Work Team Characteristics
When two or more people come together and interact and while depending on each other in order to achieve predetermined objectives, they are said to have formed a team (Salas, Bowers & Edens, 2001). Teams have several characteristics, some of which are discussed below:
- A team must have a mission.
Every team is formed must have a clearly defined mission so that it can have a purpose. It may be a short term or a long term goal, but without it the team will be redundant.
Every member of the team is supposed to be committed to the team’s objective and contribute fully so that it succeeds. Commitment develops as team members internalize the responsibility, but a minimum degree of commitment must be defined.
Teams have rules that define how the team conducts its business. There needs to be a definition of how decisions are to be reached, the time when the team is to meet and which member will assume special responsibilities like keeping records and leading deliberations.
Every input from a member of should complement the input of others, and this working relationship is based on the valuation of skills, knowledge and abilities of other team members.
(Salas, Bowers & Edens, 2001)
Advantages of a team
Increased Customer Satisfaction: By creating teams that meet the needs of specific customers, customer satisfaction is increased. Problem-solving teams can also be formed to find out means of satisfying customers. Through team deliberations, the operations of an organization can be harmonized to suit customers.
Improved Product and Service Delivery: Teams can be given total responsibility of the goods and services an organization offers its customers, and they will make sure the quality meets the highest standards, this being their primary objective (Salas, Bowers & Edens, 2001).
Speed and Efficiency in Design and Manufacturing: An organization can divert from traditional sequential design and manufacturing procedures by increasing the interaction through teams so that activities can be synchronized and run concurrently. This improves speed and efficiency (Salas, Bowers & Edens, 2001).
Increased Job Satisfaction and Employee Engagement: Teams give employees an opportunity to improve on their professional and interpersonal skills, increasing job satisfaction and engagement (Salas, Bowers & Edens, 2001).
Disadvantages of Teams
High Turnover: some members may balk at team responsibility, lurking in the background while contributing very little
Groupthink and time inefficiency: Team members may feel pressure to disagree with each other, and the widely varying propositions forwarded means that a team will take a longer time to make decisions (Salas, Bowers & Edens, 2001).
Q2. Leadership Traits and Behaviors
Leadership traits are as listed below:
- Honesty and Integrity
- Self Confidence
- Knowledge of the business
- The Desire to Lead
- Cognitive ability
- Emotional Stability
(Koontz & Weihrich, 2006).
These, for effective leadership, must be exhibited on a regular basis as they help a leader gain the faith and following of those he or she leads.
The Path-Goal Theory is a leadership theory that relates subordinate satisfaction, engagement and performance to cleared paths towards goals and an increase in the number of rewards given to a subordinate upon successful attainment of goals. The path-goal theory assumes that a leader will better satisfy his or her subordinates by clarifying goals, clearing paths to goals by solving any problems lying between an employee and goal attainment and increasing the number and diversity of rewards given upon successful attainment of goals (Koontz & Weihrich, 2006). In addition, a leader should do things that satisfy his or her followers as a means of ensuring future rewards and satisfaction. Followers should be offered something unique and valuable beyond what they have been experiencing.
The Path-Goal theory integrates fully into leadership styles in that subordinate and environmental contingencies combine with directive, supportive, participative and achievement-oriented leadership styles to produce the desired outcomes (Koontz & Weihrich, 2006); which are increased performance and satisfaction. The theory assumes that leaders can change their leadership styles contingent on their subordinates or depending on the environment that their subordinates are operating in.
Q3: The Control Process
The control process is a management technique that involves the management establishing clearly defined standards of performance and a method of comparing managed standards of performance to the set goals. This feedback is then used to formulate corrective measures to repair areas that undermined achievement of established goals so that performance can be improved (Smith & Hitt, 2005). The efficiency of the Control Process depends on the quality of comparison between managed standards of performance and the desired standards.
To control customer defections, I would establish the reasons that are making customers defect. This would obviously be due to customer dissatisfaction in our goods or services; and maybe their inability to afford these services and availability of cheaper alternatives in the market. I would then use this feedback to rectify the areas we are underperforming and conduct an aggressive campaign to restore our clients. Controlling quality would also involve the same process: establishing a mechanism to compare the quality of products versus the desired quality and then improving on areas that have shortcomings (Smith & Hitt, 2005).
In controlling waste and pollution, I would set goals defining the most efficient and eco-friendly methods of disposal, and then measure the impact of my organization’s waste management program versus the desired standards. I would then implement procedures to make sure that the waste and pollution management process in my organization meets the minimum standards defined.
Q4. Strategic Importance of Information
Information is useful data that that influences choices. Information is strategically important, first because it gives an organization the First-Mover advantage. Companies that are the first to use new innovative information systems are likely to acquire a larger market share than those that follow (Pedley, 1999). Secondly, information is useful in sustaining a competitive advantage. Over 70 percent of all market leaders started as first movers, and their continued acquisition of new information and systems enables them to maintain their advantage over companies that are always lagging.
External access to and sharing of information is beneficial in that it reduces the costs associated with obtaining information. Secondly, it increases productivity since lesser time is wasted in processing information as it is already available from external sources (Pedley, 1999). External access and sharing of information also reduces data entry errors since there is an available avenue for cross-checking, and it leads to implementation of trends that satisfy customers on a broad base. Information sharing also enables faster communication between companies, their customers and other organizations and institutions they operate in conjunction with.
Q5. Characteristics of service quality
Five characteristics distinguish a quality of service and they are as below:
- Service reliability is the capacity to deliver a service with consistent good quality. This is by far the most important characteristic: customers are interested in services that have consistent high quality.
- The second characteristic is tangibility, and it refers to the physical appearance of a service delivery outlet’s appearance, as well as the appearance of the people delivering services.
- Responsiveness is the promptness and the willingness of service provides to deliver services to their customers.
- Assurance as a characteristic of service quality is confidence on the part of customers that service providers that the people providing them with services are knowledgeable, courteous and trustworthy.
- Empathy is the final characteristic, and is the measure of how far service providers are willing to go to attend to their customer’s problems and other issues.
Inventory is the measure of the number of raw materials, finished products and other parts a company has at its possession at any given time. This includes infrastructural components.
There are several types of inventory depending on the type of material involved and the nature of required.
- Bulkhead-to-bulkhead inventory is a comprehensive account of all stock material owned by a company. This inventory is effective in controlling a company’s belongings.
- Specific Commodity Inventory is a physical count of all similar items a company possesses. They may include spare parts or a specific commodity the company manufactures.
- Special Material Inventory is an account of all items that, due to their nature, should be identified separately. These could include hazardous chemicals or classified items.
- Other types include finished goods inventory, work-in-process inventories and raw materials inventory.
To measure inventory, conduct average aggregate inventory through calculation of average inventory levels for a certain period of time. The time it takes before the company runs out of inventory is also used as a measure, just as the number of cycles every year that a company sells its average inventory (Bernard, 1999). These are the tools I would employ to measure inventory.
List of References
Bernard, P., 1999, Integrated Inventory Management John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Koontz, H., Weihrich, H., 2006, Essentials of Management. Tata McGrawHill, Maryland.
Pedley, P., 1999, Intranets and Push Technology: Creating an Information-Sharing Environment, Aslib, London.
Salas, E, Bowers, C. A, Edens, E., 2001, Improving Teamwork in Organizations: Applications of Resource Management Training. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New York.
Smith, K. G., Hitt, M. A., 2005, Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development. Oxford University Press, Oxford.