typically more productive than large ones
- Teams that are too small have difficulty accomplishing tasks – not enough people to share the work
- Large teams enable shared responsibility and accountability
- Management problems on very large teams may outweigh the incremental resources additional people provide
- Tasks determine the size of the team
- Student projects teams of between 4-6 members are a good rule of thumb
Source: Hackman and Vidmar (1970), p. 48
- Every team member should have a role – this keeps members committed to the work of the team
- Roles need to be clearly defined
- Problems can result from role ambiguity
- Types of roles:
- Behavioral (e.g. contributor, coordinator, critic, evaluator)
- Social (e.g. encourager, expediter, group process observer, follower)
- Meeting (e.g. facilitator, recorder, time keeper)
6. Additional Reading
- Hackman, J. R. (2002). Leading teams: Setting the stage for great performances. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, pp. 105-114, 116, 122.
- Hackman, J. R., & Vidmar, N. (1970). Effects of size and task type on group performance and member reactions. Sociometry, 33(1), 37-54.
- Hechter, M., & Opp, K. D. (2005). Social norms. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 3-5.
- Levi, D. (2011). Group dynamics for teams. Los Angeles, Calif. u.a.: SAGE, pp. 48, 64, 219-237.