410 – week one, discussion one

Week One Lecture

Ch. 1-2 Lecture and Master PPT will be discussed during Brightspace Live Tuesday evening and posted in the Announcements on Wednesday morning for your reference and viewing pleasure if you missed our Live Session. You may access the Zoom recording via Learning Tools–Zoom–Cloud Recordings–Week 3 Brightspace Live Zoom.

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What Is Leadership?

What is leadership and how is it defined?

Leadership does not have one right definition. It can be challenging to create one definition when we try to include our own experiences, cultures, or expectations of what leaders do. When we incorporate the relationship of leadership into specific groups and teams, this too can change our definition. Each individual defines leadership differently. For the purposes of this course, we will consider this definition,

“Leadership is an influence relationship between leaders and followers who intend real change that reflect their mutual purposes”.
Adapted from Joseph C. Rost (1991). Leadership for the twenty-first century. New York: Praeger.

What Is Diversity?

There are a variety of definitions of diversity in use today. While this might create a richness of perspective, this can create a multitude of problems since, like leadership, we have many different definitions. People differ in a great many ways – race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, and more. In addition, diversity not only involves how we perceive others and how we interact, but also how we conceive ourselves. The following chart offers the many dimensions of diversity that influence our daily lives. Diversity can be defined as all the ways in which people are different. It affects how people see the world, how they behave, and what values they hold, among others

organizational chart

Source: Diverse Team. Lee, Gardenswartz, and Rowe. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professionals, 1994. Note: Internal Dimensions and External Dimensions are adapted from Marilyn Loden and Judy Rosener, Workforce America! Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professionals, 1991

Challenge To Leading Diversity?

Challenges to leading diversity in teams

Before we can understand the importance of diversity in the success of teams, we must first analyze how our own cultures shape our view of the world. Shriberg (2005) makes the argument that people “frequently attempt to approach multicultural leadership efforts like business issues, and skip the personal development and introspection. Failure of the leader to assume the risk of adopting alternative perspectives and behaviors may result in failure in diversity or multicultural efforts”.

Diversity is a fact of life in today’s world. The population of the United States is increasingly more diverse that decades before with people of different national origins, races, and religions who are no longer willing to be assimilated into the mainstream culture.

Without the proper consideration for diverse groups, leaders continue to face unique challenges in leading people who are different from them. We must begin our understanding by identifying the hardships that people who do not fit the mainstream white, U.S.-born, male culture often endure. These include unequal expectations, the need to live bi-culturally, the glass ceiling and the concrete wall, and the opportunity gap. As group members, we should all be aware of the impact culture may have, the social, economical and cultural value differences, in an effort to develop cultural intelligence.

How Are Teams And Groups Different?

A team is a unit of two or more people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and set of performance goals and to common expectations, for which they hold themselves accountable (Lussier, 2006). Many people used the words team and group interchangeably, but there is a number of differences between the two. Teams are made of two or more people, usually chosen for a specific skill. People in a team share common goals for which they are all accountable. Forming a group rather than a team is often much easier, typically because groups are based on a certain commonality or hobbies. A group is a collection of people working together. For instance, schools have chess clubs, people form car clubs, football lovers create fantasy football groups. Groups typically form around a leader, whereas teams share the leadership in order to reach a common goal.

· A team is distinct from a group when it has the following attributes:

· A common purpose

· Recognition by each individual as belonging to the same unit (i.e. team identity)

· Interdependent functions

· Agreed norms or values that regulate behavior

What Kind Of Teams Exist?

Lussier (2006) and Shriberg (2005) did a thorough job of defining the types of teams that can exist. These types however are a general list of categories that more specific team types can fall into.

Shriberg (2005) defines 3 types of teams as:

1. Traditional Teams – remain relatively stable over time and physical space.

2. Virtual Teams – comprised of members spread over geographically remote areas.

3. Project Teams – created for short periods of time to accomplish a specific task.

Lussier (2006) defined 3 types of teams:

1. A functional team – consists of a group of employees belonging to the same functional department, such as marketing, R&D, production, human resources, or information systems, who have a common objective.

2. A cross-functional team – made up of members from different functional departments of an organization who are brought together to perform unique tasks to create new and nonroutine products or services.

3. Self-managed teams – relatively autonomous teams whose members share or rotate leadership responsibilities and hold themselves mutually responsible for a set of performance goals assigned by higher management.

Different Types And Subtypes Of Teams

Types and Subtypes





Plan, Direct

Board of Directors, City Council


Integrate, Coordinate

Control Tower, Combat Center



Deal, Persuade

Labor-management, International Treaty


Choose, Investigate

Search Committee, Jury


Create, Develop

Research and development team, Marketing Group


Diagnose, Suggest

Quality Circle, Steering Committee


Provide, Repair

Fast Food, Auto Service Team


Build, Assemble

Home construction, Automotive assembly



Treat, Heal

Surgery, Emergency Room


Protect, Rescue

Fire Station, Paramedics


Neutralize, Protect

Infantry Squad, Tank Crew


Covey, Haul

Airline Cockpit, Train Crew


Compete, Win

Baseball, Soccer

When a group of people form a team, their roles and interactions are not established. Some individuals might begin as an observer of the rest of the group while they try to determine what is expected from them. Others may get involved in the process immediately. There are many models that describe team developmental process. Several different studies came to the same conclusions that the process occurs in four predictable stages. Each stage is characteristically diverse and builds on the previous stage. The implication is that all teams must develop through this predetermined sequence if they are to be successful.

Teams go through stages of development. Bruce W. Tuckman developed the most commonly used framework in the mid-1960s. He began with 4 stages he termed Forming, Storming, Norming and 10 years after the original research, Tuckman included a 5th stage, Adjourning.

Stage 1


Team acquaints and establishes ground rules.

Stage 2


Members resist control by group leaders and show hostility.

Stage 3


Members work together developing close relationships and feelings of camaraderie.

Stage 4


Team members work toward getting the work done.

Stage 5


Members acknowledge completion and disengagement, both from the tasks and the group members.

Tuckman’s original work simply described the way he had observed groups evolve, whether they were conscious of it or not. But for us the real value is in recognizing where a group is in the process, and helping it to move to the Perform stage. In the real world, groups are often forming and changing, and each time that happens, they can move to a different stage. A group might be happily Norming or Performing, but a new member joining the team might force them back into Storming. Seasoned leaders will be ready for this, and will help the group get back to Performing as quickly as possible. Many work groups live in the comfort of Norming, and are fearful of moving back into Storming, or forward into Performing. This will govern their behavior towards each other, and especially their reaction to change.

This model is helpful for understanding group dynamics and why some groups fail to perform. Realistically, a work group’s performance is more complex than this model suggests. For more information regarding Tuckman’s model, please review the “Stages of Team Development” document.