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Team Dynamics And Decision Making For Project Success

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Team Dynamics and Decision Making for Project Success

Project success often depends upon team decision-making.

In the workplace, the team leader's job is to make decisions that benefit the team and the whole company. This places them with a lot of responsibility. They must contemplate the options and consciously select the decision-making strategy most appropriate for the circumstances in which the decision will be made and implemented. Often the decision-making style chosen is among the most significant roles of the project manager. Communication and interpersonal skills of the group members influence the decision. The incorrect approach can cause problems within the group. "Research conducted by Wheelen, Murphy, Tsumura and Kline (1998) demonstrates a clear correlation between positive group dynamics and team productivity". There are many decision-making strategies available. Three of the most common styles are when decisions are made by the group leader alone, decisions by the leader after group discussion, and consensus by the whole group.

In one decision making style the leader makes the decision without consulting the group at all and takes complete responsibility for the outcome of the decision. The leader does not involve the team members in the decision and chooses based on their own knowledge and analysis of the problem. They then must explain the decision to the group in order to gain their acceptance of it. One of the advantages to this style is a very fast decision is made. When there is an emergency or minor routine decision to make this is usually the best choice. Although the team leader making the decision by themselves can be useful at times, in a work team situation it is not usually the most appropriate option to use. If the other members are personally affected by the decision but not included when the decision was made, morale and effort may suffer. If the outcome for the decision is not positive, members of the organization begin to feel they could have done a better job themselves and the leader may lose credibility. When overly used, it has a number of disadvantages. Team members cannot contribute anything to, or learn anything from, the process. They are less likely to be committed to implementing the decision. The absence of any discussion also means that conflicts cannot be worked through, leaving ongoing resentment unresolved.

During decisions by the leader after group discussion, the team proposes and discusses ideas, but the leader makes the final decision. During this type of decision-making, the leader involves the members of the organization. The leader maintains control of the decision because, although outside information is considered, the leader alone decides. The leader is also completely responsible for the good or bad outcome because of the decision. Advantages include some this is especially valuable when team members could be negatively affected by the decision. In most cases, members are informed before the decision is implemented so there are no surprises and usually they feel good about their personal involvement. If the leader is a good communicator, and listens carefully to the information collected, they will usually have a more accurate understanding of the problem and make a better decision. Other perspectives of the situation are discovered because the leader deliberately asks and encourages others to participate by giving their ideas, insight, knowledge, and information concerning the



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