- Term Papers and Free Essays

High-Performance Teams

Essay by   •  March 14, 2011  •  1,162 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,191 Views

Essay Preview: High-Performance Teams

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5


The purpose of this paper is to explain how a group can become a high-performance team. The purpose is also to examine the impact of demographic characteristics and cultural diversity on group behavior. This paper will illustrate how demographic characteristics and cultural diversity contribute to or detract from high-performance teams.

High-Performance Teams

A high-level of performance makes up the basis for groups and teams today. High-performance is a major focus for many organizations since group and teams have become more common among organizations. High-performance teams are teams that get together for a specific and important task. For a group to become a high-performance team, the team needs to be able to use their collective skills and behaviors to become an efficient model working towards a common goal. Demographics, and cultural diversity greatly influence how a group becomes a high-performance team. Demographic characteristics and cultural diversity can have an impact on group behavior, while contributing or detracting from high-performance teams.

There is one major difference between a group and a team: accountability. Group members are accountable to each other, but each member is individually held responsible for their own performance. In a team, all members share accountability as a unit. "A team is a small group of people with complementary skills who work actively together to achieve a common purpose for which they hold themselves collectively accountable" (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2005). It is important for everyone that is a part of a high performance team to have the same purpose and goals. If the teammates have different goals or motives then it can make it difficult for the team to be effective. Everyone who is participating with the team should trust or learn to trust each other.

The collection of ideas, knowledge, and experience of different individuals is better than that of only one person. From problem-solving to innovation, organizations have relied on the high-performances of groups and teams to set the organization apart from the rest. Having a common goal will make each team member accountable for the success and failure of the team. Since each team member is accountable to the team, each member's behavior will have an effect on the team. To belong to a team requires that each member be clear on the goals and objectives of the team-to share a common vision. (Park, 2005) By doing so, a group can become a high-performance team.

Cultural diversity and demographic characteristics are increasingly important issues in today's workplace, having an impact on group behavior. "Diversity relates to gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief, including that people are different in other respects such as educational level, job function, socio-economic background, personality profile, marital status and whether or not one has family" (Australian Government, 2005). Diversity is the "presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another" and demography is the "background characteristics that help shape what a person becomes" (Schermerhon, Hunt, & Osborn, 2005). As both issues become more prominent in the workplace, the impact on individual behaviors affect the impact on group behaviors. Today's workplace is more diverse than it has ever been in history. While the workforce has made strides in the direction of equality, it is still far from attaining total equality in the workplace. This overall has had an effect on group behavior, detracting a group from becoming a high-performance team.

A workforce made up of diverse individuals from different backgrounds can bring the best talent to an organization. Workforce diversity refers to the presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another. To be more precise, diversity consists of demographic differences among members of a known workforce, such as, age, gender, sexual orientation, able-bodiedness, race, ethnicity, and religion. Sometimes diversity also includes such factors as marital status, parental status, and religion (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2005). Diversity in the workplace is a topic that many industries and organizations spend an abundant amount of time and training on in order to ensure its presence. "A company must value diversity. The main objectives of valuing diversity include awareness, education, and positive recognition of the differences among people in the workforce. Recognizing cultural diversity will affect group behavior in a positive way and contribute to the influence of building high-performance teams.

Organizations are increasingly emphasizing group work or teamwork as a source of competitive advantage in a diverse workforce" (Aghazadeh, 2004). The success of an organization depends on the workforce of the organization. By using demography, managers can learn how to handle the needs or



Download as:   txt (7.9 Kb)   pdf (108.6 Kb)   docx (11.4 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on