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There are several types of teams and reasons for forming them. There are
academic teams, consisting of a group of students in a learning environment, whose
purpose would be to reach a common goal such as a class project. Teams in the
workplace could consist of a group of administrators or employees whose purpose
could range from deciding on what type of food to serve at a company picnic, to laying
out plans for better customer care. “Advantages of group work, as opposed to individual
work, include producing a better end result, providing satisfaction for the individual and
the organization, and assisting the organization through coordination and work
allocation” (Marsh, 1988). Some things I’ve learned in the past about why we form
teams are to help an individual understand different points of view on any given topic, to
help prepare for a career where teamwork is essential, and learning to become a
leader, as well as a follower.
Some economical and social benefits from forming teams, as stated by Kircshner
and Van Bruggen (2004) in an article about virtual teams and the adult learner, “There
are, among others, economical motivations such as bringing one learning module to a
larger audience of learners, and pragmatic reasons such as achieving flexibility in time
and space for learning, which is especially important for adult learners.” Another social
benefit from working in teams is that you learn more about the personalities and work
ethics of your peers.
“Disadvantages of group work include producing a poorer end result, producing
eccentric behavior, developing pressure for change, becoming permanent, helping
management evade responsibilities, and the time and energy needed to become
efficient” (Marsh, 1988). Some problems I have ran into personally with virtual teams,
like the ones here at the University of Phoenix on-line campus, are timing issues (i.
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trying to post input on an assignment for the coordinator to utilize, or trying to arrange a
meeting with other team members).
Kirschner, Paul A. & Van Bruggen, Ann. “Learning and understanding in
virtual teams.” CyberPsychology & Behavior 7 (2004) 135-39.
Marsh, D.T. “Key concepts of teams in an organization.” Further Education
Staff Coll., Blagdon. (1988) United Kingdom; England.
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