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2.8 Why do (only some) teams succeed?

Clearly, it is not possible to devise a set of rules which, if followed, would lead inexorably to team effectiveness. The determinants of a successful team are complex and not equivalent to following a set of prescriptions. However, the results of poor teamworking can be expensive, so it is useful to draw on research, experience and case studies to explore some general guidelines. What do I mean by ‘team effectiveness'? – the achievement of goals alone? Where do the achievements of indivi
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2.3.7 New types of team

In addition to the traditional types of teams or groups outlined above, recent years have seen the growth of interest in two other important types of team: ‘self-managed teams’ and ‘self-organising teams’.

During the 1990s many organisations in the UK became interested in notions of empowerment and, often as a consequence, set up self-managed or empowered teams. An Industrial Society Survey (1995) commented:


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2.3.2 The project (single) team

The project, or single, team consists of a group of people who come together as a distinct organisational unit in order to work on a project or projects. The team is often led by a project manager, though self-managing and self-organising arrangements are also found. Quite often, a team that has been successful on one project will stay together to work on subsequent projects. This is particularly common where an organisation engages repeatedly in projects of a broadly similar nature – for e
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Learning outcomes

After completing this unit you should be able to:

  • describe the main features of work groups and teams;

  • discuss the main group processes that affect work group or team effectiveness;

  • describe the main features of projects, project teams and project management;

  • discuss some types of theories about effective leadership.


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5.6.3 Conformation and crystallinity

If there are key connections between the chain configuration and crystallisation, you might also expect some more subtle effects from rotation about chain bonds. After all, polymer chains must be able to twist into the regular conformation demanded for crystal structures (Figure 57(a)). And what influence will rotation have on
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5.4 Dynamic mechanical properties

Viscoelasticity is not experienced just under quasi-static conditions, i.e. when the imposed stresses and strains are constant or change only slowly. Polymers, and particularly rubbers, are often deliberately selected for products which are to be subjected to dynamic mechanical loading. Tyres are an obvious example where the unique high strain elasticity and energy absorbing qualities of rubbers make them the natural choice of material. Stress analysis involves the use of the frequency-depend
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3.2.1 Thermal cracking

The bulk of the major monomer and intermediate, ethylene (C2H4), is still produced in the UK by steam cracking without the use of catalysts. Paraffinic feedstocks are best for optimising ethylene yields, and the severity of cracking is specified by the rate of disappearance of a marker compound, usually n-pentane. The severity of the reaction can then be defined as follows:

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Acknowledgements

The following material is Proprietary and is used under licence:

Text

Various pages: Arup, O., material accessed in January 2002 and December 2000, from.

Box 1: Inman, P. ‘Chaotic scheme that left families relying on food parcels’, The Guardian, 6 July 2005. © Guardian News and Media Ltd 2005.

Box 2: ‘Fly-away drones put robot air force plans off cou
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5.1 Introduction: the general framework

The general framework of systems engineering adopted in the course consists of: a hierarchy of elements; aims associated within its outputs and process; a set of principles; a division into technical and managerial components of the process.

The lexicon of system engineering used in the course contains the hierarchy of elements:

  • strategy: meaning the accumulated decisions concerning the areas in which an organisation operates and its lon
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4.3 The use of systems engineering in organisations

The development of systems engineering was contemporaneous with that of systems analysis in public policy. Though its origins can be traced back to the 1930s and 1940s (Hall, 1962, p. 7), its more widespread application can be dated from the early 1950s. The earliest formal teaching of systems engineering was a course presented in 1950 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by G.W. Gilman, who was then Director of Systems Engineering at Bell Laboratories. Gilman was a strong promoter of
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Stage 4: Conceptual model

The conceptual (or activity) model contains all the activities that the relevant system would have to perform. The model is usually drawn as a block diagram.


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Stage 2: The situation analysed

The first step is to develop a picture (called in soft systems terminology a rich picture) that encapsulates all the elements that people think are involved in the problem. Once the rich picture has been drawn, the analyst will attempt to extract ‘issues’ and key tasks.

Issues are areas of contention within the problem situation. Key tasks are the essential jobs that must be undertaken within the problem situation.

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4.3 Optical networking

DWDM improves the utilisation of optical fibre for point-to-point links, but a further step in exploiting the potential of optical fibre comes from optical networking in which routeing or switching is done optically.

Optical networking is in its infancy, but the concept of the optical layer based upon wavelength channels is emerging. The optical layer effectively sits below the SDH layer in the network, and provides wavelength channels from one location to another.

An analogy can
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2.4 Pulse spreading and bandwidth

Activity 3

Calculate the maximum signalling rate given by the Nyquist rate for the 1550 nm window, assuming that it runs from 1450 nm to 1610 nm.

Answer

Using the
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References

Ackoff, R.L. (1974a) ‘The systems revolution’, Long Range Planning, vol. 7, pp.2–5.
Ackoff, R.L. (1974b) Redesigning the Future, New York, Wiley.
Ackoff, R.L. (1981) Creating the Corporate Future, New York, Wiley.
Ackoff, R.L. (1995) ‘Whole-ing the parts and righting the wrongs’, Systems Research
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5.7 Being ethical

As outlined in Table 2, ethics within systemic practice are perceived as operating on multiple levels. Like the systems concept of hierarchy, what we perceive to be good at one level might be bad at another. Because an epistemological position must be chosen, rather than taken as a given, the choi
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1.6 Final vocabulary

Any ethical analysis has to be grounded on something, otherwise the analysis has no end. And since reasons will be couched in words, I think it is helpful to look at what the philosopher Richard Rorty has called a ‘final vocabulary’. He suggests:

All human beings carry about a set of words which they employ to justify their actions, their beliefs, and their lives. These are the words in which we formulate prais
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1 Putting the unit in context

This unit, taken from T883 Business operations: delivering value, is concerned with the management of ‘processes’ – the organised set of resources and related activities that are essential for the delivery of goods and/or services to customers. These processes or ‘operations’ form the very essence of any enterprise, and it is critically important that they are managed well to be effective and efficient.

The full course consists of three main blocks of study:


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3.2 The principles of scanning probe microscopes

Scanning probe microscopy is a term that is applied to a set of imaging methods based on a common element: a fine stylus. In many ways, what scanning probe microscopes do is similar to what a gramophone does. A gramophone stylus scans a spiral groove (by travelling along it) on which information has been encoded in the form of undulations in the groove wall. Side-to-side and up-and-down movements of the stylus (which is mounted on one end of a rod supported and pivoted at its centre) as it fo
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2.8 Good times and bad

The music industry, like any other large industrial business, had good times and bad times. By 1924 the burgeoning of radio broadcasting in the United States caused a severe downturn in record and equipment sales, leading to amalgamations and bankruptcies of many of the record companies. Actually, radio broadcast studio technology proved of great importance to the record industry. The sensitive microphones and electronic amplifiers used in broadcast studios offered improved characteristics th
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