Expectations for Team Assignments:
One goal in this class is for you to develop a greater sense of awareness about yourself as a leader and member of an organization, as well as a member of workplace teams. Thus, the purpose of the teamwork in this class is not just for you to complete the assigned tasks; it is also to further develop the skills to be effective team members. As those of you who have worked on teams know, membership often requires sacrificing your personal needs for the good of the team. Effective teams are ones that not only accomplish the required tasks but also make members proud of what they have achieved together. Leaders in organizations such as yours have told us they need people who can work together effectively in teams, both those with members who are co-located and those where much of the work is technology-enabled. They expect graduate management programs to help them develop such people and we on the UMUC faculty take this charge seriously.
With this said, the MGMT 670 faculty want to clarify their expectations with respect to teamwork. We expect each member to contribute fully and to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure the success of their team. We expect you to live by the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement you will develop. Among the values and norms we expect you to adhere to are those of honesty, integrity, mutual respect, professionalism, and inclusion. We expect you will treat others (including your faculty) as you would wish to be treated. When conflicts arise, as they inevitably do, we expect you to follow the approach the team has established and learn and grow from the experience. We do not expect your first approach will be to “come to your professor” as this is not a healthy way for a team to resolve differences, unless there is confusion about requirements. Rather, just as in the workplace, we expect you to work together to try to resolve problems.
The above said, we do not want you to let problems fester until they may be “beyond repair.” If the team as a whole would like guidance or special support, let your faculty know by posting a message in your team discussion area and they will do their best to help. If the team decides it has exhausted the available avenues for resolution of a dispute, then be sure to contact your professor. The professor may then choose to serve as an advisor, mediator, or arbitrator, depending on what is needed. We really want this to be a positive experience for each and every one of you. Finally, we want to reinforce that we need you to use your group area as your primary place for communication, so everyone has a shared record of what has been said, agreed upon, and done.
If these expectations, and those you will set together, are met you should expect to do well with your team assignment. Indeed, it is our experience that students in MGMT 670 enjoy and value their team experiences. In the very unlikely event that a member does not meet expectations, your professor may decide to allocate a separate grade. In making this decision your professor must rely only on the materials available in the team’s discussion group area, not on private e-mail exchanges. Therefore, if you use means other than the classroom to communicate (e.g., e-mail, phone conferences), you must post regularly summaries in the classroom team area.
In week 12, each member will submit a confidential assessment to the professor and this may be considered, along with evidence in the team’s discussion topic, when assigning a grade for the team assignment.
Overview: Prepare and present a report and contribute to a discussion that demonstrates mastery of the course material and its relevance to your academic specialization.
- Members will prepare and share with their team a brief (maximum 500 – 750 word) report that examines whether, how, and why strategic management is/could/should be relevant and important for the specialization they have pursued in this degree program.
- The team will then analyze the member reports, searching for patterns (similarities and differences between and across specializations) and evaluating their broader implications for successful implementation of strategy and strategic decision making. Faculty will follow and contribute to this team analysis and discussion.
- Teams will prepare a brief (maximum 1,000 word) final synopsis of findings and conclusions and post it as a new thread in the team’s study group by Wednesday of the last week of class (Week 12). Teams will also share a copy of the final synopsis in an all-class discussion area so everyone can benefit from the small group findings and analysis.
All members are expected to demonstrate effective team skills and must contribute actively, substantively, and in a timely manner to all components of this assignment.
The team will work collaboratively to set deadlines for items 1 and 2. These deadlines will be enumerated in the Team Agreement submitted in Week 6. The only hard (i.e., faculty-imposed) deadlines are to post the final synopsis by midnight on Wednesday of Week 12 and submit the confidential team assessment by the end of the week.