Managing High Performance Teams

1. When it comes to how a team is designed (i.e., members, communication, goals, norms, etc.) and team leadership, which of the following statements is most true based upon the studies from the Xerox customer-service teams?

a. For optimal performance, it is more important to have a well-designed team than a team with a good leader

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b. For optimal performance, it is more important to have an excellent leader than a well-designed team

c. Both team design and leadership are equally important

d. Well-designed teams tend to sabotage leaders


2. Clearly-defined goals are the essence of great teamwork. Which of the following statements is most true about how goals should be articulated by teams:

a. Goals should not be clearly articulated; rather members should be free to interpret them creatively

b. Goals should be complex and contain several objectives

c. Goals should be simple and specify ends, but not means

d. Goals should be simple, and specify means, but not end


3. A cardiac surgery team is an example of a _____ team; the Sandia Nuclear Weapons laboratory team is an example of a _____ team.

a. Problem-solving; creative

b. Tactical; creative

c. Problem-solving; tactical

d. Tactical; problem-solving


4. The dominant feature of tactical teams is _____; the dominant feature of problem-solving teams is _____; the dominant feature of creative teams is: _____.

a. Expertise, training; communication

b. Training; expertise; communication

c. Trust; clarity; autonomy

d. Clarity; trust; autonomy


5. There are many types of interdependence in a team. A team of people selling cookies and then combining their total profits is an example of __________; a team of people on an assembly line making an automobile is an example of __________.

a. Pooled interdependence; sequential interdependence

b. Pooled interdependence; reciprocal interdependence

c. Cooperative interdependence; competitive interdependence

d. Tactical interdependence; problem-solving interdependence


6. With regard to the question of team size (i.e., how big the team should be), all of the following are true, except:

a. Most of the time, teams should be fewer than 10 members

b. Managers tend to make teams too large

c. It is wise to compose teams using the smallest number of people who can do the task

d. Larger teams are more cohesive and want to stay together


7. When selecting members for a team, certain skills are very important. These skills are best described as:

a. Technical skills and interpersonal skills

b. Analytical and intuitive skills

c. Cognitive and emotional skills

d. Mental and physical skills


8. In a diverse team, a “fault-line”? refers to:

a. Cases in which a team tends to find fault or blame in the other team members rather than their own behavior

b. Cases in which group members fall into two distinct, non-overlapping subgroups, usually based on demographic characteristics (such as male vice-presidents and female clerical workers)

c. Cases in which group members make more extreme judgments of demographically dissimilar group members than is actually warranted

d. Cases in which a homogenous group does not allow a diverse member to join the group


9. Creating diverse teams is a challenge. All of the following are important steps to include in a plan for bringing diversity to a team, except:

a. The organization should publicly commit to valuing diversity

b. The organization should solicit ideas and best practices on how to diversify

c. The organization should educate members on the advantages of diversity

d. The organization should build diversity at the lowest, entry levels of the organization, rather than at the governing level


10. Norms are the unwritten rules that specify appropriate and expected behavior in teams. Which of the following statements is most true about norms in a team?

a. It is best to not impose norms of behavior on a team, but rather, empower the team to develop its own norms over time

b. Norms take time to develop in a team and emerge slowly as the team matures

c. Many norms develop within the first few minutes of a team’s first meeting

d. The most competent and respected individuals dictate the norms for the team


11. Base pay is a person’s regular salary that differs from variable pay. Base pay is based on:

a. Internal equity (job evaluation) and external equity (market data)

b. How well the company is doing per the stock market and other financial indicators

c. Government-determined standards, akin to minimum wage

d. The quality of one’s education and experience as reported on a resume


12. Recognition is considered one type of team-based pay. Recognition is best described as:

a. An opportunity to single out the best performer in a team

b. A monetary award of at least $2500

c. A percentage of corporate profits given to the highest performing teams on an annual basis

d. A one-time award for a team performing well beyond expectations or for completing a project, program, or product


13. When it comes to incentive pay and giving rewards, which of the following is most true?

a. Rewarding results is more important than rewarding behavior (e.g., effort)

b. Rewarding behavior (e.g., effort) is more important than rewarding results

c. Rewarding competencies can be very effective

d. It is best to not offer rewards so as not to create confusion


14. In profit-sharing plans:

a. A cash award is given on a yearly basis

b. A non-cash award is given on a yearly basis

c. A portion of the is given to employees based on equality (everyone) or equity (performance)

d. A portion of the bottom-line economic profits is given to employees based on need (as determined by base income)


15. Which type of performance appraisal is best used with teams?

a. Skill-based pay

b. Job-based pay

c. Competency-based pay

d. They are all used for team performance appraisals


16. The 360-degree feedback method is best described as:

a. An employee is rated by others each day of the year for a full year

b. An employee is evaluated by others in the company who work in different geographic locations

c. Multiple raters from different levels and vantage points evaluate an employee

d. An employee evaluates his or her own performance and compares that to the standards put forth by the company at large.


17. All of the following are potential problems with 360-degree feedback, except:

a. Getting enough sources of feedback

b. Some systems can be abused or compromised if members made side-deals to rate one another favorably

c. Team members may be unpopular for reasons other than performance

d. The database of evaluations may be too large and unwieldy to appropriately monitor


18. The extrinsic incentives bias is best described as:

a. The tendency for people to care more about short-term gain than long-term interest

b. The tendency for people to care more about what others think of them than their own self-view

c. The tendency for people to believe that others are motivated more by money than by the meaning of the work

d. The tendency for people to believe that others are self-motivated, when in fact they are free riders.


19. In addition to biases existing on the part of people who do the ratings, the people who receive evaluations (i.e., the ratees) can be biased as well. One example of ratee bias is EGOCENTRIC BIAS, which is best described as:

a. The tendency to evaluate oneself more favorably than others do

b. The tendency to believe that one can accomplish a task alone, when in fact, a team is needed

c. The tendency to compare oneself with less fortunate and incompetent others

d. The tendency to believe that others are envious of your abilities and competencies


20. There are several useful “guiding principles”? that leaders should follow when instituting team-based pay. All of the following are useful guidelines, except:

a. The balance between individual- and team-based pay should be in proportion to the amount of individual and team-based work an employee does

b. The goals should be difficult enough that members cannot actually reach them, so as to provide a true stretch of performance

c. Team members who will be affected by the program should be consulted ahead of time

d. The criteria used to determine the pay should be quantified


21. The organizational context, team design, and team culture are three important aspects that affect the ultimate performance of a team. Which of these three aspects does a leader have the most control over?

a. The organizational context

b. Team design

c. Team culture

d. All three about equally


22. Team culture refers to:

a. The personality of a team

b. The ethnic origin of the team members

c. The extent to which team members are polite and respectful to one another

d. The geographical location of the team


23. A number of factors must be in place for a team to perform well. All of the following are considered essential for team effectiveness, except:

a. Knowledge and skill regarding the team task

b. Motivation to accomplish the goals of the team

c. The ability to identify the different personality styles of team members

d. The ability to coordinate effort and communicate


24. The social loafing effect refers to:

a. The tendency of people in teams to let others make mistakes instead of telling them what to do

b. The tendency for teams to take longer to complete a task than individuals

c. The tendency for teams to be more creative than individuals but experience more conflict

d. People in teams who do not work as hard as they would if they were working individually


25. If you detect a free rider on your team, the best way to remedy the situation is to:

a. Stop carpooling with members of the team

b. Increase the identifiability of that person’s work products, through performance reviews

c. Increase the size of the team

d. Diffuse responsibility for the failure of the team


26. Coordination is the ability of teams to communicate effectively and combine their efforts. All of the following can enhance team coordination, except:

a. Training team members together

b. Practice and rehearsal

c. Setting clear performance standards

d. Rewarding team members for their performance


27. There are several criteria by which to evaluate the success of a team. Which of the following do most organizations (and team members) care about the most?

a. Responsibility: being allowed to set their own performance goals

b. Design: choosing the right team members

c. Results: achieving the goal

d. Rewards: being appropriately compensated for effort


28. Which of the following is true about individual performance under stress and pressure?

a. Performance improves only for tasks that require high motivation

b. Performance on a well-learned task improves

c. Performance on a not-well-learned task improves

d. Stress never enhances performance


29. The Kohler Effect refers to:

a. The observation that less-capable members work harder in a team than they do alone

b. The observation that more-capable members don’t work as hard in a team as they do alone

c. The observation that people work less hard in a group than they do alone

d. The observation that people work harder when they are in a flow state

30. The team performance equation attempts to predict the actual productivity of a team. It states that the AP (Actual productivity) of a team =

a. The potential productivity of a team, plus team synergies, minus team threats

b. The potential productivity of a team, plus team culture, minus free-riding

c. The potential productivity of a team, plus task design, plus team culture

d. Cohesion, plus learning, plus integration


31. With regard to the defining characteristics of a team, all of the following are true except:

a. Teams exist to achieve a shared goal

b. Team members are interdependent regarding the achievement of a goal

c. Teams contain diverse members

d. Teams are bounded and stable over some period of time


32. When it comes to teamwork, interdependence means:

a. Team members should divide work among people on the team

b. Team members should do their fair share of the work on a team

c. Team members should give credit to their team, not their individual efforts

d. Team members cannot achieve their goals single-handedly


33. In manager-led teams, the team members:

a. Execute a task

b. Monitor and manage the performance of the team

c. Design the team as a performing unit

d. Design the organizational context


34. The most common type of team is:

a. Self-directing teams

b. Manager-led teams

c. Self-managing teams

d. Self-governing teams


35. Which of the following is an example of :

a. To find out why teams are successful, only successful teams are studied

b. To find out why teams are unsuccessful, only unsuccessful teams are studied

c. To find out whether performance reviews help teams, some teams are given performance reviews; others are not and the effect on performance is measured

d. Asking team members to reflect upon their team successes and team failures

e. A & B


36. Transactional models of teamwork ___ and relational models of teamwork _____.

a. Are outdated; are updated

b. Contain a large interaction between customer and vendor; occur over time

c. Are short-term in nature; are built upon relationships between the people involved

d. Focus on customer service; deal with competition


37. Which type of team is responsible for determining their own objectives and methods by which to achieve those objectives?

a. Self-governing teams

b. Manager-led teams

c. Self- directing or self-designing teams

d. Self- managing or self-regulating teams


38. Self-designing teams are best suited for:

1. People who cannot take direction

2. Teams whose leaders are incompetent

3. Complex, ill-defined, and ambiguous problems

4. Simple, well-defined, and clear problems


39. One of the most frustrating aspects of teamwork is:

a. Sustaining high motivation

b. High level of turnover

c. Not being able to select one’s preferred team members

d. Ineffective leadership


40. When we ask, “why should organizations bother to develop and support teamwork,”? all of the following challenges facing organizations might be addressed through teams in organizations, except:

a. Providing better customer service

b. Dealing with competition in one’s industry

c. Globalization

d. Ethical dilemmas

e. Information technology

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