A group can be defined as the formation of two or more people working together to achieve a common goal (Schermerhorn & Hunt & Osborn, 2003, p.172). Groups can be either formal or informal. Any gathering of multiple employees constitutes a group. When the manager arranges a meeting with the employees the leader is directing his message towards a group. There are five stages that characterize the formation of a group. The stages of group formation are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjuring. During the norming stage the employee build a bond of trust between them and the other members that helps improve the overall performance. The size of the group is an important factor to consider. The optimal size of a group is between seven to eight members. Group decision making can be improved using techniques such as brainstorming, nominal group technique, and Delphi technique.
A team is a type of formal group in which the members work together to accomplish common goals. One of the major differences between a group and a team is that in team settings individual and group accountability exists (Katzenback & Smith, 1993). Companies create teams for strategic purposes, while most work groups are formulated to accomplish specific tasks. Teams tend to be formulated to achieve long term tasks. For example a company can create a quality control team to reduce product defects. Work groups are different because they are typically formed to achieve short term goals. Another discrepancy between teams and groups is the way they operate. The five steps of the participation process of team members are illustrated below:
An important aspect of teamwork is the necessity of leadership to manifest itself. Due to the nature of teamwork employees are able to exert leadership while working in settings even if the person is not the official team leader.