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The Essence of Teamwork Essay

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The Essence of Teamwork


“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work. For if one of them should fall, the other one can raise his partner up. But how will it be with just the one who falls when there is not another to raise him up?” – Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10

As the scriptural text quoted above implies, teamwork can accomplish what the individual cannot do on his or her own. Teamwork is defined as “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable.” (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993) In today’s society, with so much emphasis on pride and personal achievement, the concept of teamwork seems to be old-fashioned or basic. Clashes of personality, different perspectives and cultures prescribe one to develop a natural inclination toward individual work and an unhealthy reluctance towards team work. Nevertheless, teamwork, if managed properly, can be a source in which complexity is simplified, a problem meets a solution and great things are accomplished. So with the focus on teamwork, what are the present challenges to teamwork? What are some good approaches towards building a successful team? Finally, what are the personal and collective benefits of teamwork?

The Challenges to Teamwork
When asked the question, “What are some challenges to teamwork?” most people would respond with common answers such as: conflicts of personalities, stress, job dissatisfaction, unethical behavior, miscommunication or lack of communication. However, with advancements in technology and a never before experienced contact between the western and eastern hemispheres of the world, there are new challenges that are being encountered now and will continue to be dealt with in the future. The challenges that must be met by today’s project teams are: Virtual Project Teaming, Cross-functional teams, Globalization, Diversity and Time to Market Pressure. Most of the common contributing factors to teamwork failure such as personality conflict, miscommunication or stress are the consequences experienced if the previously mentioned challenges are not met.

The greater proportion of the work of virtual project teams is carried out online. These sorts of teams exploit reliable and consistent communications in order to work together and overcome some of t...


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...dividual ideas. An individual’s communication, critical thinking, evaluation, conflict resolution and academic skills are improved through positive teamwork activities. As a result of good teamwork, social connections are formed between team members that may extend beyond the workplace or classroom and thus improve team morale and camaraderie. An individual’s communication, critical thinking, evaluation, conflict resolution and academic skills are improved.

Bibliography:

Cohen, E, (1986). Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

Katzenbach, J.R and Smith, D.K. (1993). The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High performance Organization. Boston: Harvard Business School.

Kliem, R and Anderson, H (2003). The Organizational Engineering Approach to Project Management: The Revolution in Building and Managing Effective Teams. Boca Raton: St. Lucie Press.

Lipnack, J and Stamps, J (1997). Virtual Teams: Reaching Across Space, Time, and Organizations with Technology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (1984 Revision). New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.


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