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Group Formation and Managing a Task Force

Dewing, Michael. Principles and Methods of Teaching. New York: Century Co., 1988). Thompson, Gregg K. Group Learning and Dynamics. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1990). Robinson, Harry. Group Dynamics. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc. 1987).

language english
wordcount 5502 (cca 15 pages)
contextual quality N/A
language level N/A
price free
sources 3
Table of contents

Introduction 1
Boundaries 2
The Individual Experience of Group Formation 4
Group Formation and Processes 6
Sources 11

Preview of the essay: Group Formation and Managing a Task Force

Group Formation and Managing a Task Force Introduction In the Harvard Business School case “Acton-Burnett, Inc.” (Gabarro, 1983), David is enlisted by his bosses to do an impossible job. In a prototypically melodramatic case backdrop, Baker, a recent M.B.A. working in a profitable metallurgy company, has been assigned the leadership of a newly created, cross-functional task force charged with explaining the company’s recent financial setback. Everything goes wrong, of course: Baker allows a more senior member to set the agenda of the first meeting, the group splinters into non communicating subgroups, to avoid supervising one member because of a previous conflict, and intense interdepartmental rivalry seeps into the group as members suppress or exploit information damaging to one functional unit. The case ends with David poised on the brink of disaster after group dynamics have sabotaged a key presentation of the task force’s work. Students are asked to evaluate Baker’s leadership style and to prescribe retrospective remedies. In an article entitled “Managing a Task Force” (Ware, 1977), the steps a manager must take to assert and maintain control of a group: set out the goals of the group, determine who should be on the task ...

... to process issues as well as to task accomplishment; (2) leaders must utilizing group-level models in preparing strategies for leadership and managing problems that arise in groups; and (3) negotiating group formation, a crucial and fragile period in group life, requires leaders to attend carefully to their own behaviour, as well as to the dynamics of the larger system. No one, not even David Baker at his best, can be guaranteed success in this venture, especially if the organization’s culture effectively prevents trust from being established among group members. In that case, as in Action-Burnett, the group leader needs to go back to his bosses and negotiate for a project redefinition that allows the work to be accomplished. Success will come only when the emotional dynamics of group formation can be addressed, group psychological boundaries can be defined, and a relatively cohesive and productive group culture can emerge.
Essay is in categories


Human Resources


Humanistic Studies
Princess R.

Group formation is an important aspect of teamwork. A great organizer could be seen on his ability to marshal resources and people.

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