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Differences Between Individuals and Teams.

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Introduction

Differences Between Individuals and Teams 1. Social Facilitation. o Individuals are more motivated to perform well when in the presence of others (especially on motor tasks). o If the individuals are not comfortable with others, their performance on mental tasks may decrease. o Since one's dominant habits are facilitated by others, poorly trained individuals may engage habits that are ineffective on the task. 1. Learning. Groups learn faster than individuals on tasks where o Several people can work without getting in each other's way; o Problems can be solved through the addition of individuals contributions (e.g., more people, more ideas); o Parts of the solution are at least partially independent so there can be division of labour; o It is possible for others to recognize and correct individual error. ...read more.

Middle

o In untrained groups, high confidence in the solution is not necessarily related to quality of the decision. 1. Risky Decisions. o Group-centered decisions can be riskier than leader-centered group decisions. o Group consensus may produce riskier decisions than individuals working alone. o Riskiness of decision is affected by the influence of the most risky group member, norms associated with risk, diffusion of responsibility, and consideration of the outcome. 1. Problem Solving. o Groups generally produce more and better quality solutions than do individuals working alone. o Successful group problem solving is related to: the ability of the best group member, interest in the task, influence of the most confident member, and ability to perform error checking and correcting for each other. ...read more.

Conclusion

o Cohesive groups and those composed of individuals with prior training do better than groups without these characteristics. 1. Guidelines. In general, teams should be chosen over individuals when: o There is sufficient time available. o Members are adequately trained in their specialization areas as well as in team membership skills. o Wide divergence of information and inputs are necessary. o A high quality decision is required; the decision is so important that judgement of several qualified people is a must. o The problem is poorly structured (e.g., unclear objectives, vague alternatives, uncertain outcomes). o Commitment to the plan is important and would be gained by team decision. o Team representation of many stakeholders would facilitate organizational acceptance of the decision or plan. ...read more.

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