Leadership Assignment 5 Sarah Kamal 09-4714 ————————————————- 26th November 2012 Question 1: Was the research program a group or a team? If a team, what kind of a team was it? At first, before the assignment of a formal leader, it was a self-directed team on a whole of groups of people. It was a team because it was not inhibited by organizational boundaries. It was specifically formulated for a purpose and vision that was to develop a technique for large-scale interferon production to use as a treatment against cancer.
The performance goals were also set by themselves instead of one strong centralized leadership. This team consisted of 3 groups who had 3 informal leaders namely –gene slicing, recombination and fermentation. At first the senior management believed that this biotech research program could be self-managed so the initial team of groups was a self-directed team as it worked on itself within its group boundaries autonomously and was member centered to the informal leaders.
Later on after the formal leader was assigned to this team, it emerged as a stronger cross-functional team coordinating across its group boundaries for a shared purpose and problem solving. The formal leader directed work to the group leaders and assigned some authority to them as well. Question 2: Did the interdependence among the subgroups change with the interferon project? What were the group norms before and after the retreat? Interdependence is the extent to which the team members depend on each other for information, resources or ideas to accomplish their tasks.
The research project should have been ideally a reciprocal interdependent one but initially the lack of communication and cohesiveness among the subgroups made it a pooled-interdependent team as the groups were fairly independent and did not share or coordinate work with each other participating as a team. After the formal leader came, he changed this interdependence style to the required reciprocal interdependent team. The interdependence increased a lot, and the team members influenced each other in reciprocal fashion for he completion of work and problem solving. Yes, the group norms changed and one single approach was taken to lead the project with consensus. Each subgroup was assigned a set of instructions by the leader, strict deadlines were given as the work was highly interdependent now and weekly progress reports were submitted. The communication gap was removed, problem solving was improved and group coordination was increased. Question 3: What factors account for the change in cohesiveness after the chief biologist took over?
Cohesiveness is the extent to which the members are united in pursuit of a common goal. The chief biologist increased the determining factors for increasing cohesiveness. He took the team to a two day retreat and made them interact with each other. He organized the work and gave the team a more direct shared mission. Even after the retreat the communication was increased as lunches and coffee gathering took place. Group members and team leaders started having daily discussions and cooperated on research requirements. Enthusiasm and group cohesion was increased.