Working group

Sub-working group (in short AG) in the classic sense refers to groups of employees who strongly perform a common task function and labor. In a classic work group, the division of labor, the fine control of production, personnel and work scheduling is the task of the Master. It controls whether the employees are working correctly and is responsible for solving emerging problems. The staff, however, are instructed to pure manufacturing activities. Each employee has his own task, thus there is no group work in today's common sense in the classical work group. The room for maneuver of each employee, but also of the Master is severely limited by the Taylorist labor and division of functions.

The Working Group in its present sense is characterized by an increased level of coordination and self-tuning. The relationships within the group, in contrast to the traditional approach is very important. In the following we would like to have the classic work group aside and focus on the modern working group.

Characteristics of the working group

The basic feature of working groups in organizations is the fact that their existence comes to a formal agreement between individuals and a corporation or association into existence. Schulte defines it as follows: " A working group is a formal organizational unit in which multiple people work on a common task in the form of group work. "

These groups include mostly 3-7 persons (both the communication and the group cohesion - Cohesion - in the group depends largely on the number of group members from ) that join together over a longer period of time to achieve a certain goal. Within the working group will interact with each other according to certain rules and communicated. "Every member must have the ability to contact any other member directly in contact and not via the detour of a central contact person, such as a common supervisor. "

In spite of complete equality, different roles crystallize between members out how the " leader", "expert ", " follower " or " scapegoat ". Ideally, results from the division of roles and the division of labor.

Why do people close together now for such working groups?

Reasons for group work are:

  • Greater intrinsic motivation for employees,
  • A specific job requirements where working groups are beneficial ( synergy )
  • Positive effects on costs
  • Positive quality effects
  • Compliance with a time frame

In addition, it is believed that the individual can not bring the same results as a group. Synergy effects arising from the different contributions of individual members, everyone knows about something else notice; this different knowledge and skills are complemented one another, it can result in an optimal task solution. Wrong decision can be minimized, as it were " more eyes " looking at a process. As mentioned above, group work can be motivating and promote the creativity of each individual. Since decisions are made on a group basis, enforcement is easier in these companies that are taken by the supervisor alone compared to those.

However, potential problems may occur when group members do not pursue the objectives of the group, but personal goals; group performance may also be affected by an authoritarian group leader or communication difficulties that lead to misunderstandings. Also negative is striking that, failing agreement on decisions often compromises are closed, offer no clear solution. Generally it can be said that there is anywhere where several people meet, tensions can arise emotional nature.

However outweighs the performance advantage of the group when it comes to tasks that are suitable for group processes or when complement the group members efficiently.

Formation and development process of a working group

To find out how group work can be permanently introduced in organizations, one must, in accordance with Hackman, the following questions will be aware of:

Once these questions are answered, the working group can be composed. According to Tuckman, but this group is run through a certain scheme, they are largely independent of the preparation: Tuckman has researched the stages of team building and has established the following processes:

In the first phase, the formation phase, the group of uncertainty is characterized, members are often not known, not yet defined the task. The Stormingphase, also called conflict phase is very emotional, the control behavior of the group leader is rejected, it conflicts arise between the subgroups. During the normalization phase, the waves are smoothed, an exchange of opinions and feelings is allowed, it creates a cooperation between the group members. The Performingphase, the work phase, is the most efficient for the task solution; when the working group has arrived here, problem solutions are searched efficiently, the clear group structure and Konfliktlosigkeit enable constructive, collaborative work.

Types of work groups

Sundstrom et al. different groups according to three criteria: the " internal differentiation" to the different qualification represent the " external integration ", however, indicates the possible existence of a permanent working group. Different skills and a relatively short life are in demand where creative and complex tasks have to be solved. In rehearsed routine activities on the other hand, fast and efficient groups are needed.

Particular forms of the working group

The Informal Working Group

At the beginning we mentioned that the existence of the working group comes to a formal agreement between individuals and a corporation or association into existence. However, even within or between formal working groups constitute unforeseen groups. These informal groups are not caused by the job to perform a common task, but personal relationships, similarities or sympathies.

Project Group

"A project is a goal-oriented, time-limited, novel and complex undertaking, requiring the interdisciplinary cooperation of several experts. "

So If it is at a task to a project, this can be handled in a project group, the temporary, until the completion of the project, working with each other. An important feature of the project group is that they are very changeable. If it is a longer- term project that can entirely different configurations in the group has: sub-groups may form, experts are included in the short term to cover partial aspects of the project, etc. Projects can generally be considered to be difficult in its solution, since those measures are is not about routine tasks, but for one-time tasks.

Semi-autonomous work group

" Ideal-typical group work is usually linked with the notion of semi-autonomous group work. " Semi-autonomous work groups are characterized in that they have decision-making competencies ( variability ) in the context of their areas and operate largely autonomously, which in turn means that they have sole responsibility for their system maintenance, system regulation and system development hold. A disadvantage can be seen that this type of work group can easily become independent or about even "sham autonomy" has.