Internal Competition — A Curse for Team Performance
(5 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
FIS Consulting Services was a business process outsourcing company specializing in consulting and financial advisory for global clients. This case deals with an offshore project team in the United States that was characterized by intra-group competitiveness, poor leadership and resource sharing, poor coordination, and limited cooperation. At the outset, the team developed a one-sided focus on achieving a high performance appraisal rating rather than completing the project as a team. The team underwent an inadequate group development process, which was manifested in the team’s immaturity. Poor leadership and lack of behavioural norms led the team to move forward with conflicting beliefs, structural inadequacy, lack of guidance, and low cohesiveness. These factors led to a decline in the team’s performance and stood as obstacles to the project’s progress. Furthermore, these events damaged the reputation of the firm. The human resources manager needed to take urgent measures to save the project team.
- Enable students to understand the lasting effects of team members’ initial interactions as well as stimulate thinking about activities that should occur during those formative interactions. Students will be able to distinguish the significance of establishing decision-making procedures, shared goals, shared and understanding leadership, clarity of roles, and clear norms for interaction. Students need to understand the impact of social forces that emerge when individuals meet, including creating impressions, developing interactions, subgroup formation, and patterns of conflict.
- Enable students to understand the importance of managing the diversity of team members and the advantage of synergizing their complementary expertise and interactive decision making. Students will also recognize potential disadvantages of diversity, which include conflicts and misunderstandings.
- Enable students to understand the significance of established norms within a team and the importance of a cohesive work environment.
This case was designed for a module on team process in a course on interpersonal and group process. It is effective in courses on organizational behaviour and leadership.
India; United States, Large, 2009
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