Organizational Behavior

Types of Team

There can be many kinds of Teams. The simplest team can be a manager and his direct reports. There can be permanent teams like members of sections and department working on issues arising out of organizational objectives. Robbins talked about four major types of teams:

  • Problem-solving teams
  • Self-managed teams
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Virtual teams

Problem-solving team: This is the most classical form of teams. These teams typically consist of a small group (5 to 12 members) of employees from the same department who meet for few hours weekly or fortnightly to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and work environment. These are called problem-solving teams.

In problem-solving teams, people discussed problems, made suggestions for improvements in process and work methods.

Self-managed team: Self-managed teams are the improvement over problem-solving Self-managed teams are the group of employees (typically 10 to 15 in number) who perform highly related or interdependent jobs and assume many of the roles assigned to their former supervisors. Typically, this includes planning and scheduling of work, assigning tasks to members; collective control over the pace of work, making operational decisions, and taking action on problems. Self-managed work teams select their members and mutually evaluate each other performance. Thus supervisory positions become redundant and sometimes even eliminated.

Cross-functional team: Cross-functional teams consists of members belonging to the same hierarchical level, but having different skills and professional background and have come together to accomplish a task. Project management teams in software organizations normally use such cross-functional teams. Such teams are normally of continuous nature and have face to face interface and purpose of such teams is to enhance the quality of products.

Virtual team: Virtual teams use computer technology to have interface among members of the team who work together to achieve a common They allow people to collaborate online through various means like wide area networks, video conferencing and email. Virtual teams have an advantage over traditional teams as they overcome time and space problem through computer-aided technology.

These are the most common types of team. In an organization, there can be formed all the four types of the team to achieve their goals or improve their position.