A team refers to a group of individuals working corporately to realize a common pre-defined objective. Traditional team, in its turn, is a functional squad where professionals work jointly and have a familiar technical language and common understanding of their teams’ procedures and objectives (Kidd, 2009). The mentioned notion encompasses workers who work in a physical closeness and closely relate face to face in daily occasions. Using traditional teams is widespread in numerous organizations and includes well-known departments that work as functional employment groups. This essay elaborates the strengths and weaknesses of traditional teams and compares them with virtual teams.
Leadership in traditional teams is characterized by a hierarchical structure on top of which is the person taking the highest position. The teamwork is mostly based on the members’ areas of specialization, and it is usually a routine task. Traditional teams are seen to remain comparatively more stable over time than other groups, for instance, virtual teams are. Since these squads are steady, they exist for several years with only low rate of attrition and the required replacement of those employees who leave the groups. There is a regular introduction of new projects in this type of teams that may involve few members or the entire team. These projects concern introduction of new roles and responsibilities together with new technology and new working methods that, in turn, become a routine to the employees who implemented them. An example of a traditional team is the community midwifes.
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Strengths and Weaknesses of Traditional Teams
As well as any other group in any organization, traditional teams have their strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths is that there is the guaranteed stability and security of the group members as changes in such type of institutions are similar and moderately slow, and there are no quick feedbacks to alterations. The second strength is that there is much-associated freedom granted to the members to concentrate on and manage their individual areas of capability. Thirdly, traditional teams are competent since there is something common in their language, objectives, and processes.
Besides the strengths, there are several weaknesses that these groups encounter. First, the promotions done in such teams are likely to be based on one’s practical skills and not essentially on person’s administration skills. Second, it is assumed that the individuals occupying high posts have the skills to lead others which may not necessarily be the case. Third, since members are focused on personal specialization, very few of them are able to see the big picture beyond themselves. Fourth, with traditional teams characterized by the hierarchy in leadership, decision making is slower as it has to go to the top management that may cause delay or accumulation at the top. Fifth, individual group members report to the leaders in their areas of expertise and in the presence of an outsider it may display a bad picture between of the member and the leader unlike in self-directed teams.
Support of workers is basic in any organization, and effective maintenance brings out efficiency to the overall performance of any institution. The presence of technology has permitted companies to build teams that maximize capacity and resources without earlier restrictions of proximity.
Differences and Similarities between Traditional Teams and Virtual Teams
Selection of traditional team members is done in accordance to their practical skills. In virtual teams, there is no face-to-face interaction, and this may lead to loneliness and isolation (Halvorsen, 2013). One needs to be disciplined at work, knowledgeable of practical networking, possess the capacity to gain knowledge on new technologies and manage his/her time. In choosing a team member, the above competencies are considered in addition to functional skills (Gera et al., 2013). The second difference is organizational structure. Unlike traditional teams, virtual ones have flatter structure with no hierarchies for quick outcomes and creativity motivation (Webster & Wong, 2008). The third difference is leadership style. In virtual teams, supervisors are not physically present to control daily activities and keep an eye on work done by members, and this calls for delegation. This has given way to the new form of leadership that is democratic and coaching unlike the previous leadership styles characterized with dictatorship and control (Hambley, O’Neill, & Kline, 2007). However, this applies to traditional teams. Fifth is building relationships. The daily meeting in workplace and face to face communication in traditional groups bring about strong societal ties between the members. There is no individual touch in communication and it is mostly related to work in other types of teams. However, virtual groups’ relationship building is maintained standard. The last difference is knowledge exchange and decision making (Guillot & American Society for Training and Development, 2002). Discussion is the main form of information exchange in traditional groups where the meeting can be held at any time of the day with all members present to pass the information. In virtual teams, there is no time for meetings hence any informal information is inaccessible. This calls for regular updates on the progress of the projects.
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The similarities between the traditional and virtual teams are that both aim at achieving certain goals. Next, the leaders of both groups are responsible for managing any squad they lead. Since traditional teams comprise of individuals working in their areas of specialization, they tend to spend much of their time doing work on their own. Not all tasks are group-based. Thus, teamwork is more effective than individual one (Ferris & Godar, 2006).
In conclusion, it is essential to pay special attention to the communication, partnership, and cultural issues. Organizations must pursue a different administration technique that would build confidence and unity among group members to bind the advantages of a winning team. Traditional groups are effective but can be even better achieving maximum productivity when the above challenges are addressed and maximum support is given to team members.