Team work, Communication and Ethics

At the heart of team effectiveness lies communication, and research into organisational team effectiveness repeatedly identifies communication styles and communication skills as the key indicators for successful collaboration. Indeed, you would have experienced team work within your own assessment as a university student. For some, team work is an enjoyable experience, and is perceived to enhance the overall performance outcome in a process known as social facilitation. For others, team work can be a stressful experience, perceived as an obstacle to achieving the best possible outcome. Working effectively as a team is more than just a university exercise. The vast body of research into team work and team effectiveness is an indication of the importance placed on team work in the modern workplace. Browse through any job advertisements and position description, and references to an “ability to work effectively as a part of a team” is a common theme. Why are some people better at working together with others? Why do some teams perform better than others?

In this essay, you will explore the complexities of organisational team work, and examine the skills and attributes it takes for individual team members to become effective team players. The purpose of this exercise is to discover evidence-based strategies for improving the team working capabilities of yourself and others. To do this successfully, you will need to begin by reviewing the literature on team work and team effectiveness in organisations.

Suggested structure for your essay 

Introduction:

In the introduction section, you would provide an overview of the essay topic and present the specific angle and structure of your essay. This is usually done by sign-posting how your essay is structured and what your conclusion is.

Suggested word length: 300 words.

Reviewing team work (broad definitions and key terms):

The literature review forms an important section of your main body, and will typically begin with some basic definitions of key terms. Key terms in this essay may be (but not limited to) team work, team effectiveness, team performance, team communication etc. Definitions and explanations provide a helicopter view of what has been written about the broad topic of your essay. Here, you would be expected to provide definitions and references from scholarly sources.

Suggested length: 500 – 800 words

Reviewing communication and team work:

In this second section of your literature review, you would narrow your focus to specific concepts and studies that relate specifically to the communication component of team work. Here, you will once again review the literature with reference to studies that have examined the relationship between communication and team effectiveness. Communication is a broad field of study, and there may be many aspects of communication that you might choose to focus on.

Suggested length: 500 – 800 words

Linking team work, communication and ethics:

In this last section of your review, you would need to provide a deeper link between team work, communication and ethics. There is a growing interest in the study of communication of the role of ethics, and the importance of ethical communication in team work. In this section, it will be useful for you to link your previous review of team work and communication to the need for ethics. This can be done by reviewing the literature on communication ethics, and making your own links to your previous discussion of team work.

Suggested length: 500 – 800 words

Conclusion:

In the concluding section of your essay, you will provide a brief summary of the main points discussed throughout your essay, and what the implications may be for university students undertaking team work throughout their studies. This section will provide some basic recommendations in light of your review of the literature.

Suggested length: 300 words

Structure and requirements

This essay does not require any headings other than the title of your essay. You may give the essay any title which you feel is appropriate on the basis of your specific coverage and scope. You can also use the essay heading used in this guideline.

Your essay should be structured into paragraphs according to the conventional essay format, i.e. an introduction (one paragraph), a main body (several paragraphs) and a conclusion (one paragraph). You do not need to include an abstract.

This essay should be approximately 2500 words in length, excluding the reference list. There is a 10% leeway permitted in either direction (i.e. you may go over or below the word count limit by 250 words). If your essay goes over or below the word count limit and leeway, you will lose marks. 

 

Your essay must be referenced throughout in the Harvard style, including both in-text citations and a reference list. The reference list must appear on a separate page at the end of your document. A minimum of 10 scholarly sources is expected.

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