Why It Matters: Teamwork and Communication

Why explain the importance of teamwork and effective communication in a business environment?

Why do businesses stress teamwork and communication? Why have you been subjected to the dreaded “group project” in some of your classes? We think of ourselves as individuals, each hired or chosen for our individual expertise, talents, and experience, and yet we are often asked to work with others on assignments and projects. Why? Because we are capable of so much more when we work together. In this module you will learn about teams, why businesses use them, why they succeed, and why they fail. As part of our examination of teamwork, we’ll also look at the critical role communication plays in helping businesses achieve their goals and objectives, and also some of the challenges they face in using electronic communication.

In the following video, Steve Jobs explains the value of collaboration at Apple—a company that, he says, is great at teamwork and relies on trust, not hierarchy.

Learning Outcomes

  • Differentiate between groups and teams, and describe the characteristics of different types of teams
  • Explain the stages of team development and the factors that contribute to team success
  • Explain the importance of effective communication within an organization, and describe common barriers to effective communication
  • Describe typical communication channels, flows, and networks within an organization, and explain when different channels are appropriate
  • Identify common risks and ethical issues associated with electronic communication in business