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MANM4000 : Introduction To Management

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MANM4000 : Introduction To Management

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Course Code: MANM4000
University: Kaplan Business School

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Country: Australia

Question:
You have completed a team PechaKucha presentation in week 5. Critically reflect upon the role you have played during the project. In your observations, comment upon the team dynamic, the role you have played and how performance could be improved in your team next time. Tie your critical reflections to the academic literature that you have encountered throughout this semester, especially teams and leadership chapters.
The report requires:A thorough research and treatment of the contemporary literature in the topic area.A range of references that should demonstrate breadth and depth of research.The incorporation of organisational examples as illustrative evidence.An ability to utilise the wider literature in constructing the narrative is displayed throughout.A display of critical evaluation and diagnostic skills in the choice of the data included.A display of critical evaluation in the choice of the information sources used.Appropriate and accurate use of the Harvard Referencing System. 
Answer:

1. Introduction
For every professional, reflecting upon past experiences proves very significant as it helps in evolving communication skills, enhanced future performance and develop conflict resolution power. Assignments and presentations have facilitated adaptation of team dynamics for problem solving (Bankowski, 2010). In many institutions and workplace, team approaches have led bringing together different people to benefit from their diversified experiences and manpower. Studies by Fulk, et al. (2011), have discovered that working in teams provide with best standards if the goal or common target has been identified before forming teams. This report has been prepared to reflect on the team experience while making PechaKucha presentation where the team members including myself undertook tutorial presentation and discussion assignments. Along with identifying academic literature related to team dynamics and leadership, the characters and role of other team members during the presentation will also be described in this report. All the secondary literature addressing the theme has been proposed from academic theories and research papers.
2. Knowledge on Topics Discussed
Good leadership is indispensable for achieving goals and objectives in businesses (Bedi, et al., 2014). Leadership can be defined as a process of directing and guiding the behaviour of people within workplace environment. Leaders are the ones who influences others through their aptitude to inspire, communicate and motivate effectively (McCleskey, 2014). In literature, there are several leadership theories and models that are used by managers and leaders to achieve desired goals and objectives. Each style or strategy of leadership can be used depending on the situation or organization. For example, Kurt Lewin’s leadership style theory comprises of democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire. These are the three basic styles defined by the author that can be used on teams according to the situation. For example, Google, which is one of the most reputed companies uses democratic leadership style in which all the team members are allowed to participate in decision making process. When the situation demands, democratic leadership offers flexibility on adapting things to perform in enhanced manner (Billig, 2015).
Leadership strategies states about the style in which leader can influence the group performance like Situational leadership model of Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard ( Ghazzawi, et al., 2017). This model is a fine example where changes and adjustments are required during work progression. Under this theory, changes are made according to the readiness observed among team members while matching the leadership style required to complete the task in effective manner. According to the research made by Ghazzawi, et al. (2017), situational leadership style has proved very effective in motivating employees in a healthcare organisation of Lebanon where otherwise the productivity level was seen decreasing. Relationship behaviour among leaders can engage them in personal communication that may include listening, coaching and encouraging. General George Patton, a high ranked leader in American military is one of the fine examples of situational leaders who wrote numerous papers on civil wars strategies and campaigns that act as a guide for his army. However, situational leadership style comes with many criticisms while applying it to organisational setting. According to researchers, this leadership model can be applied upon certain kind of employees only (McCleskey, 2014).
In the entire semester, chapters related to teams and team dynamics were given much emphasis as they are the key elements for achieving success in business. By establishing effective teams, job can be completed in faster and superior manner. According to Connors & Caple (2005), “The ability to see interpersonal and group processes beyond the individual level is an essential skill for group therapists”. Adding on to interpersonal therapy models there are many systems theory models that can be applied for developing group practices beyond individual dynamics (Klug & Bagrow, 2016). Group system theory is one of the models that provides range of directions for enabling innovation in group practice and research. Bruce Tuckman’s four stages model of team development consists of forming, storming, norming and performing stages. In the forming stage members are made aware of each other where they start to learn working as a team. The second stage is when conflicts and differences appear which are solved in norming stage. The group performance work can be deemed accomplished during the final stage i.e. performing stage (S & G, 2016).  
According to Prabhakar (2008), four team players styles are important for brining success in team performance that includes communicators, contributors, collaborators and challengers. He also states about twelve basic characteristics that impacts team dynamics. The characteristics of effective team dynamics includes: clarity of purpose, informality, participation, listening, civilised disagreement, consensus decisions, open communication, clear roles and work performance, shared leadership, external relations, style diversity and self-assessment. All the above-mentioned characteristics were conducted in our team presentation also while we agreed selecting one single person who acted as a team co-ordinator.
3. Critical Reflection on my presentation and team performance
Looking back on the PechaKucha presentation in week 5 that was conducted in teams, has allowed students participate to gain practical skills in contemporary workplace environment. It can be argued that our team performed satisfactorily, yet, enhanced organisational skill and effective delegation could have improved the team performance much better. The team in which I was assigned, comprised of members where each member was delegated with a particular role for the presentation. Based on Tuckman’s Group Development Model, our team passed stages in which effective team was formed in the forming stage, questions were asked based upon individual experiences and in relation to study materials. When we got to know each other, roles were delegated according to the individual capability. The second stage was full of conflicts just like Tuckman’s model especially on the issue who will become the team leader (Kumar, et al., 2014). However, we were able to think collectively with adding a little help from the tutor when we agreed upon team formation. My role as ‘key representative’ faced few personality issues as communicating effect has always proved challenging for me.  Occasionally, negotiating with other team members also felt uneasy for me whom I felt had their personal agenda and showed unwillingness to compromise few times. This was the biggest challenge faced by me during the entire activity. Nevertheless, it helped me build my communication skills and confidence related to team dynamics and many communication and leadership areas during the semester.
The communication role played during the presentation was of major importance and a chance to critically reflect personal experience. According to Klug & Bugrow (2016), effective communication within team dynamics is very essential. This point is further supported by research made by Akindele (2012), who claims that members in a team need to engage clear dialogue to present clear and unbiased agenda. To comment my communiqué style, it appeared that I did not tried much to compromise myself but although tried to appear more reasoned and clearer thinker and communicator. In most cases, our team exchanged ideas and information precisely and thus most of us were able to achieve goals through enhanced communication and better understanding of the topics covered in chapters related to teams and leadership.
Another benefit that can be gained through this reflection is realisation of opportunities to rectify problems that can reduce work performance in future. However, there were times when our team noticed that delegating work to other team members were not so easy due to conflicting schedules and other commitments. Along with it, challenges related to management principles were also experienced by us where we had minor disputes with each other’s regarding arrival on scheduled meeting time as well as not allocating sufficient time for job completion (Bedi, et al., 2014). After experiencing all the issues, it can be said that our team could have been more realistic on timing activities and clear demonstration about who would be responsible for what activity to ensure that presentation goals could be met in adequate time. These understanding have taught valuable trainings to me for the future, and I can ensure that ample time and sufficient planning are adequately featured in group activities.
After 5 weeks of learning within a team, I can say that my team proved to be an operative team based upon twelve characteristics requirements as stated by Prabhakar (2008) in effective team dynamics. We had clear vison and objective behind preparing this presentation since each of us were able to understand their assigned task. We listened and argued with each other when there were times of disagreement, but we resolved them by compromising. Most outstandingly, every decision taken was through consensus decision. The team leader applied leadership styles based upon above mentioned ‘knowledge on the topic section’. Like situational leadership style, the team leader changed his style according to the situation while sometimes the leader used authoritative style especially when the group became disorganised in the forming stage. The leader also adopted democratic style where we discussed major issues and ideas related to the PechaKucha presentation. The leader also encouraged us to utilise internet and technology to the fullest while sharing sources with each other digitally when there was insufficient time for meetings.
Conclusion:
On concluding note and reflecting upon the role I was given in the group presentation, it can be said that the overall learning experience has proved very significant to me especially in the areas of studies related to teams and leadership. While commenting upon team dynamic, academic literature has provided with great support throughout the semester that improved not only our teams’ performance but also enhanced discipline-specific knowledge. Leaders act as a key factor behind success in firms and motivation among groups that has been understood by me in my 5-week presentation period. While working in a team, I can say that confidence and open communication between team members along with effective leadership skill can accomplish success in business and group projects.
References:
Akindele, D. O., 2012. Enhancing Teamwork and Communication Skills Among First Year Students at the University of Botswana. TESOL Journal, 06(01), pp. 2-15.
Bankowski, E., 2010. Developing Skills for Effective Academic Presentations in EAP. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education , 22(02), pp. 187-196.
Bedi, . P., Lakra, P. & Gupta, . E., 2014. Workforce Diversity Management: Biggest Challenge Or Opportunity For 21st Century Organizations. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 16(04), pp. 102-107.
Billig, M., 2015. Kurt Lewin’s leadership studies and his legacy to social psychology: is there nothing as practical as a good theory?. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 45(04), pp. 440-460.
Connors, J. V. & Caple, R. . B., 2005. A Review of Group Systems Theory. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 30(02), pp. 93-110.
Fulk, H. K., Bell , R. . L. & Bodie , N., 2011. Team Management by Objectives: Enhancing Developing Teams’ Performance. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 12(03), pp. 17-26.
Ghazzawi, K., Shoughari, R. . E. & Osta, B. E., 2017. Situational Leadership and Its Effectiveness in Rising Employee Productivity: A Study on North Lebanon Organization. Human Resource Management Research, 07(03), pp. 102-110.
Klug, M. & Bagrow, J. P., 2016. Understanding the group dynamics and success of teams. Royal Society Open Science, 03(04).
Kumar, S., Deshmukh, V. & Adish, V. S., 2014. Building and Leading Teams. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 39(04), pp. 208-213.
McCleskey, J. A., 2014. Situational, Transformational, and Transactional Leadership and Leadership Development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 05(04), pp. 117-130.
Prabhakar, G. P., 2008. Teams and Projects: A Literature Review. International Journal of Business and Management, 03(10), pp. 3-7.
S, R. B. & G, S., 2016. Study on Theory of Group Development; Groups and Teams. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 18(02), pp. 58-61.

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