Real-World Team Projects?

For the most part, I feel that teamwork is an essential part of many careers and thus I believe that it is very appropriate that so many business classes at Weatherhead stress the importance of team projects. If I am not mistaken, every single business class that I have taken so far at Case has involved at least one group project or presentation. However, after this part Thursday’s discussion on the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, I felt slightly different about the direct application of these college experiences to the real world. When dealing with group projects, especially ones where the teams are randomly assigned, it seems to me that often at least one of the five dysfunctions is present. The most common appears to be an absence of trust. The two things that seem to lead to this lack of trust are the short nature of most team project encounters and a lack of basis on which to build trust. The first of these issues is self explanatory as it is obvious that in the work setting people spend months together where most team projects last a few weeks at most. The latter conflict is based on the fact that there aren’t many detailed pre-requisites associated with being in a class. The college application process is by no means as specific, or stringent, as a job interview and thus it seems that many teammates have no reason to assume that their partners are, to put it simply, smart. However, despite my slight shift in perception of the real-life application of college team projects, I still feel that these assignments are crucial to the development of capable business people.

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Comments

As your teammate, I agree with you Artur. How can trust be broken if it were nonexistent? Our social connection outside of class has facilitated the level of trust we currently have together, but thus is not the case for the rest of our teammates. Is it time for a weekend retreat ;P?

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