Teams in Organizations: Facts and Myths

Teamwork is a key factor for any organization desiring to meet its formulated objectives. Teamwork involves a collection of individuals who share roles and responsibilities in order to realize a specific outcome. This implies that they have to share a vision or goal. The management of knowledge requires teamwork as members or individuals in an organization participate as a social unit in the learning process. The participation of individuals to maintain and build their capacity through learning requires the existence of the social communities to participate actively. The adoption of the Community of Practice (CoP) concept, which forms the basis of the Organizational Communities of Practice (OCoP) points out that teams in organizations are a fact. The OCoPs function as vehicles aiding the generation of knowledge and the enhancement of organizational performance. The OCoPs require the formation of groups by the employees that are not only bound by contracts but have stable jobs over a given period (Kirkman, 2011).

In addition, the management of knowledge in the organizations requires that the employees function as a social structure context. This enables the organization to be able to avail strategic assets through human capital that will give the firm or organization a competitive advantage. The management of knowledge within a group is more advantageous than the management of knowledge in the traditional hierarchical corporate structures. A clear analysis of the OCoPs identifies the similarities with the teams as they both work towards the visions identified by organizations. Organizations assign explicit roles and tasks to individuals who do not function in isolation but in community structures.

The resources available for individual use in the facilitation and implementation of their functions are allocated by the organization. Roles are assigned to individuals according to the formulated objectives that serve as their guide in the delivery of their mandates. The effectiveness of the OCoPs is defined in relation to how they meet the set organizational objectives. Information shared by the OCoPs carries with it the objectives of the organization, which are social and collective. OCoP puts emphasis on the empowerment of the community as essential, and thus, the need to have teams as the community functions in social structures. Leadership in the community requires a high level of collective participation and the formation or grouping of people into teams that are manageable through an arrangement of functional rules and roles. Teams call for leaders as they play a vital role in the performance of the distinct outfits they lead (Thompson, 2003).

Teams function in accordance with the basic rules that are in operation within an organization. The member’s sense of autonomy is positively enhanced if the organization assists them to set up performance goals, as they are able to manage their own tasks that are related to their interpersonal activities. The level of teamwork in the OCoPs is assessed through accountability of the team and increased responsibility of the respective team members. The sense of responsibility creates the need for collectiveness and the devotion of time as well as resources directed towards the accomplishment of defined and measurable objectives. It is vital to note that modes through which the monitoring of individual and team activities is set by the organization. These facts reveal that teams in organizations are a fact and not a myth (Hackman, 2002).


Hackman, J. R. (2002). Leading teams: Setting the stage for great performances. Boston: Harvard Business.

Kirkman, B. L., Mathieu, J. E., Rosen, B., Cordery, J. L., & Kukenberger, M. (2011).

Managing a New Collaborative Entity in Business Organizations: Understanding Organizational Communities of Practice Effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(6), 1234–1245.

Thompson, L. L. (2003). Avoiding missed opportunities in managerial life: Analogical training is more powerful than individual case training. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 82(1), 60–75.

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