When we use the terminologies, group and team, we mostly take these as synonyms of each other. Though both refers to the assemblage of two or more individuals, a team is a particular type of a group which is more focused towards the desired mutual goal with every member contributing in the best possible manner.
Difference between groups and teams
Groups differ from teams in several ways:
- Task orientation: Teams require coordination of tasks and activities to achieve a shared aim. Groups do not need to focus on specific outcomes or a common purpose.
- Degree of interdependence: Team members are interdependent since they bring to bear a set of resources to produce a common outcome. Individuals in a group can be entirely disconnected from one another and not rely on fellow members at all.
- Purpose: Teams are formed for a particular reason and can be short- or long-lived. Groups can exist as a matter of fact; for example, a group can be comprised of people of the same race or ethnic background.
- Degree of formal structure: Team members’ individual roles and duties are specified and their ways of working together are defined. Groups are generally much more informal; roles do not need to be assigned and norms of behavior do not need to develop.
- Familiarity among members: Team members are aware of the set of people they collaborate with, since they interact to complete tasks and activities. Members of a group may have personal relationships or they may have little knowledge of each other and no interactions whatsoever.
Groups Vs Teams
|Members work independently and they often are not working towards the same goal.||Members work inter-dependently and work towards both personal and team goals, and they understand these goals are accomplished best by mutual support.|
|Members focus on mostly on themselves because they are not involved in the planning of their group’s objectives and goals.||Members feel a sense of ownership towards their role in the group because they committed themselves to goals they helped create.|
|Members are given their task or told what their duty/job is, and suggestions are rarely welcomed.||Members collaborate and use their talent and experience to contribute to the success of the team’s objectives.|
|Members may not fully understand what is taking place in their group.||Members base their success on trust and encourage all members to express their opinions, varying views and question.|
|Members may or may not participate in group decision making, and conformity is valued more than positive results.||Members participate equally in decision- making, but each member understands that the leader might need to make the final decision of the team cannot reach consensus.|