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Creating Effective Teams

Creating Effective Teams
A Guide for Members and Leaders

Sixth Edition

July 2020 | 168 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
A practical guide for building and sustaining top-performing teams  

Based on the authors' many years of consulting experience with teams in the public and private sectors, Creating Effective Teams: A Guide for Members and Leaders describes why teams are important, how they function, and what makes them successful. The texts covers the four stages of team development —forming, storming, norming, and performing— to help readers effectively navigate these different phases. Separate chapters are devoted to the responsibilities of team leaders and team members. Susan A. Wheelan, Maria Akerlund, and Christian Jacobsson highlight common problems that occur frequently in groups as well as provide practical tips, real-life examples, and questionnaires to help address those problems.

About the Authors
Chapter 1 • Why Groups?
Groups Have a Long History of Success

We Need Groups Every Day

Groups Increase Our Knowledge Base

When Teams Are Good, They’re Very, Very Good

Creating Effective Teams

How to Use This Book

Chapter 2 • Effective Organizational Support for Teams
Plant Groups in a Favorable Organizational Climate

Give Groups What They Need to Do Their Best

Pick Members Based on Their Ability to Do the

Task and Their Ability to Contribute to Group Success

Educate People for Group Participation Competence

Avoid Unsubstantiated Team Development and Consultation Strategies

Avoid Helping Groups Too Much

Make Sure Each Group Has Enough Autonomy to Do Its Work but Remains Connected With the Rest of the Organization

Conduct Organizational Support Reviews Regularly

The Organizational Support Checklist

Chapter 3 • From Groups to Teams: The Stages of Group Development
Stage 1: Dependence and Inclusion

Stage 2: Counterdependence and Fighting

Stage 3: Trust and Structure

Stage 4: Work and Productivity

Surviving Group Development

Chapter 4 • How Do High Performance Teams Function?
The Characteristics of High Performance Teams

Ten Keys to Productivity

Team Performance Checklist

Chapter 5 • Effective Team Members
Don’t Blame Others for Group Problems

Encourage the Process of Goal, Role, and Task Clarification

Encourage the Adoption of an Open Communication Structure in Which All Member Input and Feedback Are Heard

Promote an Appropriate Ratio of Task and Supportive Communications

Promote the Use of Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Procedures

Encourage the Establishment of Norms That Support Productivity, Innovation, and Freedom of Expression

Go Along With Norms That Promote Group Effectiveness and Productivity

Promote Group Cohesion and Cooperation

Effective Member Checklist

Chapter 6 • Effective Team Leadership
Don’t Take On Every Leadership Assignment You Are Offered

Adjust Your Leadership Style to Meet the Developmental Needs of the Group at a Particular Time

Leadership at Stage 1: Be a Directive and Confident Leader

Leadership at Stage 2: When Members Begin to Demand More Participation in Running the Group, Slowly Begin to Empower Them

Leadership at Stage 3: Involve Members in the Leadership Function

Leadership at Stage 4: Participate as an Expert Member of Your Team

Effective Leader Checklist

Chapter 7 • Navigating Stage 1
Goals of Stage 1

Concerns About Safety and Inclusion

Dependence on the Designated Leader

A Wish for Order and Structure

Chapter 8 • Surviving Stage 2
Goals of Stage 2

Create a Unified Group Culture

Create a Unified and Effective Group Structure

Chapter 9 • Reorganizing at Stage 3
Goals of Stage 3

Fine-Tuning Roles, Organization, and Procedures

Solidifying Positive Relationships

Chapter 10 • Sustaining High Performance
Goals of Stage 4

Getting the Work Done Well

Making Decisions

Cohesion and Conflict

Maintaining High Performance

Chapter 11 • Changes in Team Functioning
Fluid Teams

Self-Managed Teams

Agile Teams

Virtual Teams

Multicultural Teams

Chapter 12 • Research on the Integrated Model of Group Development
Does the Model Describe What Really Happens in Groups?

How Are Groups Distributed Across the Four Stages?

On Average, How Long Does the Development Process Take?

Does Team Building Have Any Effect?

Does Group Size Affect Group Maturity?

How Do Work Groups in Different Sectors Function?

A Final Thought


Helpful for the course I teach

Dr Omotola Aksinsola
Social Work Dept, Minnesota State Univ-Mankato
August 16, 2023