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Strategic Analysis of Walmart

Essay by   •  March 12, 2011  •  Case Study  •  2,128 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,583 Views

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TEAM PROCESSES

In society today, most of the individual tasks associated with our daily routines are becoming more complex and diverse. Cultural changes, technological advancements, productivity and commitments are of high importance, a need to improve team co-operation and involvement should be an intricate part of the company?s commitment to succeed.

By providing a team process within the Business Units of the company, they will be able to gather and manage complex data, analyse problems, plan effectively, implement plans and evaluate outcomes. The most powerful leaders within our society understand that, individuals working in isolation find it hard to maximise the potential of an organisation.

I believe that the key to our success will be by implementing a process that will enable our employees to share ideas, energy, and resources by encouraging team involvement. The company needs people that are committed and are competent in delivering a service.

Although it is possible to deliver a service without high levels of commitment and teamwork, experience has shown that without commitment and cooperation, quality, consistency and cost effectiveness cannot be guaranteed in the long term. Nutting, Cielens, Strachan (1996,168)

FEATURES OF A TEAM PROCESS

Nutting, Cielens and Strachan highlight four basic features that characterise most teams;

? Common goals or purposes.

? Accepted roles and procedures.

? Commitment by team members.

? Accountability.

They defined these features as a group of people committed to working towards a common goal, using accepted rules and procedures to undertake identifiable tasks and roles aimed at achieving the goal. Nutting, Cielens, Strachan (1996,169)

This alone does not guarantee that the team will be effective. To create an atmosphere that will be effective, the team must recognise that to achieve these goals leadership is vital to the continued expansion and achievement of the group.

NATURE OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM

Observations carried out within Total Energy have found that the majority of Business Units are managed adequately on the basis of traditional management approaches. Under this approach low expectations, no accountability for mistakes and poor performance are common however, despite the lack of leadership within the team process these teams have managed to survive.

In a society today where companies are more focused on the bottom-line, a great deal of pressure is placed in accountability to shareholders and owners. It has become obvious that the better organisations will be the one?s that position themselves economically.

According to Nutting, Cielens, Strachan, there are eight key elements that if managed in a pro-active role, will enable a team to focus on its goals and the roles of the company:

? Results - The team is focused on measurable, specific outcomes, which are developed through consultation with all team members.

? Informal processes - Employees are not only concerned with the formal channels and procedures, but they also recognise the role of informal processes. These processes can be used to enhance the way in which people interact.

? Feelings - Recognising employee?s emotional needs ensures that team members feel valued and are prepared to support one another.

? Leadership - Even though there is an ?official leader?, leadership must be shared. Fully functioning teams recognise that leadership is a complex set of attributes that are shared by members of a team. This allows members to adapt and change as circumstances arise.

? Complementary skills - Ensures that the basic skills required to complete tasks effectively are available.

? Feedback mechanisms - This allows team members to monitor their own and that of their team?s performance by providing a basis for rewards.

? Rewards - rewarding team and individual performances helps a team to maintain momentum and focus. Rewards can be either tangible such as money or time, or intangible such as praise.

LEADERSHIP -Formal and Informal

Of the eight features of an effective team, leadership whether formal or informal is the basis for an effective team process. Shared leadership is the contributing factor that determines the success that a team can contribute to a company.

Formal Leadership

The main contributing factor of any formal leader is to be able to communicate within a group about group issues. They also inspire team members to communicate within the group about; Tasks and goals, Morale, Managing conflict, Protecting and increasing group resources, concerns and needs of individual members.

There are many characteristics or traits that determine a successful leader. But, what makes a good leader? George Jr., Collins and Gills showed that by observing outstanding leaders, they were able to determine a list of qualities that contribute to effective leadership. They found that most outstanding leader posse the following characteristics:

? A desire to excel

? A sense of responsibility

? Capacity for work

? A desire to exhibit enthusiasm

? A high sense of integrity

Any leader who possesses these qualities is well developed in communication skills and interested in the well being of his/hers employees. However, these characteristics alone do not make a leader, neither a position of authority over a group make a leader. Nutting, Cielens, Strachan (1996,183)

The essence of effective team building and decision making rely on the successful implementation. By participating in, group discussions, a supervisor can contribute leadership to the team and share in the success and reward that team building instils. This is the essence of Shared Leadership. Mohan, McGregor, Saunders, Archee (1997,503)

Informal Leadership

The existence of a single leader is not the prime condition for effective team building or for the continued existence. Experience has shown that team of people can act as joint leaders, particularly if they each member are contributing towards the goal of the company. Nutting, Cielens, Strachan (1996,183) Shared leadership is balance between the relationship of the people

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