By working hand in hand with other people, the dynamic that develops between workers makes the difference. Although we devote the same time, the same material resources and a staff with a sufficient level of training, working in one way or another with these ingredients makes it more or less possible.
Below we will see what are the differences between the group and the teamSince it is this type of involvement and coordination that, at the same expense, the productivity of companies and organizations raised to its full potential, or not.
Main differences between the group and the team
When it comes to the world of work and organizational psychology, the definitions used of what groups and teams are are different. And they are not only theoretical, but as we will see, they refer to two types of phenomena which produce very different results.
1. Individualistic vision and collectivist vision
Groups are essentially sets of people who share a space, a place and who show a certain degree of tolerance among themselves, which makes them something stable.
In the context of businesses and organizations, a group, moreover, is a functional part of a system of people that produces something, whether for commercial purposes or not. However, making it a useful feature doesn’t mean the group has a common goal. Instead, each person has their own goal.
In other words, this type of association is governed by individualism: people come to an agreement to achieve a goal that they had already set a priori individually.
The team, on the other hand, is driven by collectivism, the notion that there are experiences that can only be lived by uniting and connecting with others and that some objectives are fundamentally collective in nature. For example, protecting the environment is not an objective that can be achieved objectively, and likewise a creative task in which several artists must work either.
2. Proactive spirit or passivity
The teams adapt in real time to the unforeseen, because all the people who compose them go towards one. If a need arises other than those which defined the work, for example, it is not necessary to convince others to adapt to this new circumstance; in all cases, new proposals are reported and researched together.
So in teams, whenever the way of working changes and new unforeseen problems arise, they are immediately informed, instead of continuing to work by inertia.
In groups, on the contrary, mentality leads to an attitude defined by passivity. Therefore, for example, if unforeseen changes occur, it is necessary renegotiate with the people who make it up, Since they can stick to the idea that they don’t have to do anything more than they did before. Any change in the way of working is considered a separate element from the rest, which does not necessarily mean that the changes have to be taken into account in other processes directly related to the previous one.
3. Agility or communicative verticality
In groups, communication flows are generally vertical, as they are limited to the hierarchical relationships specified in the organization chart; it is simply not mandatory to establish other channels through which information flows.
As a team, on the other hand, communication also flows very informally, Although these lines of communication do not appear in the flowchart. This does not mean that the mixture of personal and professional relationships is encouraged in the organization, but that more flexibility of communication is given.
4. Flexibility and rigidity
As a team, the number one priority is to allow the team to adapt to changes and achieve the objectives set collectively, which is why the formal is subject to the useful. Although it may sound contradictory, it often works best if you know how to set aside the rigid structure of rules set in writing (yes, with the agreement of all parties involved).
In a group, on the other hand, the rigidity of the rules is not used for their usefulness, but as an excuse so as not to face new situations or to have to work harder during the phase of adaptation to the changing situations that present themselves to us. In other words, the rules are supposed to be dogma, what to follow to avoid complications, although this can, paradoxically, lead to some problems caused by the lack of adaptation to change. They become chronic and generate completely avoidable inconvenience.
5. Potential in the face of opportunity or blindness
Teams are always much more adept at spotting hidden opportunities, because the flow of communication and the proposal of ideas that “break the patterns” are not penalized.
In a group, on the other hand, the mere idea of turning the direction of what was being done causes rejection, And a really good excuse is needed for something as simple as coming up with new strategies or group interests. This means that, even if an opportunity is foreseen, it never goes beyond this phase, and this possibility is neither valued nor, of course, new missions undertaken. In many cases, the person who came up with the idea doesn’t even communicate it to a colleague.
- Etkin, J. (2000). Politics, government and management of organizations, Buenos Aires, editorial Prentice Hall.
- Schlemenson, A. (2002). Talent Strategy, Bs. As., Editorial Paidós.
- Lévy-Levoyer, C. (2000). Motivation in the company – Models and strategies Editorial Gestió 2000.