Take a closer look

2 May 2004

I was reading Amit’s weekly journal entry today and I was struck by the change that seems to be happening in that team. In general terms, I think we (DPE) have noticed such changes in the past in other teams. I know I’m reading a lot into a relatively brief journal entry, but it does sound like a significant change has/is occurring.

But why do such changes come about?

There are many candidates when looking for theoretical explanations. Is it a case of the team moving from one stage of group development to another (as per Tuckman & Jensen)? Is it the team seeking a leadership change (according to Bion)? Are we half way ‘there’ a la Gersick and punctuated equilibrium? And those are just the first few theories to spring to mind; there are many more (e.g an ecological model of variation and adaptation).

But, we’ve never really nailed down what is the most useful explanation for the ‘typical’ revolutionary change we seen in MGMT 301 teams. Alas, we rarely get enough feedback to make a solid diagnosis. If anyone is going to ‘hit the nail on the head’, it is going to be someone in one of the teams–someone who is close enough to the action to see what is actually happening and knowledgeable enough to match that rich description to the ‘right’ theory.

Perhaps some people will take this to be a foreshadowing of the final assignment–but, it isn’t intended to be that. I’m just curious to understand the teams more fully.

BTW, for those who are interested, I read a pretty solid lit review on Virtual Teams this morning. If you’re interested in virtual teams, then it presents an interesting summary of some of the literature.