A group can be defined as a collection of individuals who contact regularly, have frequent interaction and work together for common set of goals. Groups play an important role in motivating, inspiring and extracting the best from an individual. In most of the organisations, work is performed in groups. However, the critics, in contrast, assert the misinterpretation of managing group conflict. In Oticon, the participants are divided into project teams depending on the size of the project. The size varies from 2 to3 in a small project to 20 to 30 in a large one.
The project manager is responsible for marketing and introduction of the project into the market. The selection of the project leader is done in several ways. Sometimes the person who came up with a proposed project (idea) is given the role. At other times, the senior management takes the responsibility to appoint a project manager taking his/her skills into account. Firstly, where the person proposing an idea being made a project leader, I guess the management should consider his skills, qualifications and technical expertise in the project.
In India, even if a person works for more than ten years on the same field and have technical expertise in the that field and if comes up with an innovative idea , the management considers certain qualifications to promote/appoint him/her to a project manager position and vice versa. Secondly, if there is a highly experienced person who is familiar and worked on similar kind of project, the idea that Opticon adopted can create job dissatisfaction in him, which may lead to his resignation or changing the company. The project manager has a right to organise the group in his own way.
The selection procedure for the project is informal. Any employee who is free and had interest in the project can directly walk to the manager and request for the place. I guess, this informal procedure opted by Oticon, may sometimes be misused. Some managers consider the employees who are favourable to him and show inclination towards their well-beings, even though they have no subjective knowledge or technical expertise. This has an advantage as well, instead of forcefully asking him/her to work, one will know the real interest of the participant working in the project.
Cross functional teams like project based teams are beneficial to the employees as the employees are involved in a challenging and rewarding job, opportunity to gain visibility in front of management and gain wider knowledge in the organisational processes. This will ultimately lead to the formation of the project groups. Buchanan (2004, pp. 305) using Tuckman’s stages of group development states that as whenever a group is formed or a new person enters a group, the group goes through the following five stages.
Forming: This is the initial stage of group formation, where every person is busy in finding the attitudes and backgrounds of other persons. The participants try to create an impression on other group members. Task wise, the participants try to analyse the task allotted to them. Storming: During this stage, the group members reveal their personal goals and may resist the control of other group members. Norming: This is a compromising stage and the group develop closer relationships. Task wise, there will be an increase in data flow.
Performing: In this stage, the group focus increases on the group objectives. Not all group come through this process. Interdependency increases and there will be an increase in commitment from the group members. Adjourning: This is the final stage of the group, either because the project is finished or some people have left. These stages need not occur in sequence, instead, the group goes through some of these process repetitively and might froze at certain stage for a period of time. Some groups quickly pass through certain stages when compared to other groups.