Team work efficiency largely depends on its leader. The central idea behind a successful leader is in being able to motivate others to achieve definite goals beneficial for the whole group. After the evaluation of the given data, it appears that Berta would be a better choice as a team manager because her social network is unique, it is much less tightly knit than Gregory’s one, and it spans more functional units which offers Berta a better status in her team and provides better opportunities for an access to the reliable and trustworthy information.
In Exhibit 10-3, the two networks of Gregory and Berta can be observed. First, evaluating Gregory’s network structure, it is evident that it is built on standard principles of organization, and is built on the relations between close colleagues. It is highly probable that Gregory’s network is formed by employees from the same functional unit. Such type of network organization resembles the organization of a family unit; it is a clique network. The biggest problem of such networks is seen in the fact that their members are only aware of those people that they have a close contact with.
Panel B in Exhibit 10-3 shows Berta’s network structure. This structure is very different from Gregory’s one. It can be seen that Berta’s network is less tightly knit than Gregory’s one, it spans more functional units which means that Berta knows more people who do not know each other, and it is unique which means that Berta is the only person to have such connections in the collective body whereas Gregory’s structure is standard, and many other members of his team have similar structures of connections.
Seeing such differences in the network structures, a conclusion can be made that Berta is a better choice as a team manager because of her sophisticated network of connections with different people in the team. At an extreme, it will be much easier for Berta to organize efficient work of the team using her social connections. Social capital theory explains that in case the team leader has more connections with people who do not know each other or in the other words, in case the team leader network consists of more functional units, the work of the whole team will be more efficient due to more efficient cooperation between the members of the team (OTTÓSSON & KLYVER, 2010). According to boundary spanning theory, team mangers with an access to more different areas of an organization are able to collect more important information and integrate the working process in a more effective way (Thompson, 2011). Berta has an access to more different areas of the company, and is thus able of filling in many structural holes in it. The Exhibit 10-3 shows that Gregory’s network is capable of filling only one structural hole, and Berta’s one fills ten structural holes. These numbers are more than convincing, and help understand why Berta is a better leader. In her network, Berta is an informational broker which makes her unique for the functioning of the organization whereas Gregory cannot boast of such status (Thompson, 2011). The information that Berta acquires comes from a variety of different sources which means that it is more reliable and trustworthy.
Entrepreneur networks are more successful in organizations than clique networks because cooperation between the team members in them is much more efficient. Besides, in clique networks, employees are more focused on their own relations than on the organizational interests (Joy, 2004). Moreover, entrepreneur networks provide a basis for more capitalized opportunities, greater innovations, higher salaries, and earlier promotions. All of those motivating factors are very important for achieving better results by the employees from entrepreneur networks. In clique networks, the effectiveness of work is much less which is explained by the lack of motivation.
A leader seeks input from others when their participation is important for coming up with a particular organizational decision. According to the decision analysis model of Vroom and Jago, a successful leader should be balanced when he or she is seeking for the input from the others (Jago, Ettling & Vroom, 1985; Thompson, 2011). This is explained by the fact that seeking for the input from all the team-members, the leader may become destructed and will loose much time. Instead, it is much better to establish a contact with certain members in the team who can be trusted on the reason of their outstanding professional qualities.
Vroom and Jago describe five major types of seeking input including autocratic method when the leader makes decision himself; inquiry method when the leader asks the team members for information, but he makes the decision alone; the consultative approach when the leader consults different members of his or her team separately to make a decision; consensus building when the leader organizes a meeting with the team to discuss the matters, but he or she makes the decision alone; and delegation when the decision is developed collectively during a meeting. Evaluating these types of decision making, it appears to me that consensus building and delegation are the two variants that can be applied in modern conditions more effectively than the three other strategies. The times when the leader was to be an autocratic person passed. It is very important to discuss matters collectively because this will help developing a more effective decision. The cons of consensus building and delegation are in their time- and efforts-consuming nature for the leader. To develop collective decision, the leader should organize the members of the team to conduct a meeting where every person will have an opportunity to describe one’s position. This requires much time and energy from the leader. However, the pros of these two strategies are very promising because the developed decision will be more successful. In addition, as the team members participate in its adoption, their eagerness to fulfill this decision will be bigger.
During my career, I faced the problem of choosing a proper strategy while consulting my team members. I wanted to be accessible for all, but soon I realized that it was unsuccessful investment of time and energy because not all team members could contribute to the development of a wise decision equally. I noticed that the opinion of many people was very similar to the opinions of their close companions. Now, reflecting on the studied information during this course, I understand that it is more effective to choose to cooperate with particular team members during the development of the decision making. These people should posses independent and creative way of thinking along with a balanced outlook and a balanced system of values in business.
Jago, A. G., Ettling, J. T., & Vroom, V. H. (1985). Validating a Revision to the Vroom/Yetton Model: First Evidence. Academy Of Management Proceedings (00650668), 220-223.
Joy V., P. (2004). Making the Team: A Guide for Managers. The Academy Of Management Executive (1993-2005), 18(3), 168-169.
OTTÓSSON, H., & KLYVER, K. (2010). THE EFFECT OF HUMAN CAPITAL ON SOCIAL CAPITAL AMONG ENTREPRENEURS. Journal Of Enterprising Culture, 18(4), 399-417.
Thompson, L.L. (2011). Making the Team. A guide for managers (4th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.