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Importance of context and leadership as influences on team effectiveness

The factors that influence team and group effectiveness are interrelated. Figure 12.3 identifies eight of the core factors: Context, leadership, goals, size, member roles, member diversity, norms, and cohesiveness. Each factor needs to be analyzed separately and in relation to each other.

The two factors that can impact all the other factors are context and leadership. The context refers to the external conditions within which a team works. Likewise, a leader often assumes a key role in the relations between the team and external groups, such as customers or suppliers, and often influences the selection of new members.

How can superordinate goals help overcome the problems of conflicts among member goals, broader team goals, and organizational goals?

Superordinate goals are goals pursued by two or more individuals, teams, or groups that cannot be achieved without cooperation. These goals do not replace or eliminate individual or team goals and may be either qualitative or quantitative. An example of a qualitative goal is “We need to pull together for the good of the team.” An example of a quantitative goal is “We need to work together if we are to reach our goal of launching a new line within nine months.” Superordinate goals may have a more powerful effect on the willingness of individuals or teams to cooperate if they are accompanied by team rewards established by higher management. Team rewards are given to team members and are determined by the results of their joint efforts. Team rewards may also be in the form of a sense of mutual satisfaction and accomplishment for having performed well by serving customers, achieving high quality, and making a difference.
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