A Virtual Team at T. A. Stearns

Tom Andrews, Cy Crane, Marge Dector and Megan Harris are all part of a team because they cooperatively work towards the success of their small organization through the realization of their common goals and interests.

Although their immediate common denominator is being part of a group that T.A. Stearns relies on for innovative programming, each member’s desire to have lenient working hours and flexible working space also gels them together to work cohesively. In fact, they have already stepped beyond working relations into the grounds of true friendship because they have learned to cover up for each other’s misgivings to be able to achieve their aims and goals.

2. Has anyone in this case acted unethically?

All of them, without any exception, violated their company’s trust.  This was done by concealing their new work innovation that gave them additional hours for personal time.

Although it can be said that they have saved the company money by not asking for their reward for another brilliant time-saving invention, what they have done is like stealing. The company could have saved more money by lessening their working hours but they let the company pay them unknowingly.

3. What, if any, characteristics of groupthink are manifested in the work team?

One of the indicators that the virtual team was already suffering from groupthink is their high moral stance. The members believed that they could cover up their “time cheating strategy” and collectively assumed that it was okay to keep their innovation a secret so that they can have more time to themselves.

They even worked together to plan out how they can deceive their company by coordinating on their reports and schedules.  The team had begun to think that they were smarter than their bosses.

Another indicator of group think was their arrogance regarding their working style.  The group had taken pride in their ability to have flexible time and working space compared to most people but this should not have given them the reason to scoff at those who have chosen to work differently.

The most obvious indicator of group think is their move to keep information even from their leader.

4. Has Dave been an effective team leader?

Yes he has for he was very observant of his team.  He knew the members fairly enough to judge that there was something amiss and that he needed to get to the bottom of it right away. He was also a good leader because he immediately discussed his concerns with Cy.

5. What should Dave do now?

Dave would have to reveal the virtual team’s new discovery to upper management before the executives hear it through the grapevine. If I were in his shoes, I would reveal the innovation by presenting it as something the virtual team had experimented on for some time to ensure its effectiveness.  This way, Dave not only saves his virtual team but also gets a probable pat in the back from management for doing a good job.