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Discussion About Building Great Teams Assessment Answer



Google has been working on ways that can improve employee productivity and make them more efficient. This led to the need for developing project Aristotle which was mainly focussed on understanding the dynamics that exist between teams that can foster or hinder success. This thus led to the hiring of Julia a research consultant to be able to advise the company on issues of group dynamics and utilising the power of team work and group work. Managers face the challenge of accomplishing tasks within the organization through creating solutions that address the problems (Lord & Brown 2004, p. 9). This means that the manager has to overcome group dynamics and create a team that is able to meet the requirements and the objectives of the organization.


Google has been having different team projects that require employees to work in groups. This means that the company has been faced with the challenge of group dynamics which has hindered the productivity of employees. Different teams have existed within the organizations and have been managed by team leaders or unit managers like Matt. However there has been a challenge since the groups do not have clear set norms that govern the groups and determine how the groups operate. This led to the design of project Aristotle that aimed at determining factors that can improve team productivity and efficiency. This was being done by an independent researcher whose aim is analysing the organizational dynamics and how teams have operated and the way they are managed.

Positive Management Approaches

  • From the case study, Google has based its management on working in teams and group work. This entails that tasks are not assigned to individuals but rather to teams with a team leader in charge of each team. The teams are formed based on specific tasks and later disbanded after the task.
  • Employees within the organization are specialized with each employee concentrating on the area that they are good at. This is seen during group sessions where each member speaks specifically when the discussion touches the area of specialization.

Negative Management Approaches

  • One negative management approach within the organization is lack of clear set norms that govern teams within the organization. Teams are based on particular norms that govern the team and rules of engagement. Manoj &. Shilpa (2013, p. 311) suggest that mixing formal and informal norms within teams helps create the best teams.
  • Low motivation patterns within the organization have lowered the effectiveness and efficiency of employees. Donelson (2006, p. 15) argues that employee productivity can be increased through motivation and managing the work place properly. Motivated employees give their best to the organization increasing profitability and efficiency within the organization.

Identification of Issues and Problems

One of the major problems being faced by Google is the management of teams within the organization. Different teams exist but lack clear set norms that determine how employees need to relate in a team. Some teams have existed in a more formal way while others have overlapped both formal and informal characteristics that shape their interaction. Group norms form accepted standard behaviour within the group and limit the action of members in a group. There is a growing interest on group norms and their role in management (Dianna 2006, p. 12).

The social norms approach suggests that group influences have a greater role in shaping the behaviour of an individual. Group dynamics theorists argue that dynamics and norms within a team help the team to accomplish tasks that are beyond the capability of an individual. Tuckman’s five stage theories explain the stages that teams go through before they can be able to work independently. However the Asch effect threatens group effectiveness that makes the group to choose defective decisions. This arises when the group lacks clear set norms that determine how the group operates (Manoj &. Shilpa 2013, p.  311).

The organization lacks ways that make employees productive within the organization. This is due to a hierarchical structure that is full of bureaucracy. System theorists argue that groups are complex systems that have inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes. This means that the management has failed to integrate the different parts of the organization and teams that exist into a system that has a role component for each team and employee.

Possible Solutions

Developing clear roles that define groups forms the basis of improving the performance of groups. Clear norms within the group equalise participation of each member within the group. This is because group roles are determined by a combination personality and individual experience. This help to equalise the dominant and silent participants within the group (Schein 2011, p. 23).

Fapohunda (2013, P. 5) argues that training in group dynamics and how to work as a team can be a factor that can help improve employee participation. This can be through team building programmes that enable employees to interact with each other outside the work environment. This helps to foster a culture team work that reduces chaos and enables employees to discuss how they can foster their work place, strategize for success and make better teams. Team building helps members to understand how to overturn group dynamics into advantage to achieve sustainable result.

Intagliata, Ulrich & Smallwood (2000, p. 13) argue that restructuring the organizational structure may help in increasing efficiency and decision making. Less structured or flat organizational structures increases communication lines and delegates responsibilities and authority. This is due increased involvement of employees in decision making and increases coordination of tasks.

Proposed Solution

People always assume to know each other in groups when they actually don’t.  Team building is an upcoming trend in management used to stimulate team performance and productivity.  This is used to explore ways that can improve team performance. Due to the involvement of a wide variety of activities that help to improve team performance and self development, team building makes the employees united towards a common goal of efficiency and increased productivity (Bonday & Bruce 2003, p. 17). This will help the organization set goals with employees and determine errors and gaps in management that hinder productivity. Organizing a team building session for the staff will unearth the potential of the team and help the team to develop norms that guide team work and group work. Team building sessions can be organized by the organization depending on the availability of resources. Most organization carry out team building after the end of the business year to evaluate success and set new targets (Carter, Ulrich, & Goldsmith 2005, p20).


From the solution the organization needs to hold annual team building forums that will help assess the state of the organization. It will be used to measure success by assessing the set targets and further setting new ones. Through the services of a lead consultant, the effectiveness of the team will be assessed and proposed team building strategies suggested that will help improve the organization.

Through team building superiority and hierarchical structures are reduced to informal patterns that make employees bond on a common ground. Management should therefore organize for the team building function by ensuring all the resources and information regarding the organization is availed to the lead consultant for analysis and developing an action plan that will fit the organizational dynamics (Donelson 2006, p. 9; Thompson et al 2005, p. 21).

Case Interactive Tutorial

The case study interactive tutorial is an online tool by the university that allows the student to understand the requirements for the case study. This interactive site is interactive with different resources on how to write a case study and how to present it. It gives the format and how the report should be presented showing the tone and language.

Smart Thinking Tutors

This provides feedback to students writing by giving tutor’s comments on the areas that a student may have missed. Smart thinking allows students to find mistakes within their writing and improve their work.

How to apply the Harvard referencing style

This guides students on how to write academic papers using the Harvard style. It guides students how to quote sources using the Harvard style to avoid plagiarism.


Bonday, M & Bruce, S, 2003, Small Group Norms Interventions with Greeks at the University of Virginia. The Report on Social Norms, Volume 3, #3 

Carter, L., Ulrich, D., & Goldsmith, M. (Eds.), 2005, Best practices in leadership development and organization change. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. 

Dianna Jane, 2006. Teams: Teamwork and Team building. Prentice Hall,New York. 

Donelson R. Forsyth, 2006. Group dynamics. London, Thomson Learning Academic Resource Center.

Fapohunda, Tinuke. M, April 2013. Towards Effective Team Building in the Workplace. International Journal of Education and Research Vol. 1 No. 4 April 2013.

Intagliata, J., Ulrich, D. & Smallwood, N., 2000. Leveraging Leadership Competencies to Produce Leadership Brand: Creating Distinctiveness by Focusing on Strategy and Results. Human Resource Planning, 23(12-19). 

Lord, R.G., & Brown, D.J., 2004, Leadership processes and follower self-identity. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. 

Manoj Kumar Sharma &. Shilpa, 2013. Leadership Management: Principles, Models and Theories. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies.  Volume 3, Number 3, pp. 309-318.

Schein, E. H., 2011. Leadership and organizational culture. New York, NY: Wiley. 

Thompson, A. A., Strickland, A. J., & Gamble, J. E., 2005. Crafting and executing strategy: The quest for competitive advantage: Concepts and cases (4thed.). McGraw Hill, Irwin 


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