Groups and teams are different in a variety of ways. Find the difference between groups and teams today through goals, types, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
In any size of organisation, groups and teams have different shared tasks, goals, accountabilities, and processes. Explore the difference between group and team to know how.
Difference Between Group and Team
Here are the top parameters to consider in the group vs. team debate. See how each differs.
|Goals||Different goals||One common goal|
|Types||Formal and informal||Functional, cross-functional, virtual, self-managed, etc|
|Characteristics||Independent, sole accountability||Interdependent, mutual accountability|
|Advantages||Efficiency and accountable for own actions||Collaboration, problem-solving, smarter risk taking|
|Disadvantages||Lack of clarity||Lack of individual growth|
What is a Group?
A group is a collection of two or more individuals interacting with each other and having common interests and qualities.
Types of Groups
From the perspective of an organisation, there are two types of groups.
Here, the individuals are formed by the organisation to meet an objective. All these members have independent tasks.
There are a few other types of formal groups in an organisation. They are committees that the management department creates for solving different problems. Standing committee, advisory committee, ad-hoc committee, etc., are a few examples.
This type of group is informal because the members have common social interests and beliefs that are not particularly work-related.
Characteristics of Groups
- Individual Goals – In a group, the goals of each member are different.
- Individual Accountability – Each member of the group is accountable for their actions.
- Size -There can be small and large groups. There should be at least two individuals to form a group.
Advantages of Groups
There are a couple of advantages of forming groups in organisations.
- Efficiency – In a group, individuals can be more efficient. They can complete tasks faster and better with group support than without support.
- Accountability for strengths and weakness – Each member of the group is accountable for their own actions. And, they would have strengths and weakness.
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Disadvantages of Groups
- There may be less clarity on the organisational objective, as each member has an independent set of tasks. So the group may take longer to plan properly.
- Some individuals in the group may feel disconnected or alienated from the group for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is the lack of communication in a large group.
What is a Team?
A team is a group of individuals that perform interdependent tasks. In contrast, a group performs independent tasks. Most modern businesses organise teams who work towards a common objective, meaning a team’s goal is common and divided among members.
Types of Teams
Here the members are from different departments but work on a business objective together.
Here, the teams work autonomously, without supervision, towards a common goal.
Characteristics of Teams
- Coordination – Coordination is key for a team. Each member has specific tasks that contribute to the final goal.
- Interdependency – Teams are interdependent. The members are assigned with related tasks.
- Mutual Accountability – In a team, accountability is mutual.
Advantages of Teams
- Healthy Collaboration – Each member of the team has a unique skillset. To achieve goals, their distinctive skills make the process faster. Collaboration can also create a healthy work environment, according to many experts.
- Taking risks in a streamlined way – An individual who works independently may not take risks. In a team where there is mutual accountability risk-taking is smarter and well-thought-out.
Disadvantages of Teams
- There may be a lack of the individual’s personal and professional growth, as there is one common goal to achieve.
- There can be lesser flexibility in roles.
- Division of labour can become unjust in certain situations.
- Some individuals may prefer working without a team.
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So these are the five ways to determine the difference between group and team. Each has its pros and cons in an organisation.
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