Team Process & Working in Teams: Learning from Practice.

AuthorGupta, Kiran


An individual alone cannot be responsible for an organization's growth. The Tata empire is not based on the leadership of a single individual. One person cannot be ascribed for Infosys's success. Whether it was Dabbawallas (FICCI Media Division, 2013) or RAZR team of Motorola (Saylor Academy, 2012), all epitomize as cases of teamwork. Katzenbach and Smith (1993) state that if a group of a tiny sum of ardent people with complementary prowess share common performance goals and hold themselves equally accountable then they are a team. Cash, Skec & Storga (2019) cited team processes as member's inter-reliant acts that convert inputs to outcomes through activities engaged toward accomplishing collective goals. Themes that were studied (Vyakarnam & Handelberg, 2005) are as follows.

Leader Behavior

Leaders act as mediators to inculcate aspiration in his team (Nwachukwu et al., 2017). Mulally, Jobs etc were farsighted leaders (Gallo, 2014). Mulally endorsed 'One Ford' (Gallo, 2014). Lockheed Martin Skunk Works (LMSW) worked on "Kelly's 14-Principles of Management". As a leader, he introduced new tactics to lacerate bureaucracy (Balachandran, 2012a).

Edmondson (1999) demarcated psychological safety as common trust that the group is set for social daring. In 2012, a leader at Google, exercised conclusions of Aristotle's assignment by revealing his cancer diagnosis off-the-job. After a brief muteness, they comfortably unwrapped their diaries believing that it is psychologically safe to express (Leis, 2018). In 2000 in the case of Pixar Central Atrium (PCA), Jobs showed sensitivity to diversity (in terms of skills & culture) by cancelling the idea of constructing three buildings and ascertained to build one with a central atrium to promote interaction and teamwork (Leis, 2018). Shapoval et al., (2015) illustrates Roosevelt's leadership whose success lied in teamwork which was a takeaway experience for Ukrainian bureaucrats to merge the Parliament around single strategy. Sims was found to be a classic leader driving General Electrics-Durham (GED) where there was no incentive (Fishman, 1999). In the story of Nano, devoid of hassle and fear, Tata's guidance was full of inspirations that realized the project by degrees (Agrawal, 2008). In BPCL, every team had a leader who was a domain expert. Project leaders could be participative or authoritative as per the demand of the project that helped manage change (Teltumbde et al., 2002).


There have been multiple perspectives for maximizing team efficiency and are mainly grounded on typical management of human rapport (Catlett & Halper, 1992). Constructing a cross-functional team or ensuring effective communication or letting slip self-government in the interest of common goal, synchronized approach, managers facilitating the team to hone their skills and take risk, coaching, etc. are different approaches that shape team perception (Catlett & Halper, 1992; Jiang, 2010). When Matt executed the results of Aristotle, his team believed that it is okay to err or emote (Leis, 2018). The Tata ACE team was open to try various things to bring value propositions in the product (Madhavan, 2014). Volt team was avid risk takers for project execution that motivated them to invent new design (Motavali, 2016).

Goal Setting

Galbraith and Webb (2013) found following teams (Table 1) as extreme business teams in the past attributable to goals for achievement.

Arraya et al., (2015) discussed that goal-setting augments knack, methods, attentiveness and strategic progress. In Four Seasons (FS) story, executives aimed customer satisfaction while British Red Cross (BRC) volunteers teamed to become highly serviceable during the Haiti earthquake because they found persuasive meaning in their work (Leis, 2018). Likewise, the LMSW team designed an aircraft in just a month, evident when they did not wait for official grant of the contract (Balachandran, 2012a). Also, F-150 and Volt team realistically designed a better vehicle (Motavali, 2016). BPCL team had hierarchical goals (Teltumbde et al., 2002).


Tarricone and Luca (2002) believed that team values and shared principles are key to efficacious teamwork. Pixar University endorses teamwork by featuring Alienus Non-Diutius (Alone no longer) (Leis, 2018). US Navy Blue Angels' (UNBA) success was based on 'trust' because every fellow trusted another affiliate for his safety and demonstrated enthralling performance to their watchers (Balachandran, 2012b). Audi designed its emblem as four rings that are interlocked signifying four companies merged to form one (, 2019). Unilever (, 2019), American Express (, 2019), Boeing (, 2019), AT & T (, 2019), Caterpillar (, 2019), Direct TV Group (DirectTV Group, Inc., 2019), NASA (Blodgett & Dunbar, 2018), CIA (CIA, 2018) are further examples. Greenpeace International (Greenpeace. org, 2019), Patanjali (Patanjali, 2019), Dabur (, 2019), Airtel (, 2019), Oberoi Hotels (, 2019), Indigo Airlines (, 2019), Tata Memorial Centre (, 2019), BPCL (, 2019), Delhi University (, 2019), Bank of Baroda (, 2019), RMSI (, 2019), SAIL (, 2019), Tech Mahindra (Techmahindra. com, 2019), Bisleri (, 2019), and Goonj (, 2019) are some of the organizations that incorporate words like "We", "Our", "Collaboration" or "Teamwork" in their vision or mission statements emphasizing value of team.

Feedback & Network

Receiving feedback signifies one is going in an appropriate course or whether rerouting is essential (Hardavella et al., 2017 & Konradt et al., 2015). Velema (2015) studied the relationship between the consequences of types of feedback from the leader and effectiveness of the team. Her results indicate a constructive relationship between encouraging feedback on the effectiveness of the team. Peer feedback can be a beneficial instrument for teammates to improve their social efficiency (Dominick et al., 1997). In the Java Development Team (JDT), a member criticized the organization which the firm took as a piece of advice (Palfini, 2008). In GED story, feedback capitalizes such as any employee can come up to the manager and ask him to stop micromanaging them (Fishman, 1999). The Utter Nonsense (UTN) team ensured that their content is thoroughly reviewed before getting published while both teams, Volt and F150 had a feedback culture that enabled them to reach their goal (Motavali, 2016). BPCL team introduced pilot implementation in phases with the view to take feedback and improve the overall design and reduce cost (Teltumbde et al., 2002).

Katz et al., (2004) held that relationship forms a locus in networking that centers on the bonds between team members, its group and its environment. Mayo and Pastor (2005) theorized that the diversity level in team hinges on density and centralization of communication network which influences team performance. Berg and Holtbrugge (2010) studied a network of international teams in the automotive and airline commerce. Analysis showed that such team has an indirect influence on team efficiency and originality. Their study underlined that connection is moderately influenced by several factors like job complexity, language aptitude, communication channels or patterns, and international guidance. Scott et al., (2018) stressed the importance of networking in interprofessional teams. Sun Microsystems gave precedence to employee relationships, evident when top management backed programmers --Naughton (agitator) and Gosling's (expert) team that functioned in a remote workplace from the Sun precincts on Stealth Project. That resulted in Java language (Palfini, 2008). To market products of UTN, its team appointed Swindle's sister-Shannon...

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