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Belbins Team Roles theory in classroom activity

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3715 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The main axiom of this assignment is to study the group theories and leadership theories and explore different styles of leadership and group behaviour in different situations. I am supposed to identify my own behaviour with that of the leadership behaviour so that this study will give me an proposal in the direction of the encouragement of real life experience and the absorption of leadership theories it tells that working in group will fetches us to have a have a significant memorandum of our character and behaviour on a team and individual point of view as a follower ,as a leader or as a management executive .This task will also tells the appropriate issues of the following group and leadership theories and its characteristics in diverse aspects.

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1. Introduction:-

Instead of going openly into the topic i.e., reflecting my own behaviour in the group Situations and quoting examples of my experiences in team working in an organization or classroom activities ,what I felt is to tell something about organization ,organizational behaviour, Group and Group characteristics. Why I felt like this means in order to know about leadership, management, group processes, team working first I should know about organization after that I should know about organizational behaviour .After this only I will get a familiar opening to see the aspects like group, group characteristics, leadership and management because in my Opinion, Organization is a nucleus which generates all the above issues.

An Organization is a coordinated unit consisting of at least two people who function to achieve a common goal or set of goals. (GIBSON,1994).In my estimation, by looking into the organization at the people we can find out many new things like working styles, behaviours, management approach towards the their workers. Now I would like to talk on the importance of organizational behaviour.

2. Importance of Organizational Behaviour:-

Edward E.Lawler says that “Organizational Behaviour is a field of study that draws on theory, methods and principles from various disciplines to learn about individual perceptions, values, learning capacities while working in a group.”

In my view, Human performance influences efficiency of an organization. Psychology tells that each individual is poles apart. Each people have different cultural origins, matchless awareness, qualities, life experiences, mind-set, and life styles and objectives. Management should assume about that each and every employee as unique embodiment of all these behavioural and cultural factors to be effective. In an organization, each and every individual has to play a specific role. Some plays the role of a leader and some acts the role of a follower while some plays the role as a manager and this all depends upon their individual behaviour in an organization. Some individuals join together and form as a group and this group also have a powerful impact on individual behaviour and organizational performance. So, now I wish to talk about group, group characteristics, and individual behaviour in a group.

After conducting a proper investigation on the group processes and group behaviour, what I understood is that there is no specific universally accepted meaning for the word group. Different authors had different views on the definition of group.

A group is defined in psychological terms as any number of people who interact with each other, psychologically aware of each other, perceive themselves to be a group and purposefully interact towards the achievement particular goals or aims (SCHEIN, 1980, p.317).

After this, I planned to tell about how a group forms in an organization and the types of groups .In an organization groups are created as a consequence of model of organization structure and schedule for the partition of work. We cannot say that groups are formed only on the above basis .In my opinion, groups can also be formed in order to fulfil their need, to achieve certain goals, and to represent individual closeness. After the group has formed it will develop and this group development will occur in five stages, according to Tuckman Integrative Model and they are namely Forming, Storming, Forming, Performing and Adjourning.


This is the initial stage in the group development. In this stage, individuals, who formed as a group were interested in knowing others mannerism and conditions. All individuals will try to have own feeling on others. All members rely on some head to present them arrangement in forming of ground rules.


This is a inconsistency stage in group development. Individuals may refuse to agree to the have power over of other group members and may show unfriendliness. The important individual relations topic in this stage is the management of unfriendliness.


This is the consistency stage in the group development. In this stage, the individuals of the group tend to widen behaviour of functioning to develop nearer relationships with others in the group. Issues like how to do and what to do and who will do are arise and group working rules are developed.


In this stage the group is full efficiently structured and individuals in the group are anxious with getting on with the job and achieving objectives. In this stage, the group is fully established group.


This is the final stage in the group. After this the group may discontinue or continue and discontinuity may be because the task given to them was achieved or individuals leaving the group may also be the reason for discontinuity of the group.

After this, now I would like to discuss about types of groups in an organization. There are two types of groups namely formal groups and informal groups.

Formal groups are created by managerial decision to accomplish stated goals of organization and informal groups arise from individual efforts and develop around common interests and friendships rather than deliberate design. (MARVIN E. SHAW, 1981).

Again formal groups are sub-divided into two types namely command group and task group and Informal groups are again sub-divided into two types namely Interest groups and Friendship groups.

3. My Class-Room Activity:-

In this circumstance I would like to quote an example of my experience in working in a group in a classroom activity that was conducted in my university. On that day, my tutor had made all of us to form as a group. Each student was given a alphabet to him and the alphabets are from A to G so that all students with alphabet A together formed as group A and those with alphabet B clubbed together to form as group B and those students who are possessing alphabet C are joined to form as group C and those students who are having alphabet D are gathered to form as group D and those with alphabet E are joined together and formed as group E and those with alphabet F are clubbed together to form as group F and those who are having alphabet G are gathered to form as group G. So, on that day the class was formed into seven groups and the groups are named as group A, group B, group C, group D, group E, group F and group G.I was placed in group C on that day. All the groups received instructions from our tutor to do certain tasks as a team. We were given a package and in that package we had resources to do our task. There was a time limit for us to complete the task .Now I will tell u how we did that task on that day.

Actually each student is new to each other student in the group. Before my tutor told us to start the task, we had ten to fifteen minutes to discuss about the task .So, initially what we did is, in order to get a friendly environment in working as a group, each student was asked to introduce themselves to the group quickly .Later we studied the instructions and got a clear cut idea what to do. We openly discussed how to do and came to an idea to assign roles to each student in the group. So, every issue was discussed openly in the group. One student who is elder than all of us in our group innovatively told that he is interested in leading a team and undisputedly, he became the leader of the group. One student then told that he was interested in marketing and he will take the role of doing marketing i.e., to bargain resources from other teams if we are in scarce of any resources. Then one student had taken the role of tester and the other student had taken the role of task assigner and another student had taken the role of monitor and I am assigned a role as Evaluator. We are six students in a team. Our tutor was assigned a task to cut papers into certain measurements and different shapes and a layered shape .Our tutor provided all groups with some resources so that we should not use our own resources and utilize the provided resources only. We worked as a group and worked dedicatedly to achieve the task. As a result we managed to be the First group to finish the given task in a given time.

Now I would like to relate this experience with that of Belbin’s Team- Roles theory.

4. Analysis of Belbin’s Team- Roles Theory on My Experience in Classroom activity:-

Actually I didn’t know what Belbin’s Team-Roles Theory is about while we worked as a group to do that task assigned by my tutor. After reading several theories on group processes and behaviour, I had an opportunity to relate my class room activity with that of Belbin’s Team-Roles Theory.

Belbin’s Team-Roles Theory was developed by Meredith Belbin and his colleagues in the late 1970s. It was widely accepted theory for understanding the roles with in a group or a team. This theory states that in an organization, individuals are appointed normally on the source of their capability or experience. This theory tells that we see organizations rarely selecting individuals to perform additional task in a group.

David Buchanan (1991) cites the work of Meredith Belbin (1981) as “Personal characteristics of an individual fit them for some roles within a team while limiting the likelihood that they will be successful in other roles.”

The members in a team tend to acquire one or more roles comparatively and without fail. Individuality evaluation, team role survey identifies an individual preference. The evaluation, assortment, appointment and supervision of individual employees by organization are key tools for improving team effectiveness.

Meredith Belbin had listed nine roles in his self-perception theory as Plant, Resource Investigator, Co-ordinator, Shaper, Monitor-evaluator, Team worker, Implementer, Completer, Specialist. This is not mean that each team had to consist of nine people .A single member can double-up and play several roles, thereby enabling the overall size of the team. (DAVID BUCHANAN, 1991)

In my point of view, I compared my class room activity ,with that of Belbin Team Role Theory because we, In order to achieve the task on time, we assigned ourselves some specific roles so that leader in our team will do his role in observing and guiding us and tester can test the output whether it is appropriate or not and marketing executive will provide us resources by bargaining from other groups when we are in scarcity and monitor and task assigner will do the task of monitoring and assigning the tasks effectively so that every student in the group contributes his own preference role working and contributes for the achievement of the task on time .So my team did exactly the same and managed to be the first team to finish the task on time. While working in that group what I experienced is , since our group is an informal and task oriented group which have to complete the task on time, I felt some seriousness in doing my role correctly because it will be awkward if the team fail to achieve the task due to my negligence. So, I managed to work in that group by paying attention. What I experienced with other fellow members of the group is everyone managed to do their work by showing some interest and happiness towards it because the roles assigned was by ourselves on our interest only. So, we got fruitful success by finishing on time.

5. My Work Experience in 4c Solutions:-

After finishing my graduate course in the department of Information Technology, I am recruited by 4c solutions. I joined that company in the year 2009. I got training for 3 weeks and I had placed in a team of 7 members, among which I am the fresher with no experience and the remaining all are with more than 3 years of experience as technical Analysts .The first project we got after I joined that group was pervasive computing project and I am totally new to that concept. My project leader first he had taken tutorial for us and then he assigned our individual tasks .My project leader was 45 years old, with 20 years of experience and sound knowledge of the subject. His way of teaching was very difficult for me and two others members of my team to grasp the concept. At that moment, my age was only 23 years old and entirely new to the work environment. I cannot understand how to connect two computers by pervasive computing technology .For my project leader, this kind of issues are easy because he had a vast knowledge of subject and always he feels difficulty with me and the other three members in my group because we are unable to catch his fastness and we many times had late submission of our assigned tasks. Project Leader expects us to think us very uniquely like him and tells us to write some thousands of lines of code on our own. Since my project leader was very experienced, he is handling another couple of teams who are working on cloud computing and cluster computing so, he controls totally 3 teams and he maintained very less supervision with our team because he was the only one who monitors all the three teams which works on computing concepts. Moreover I had some inferiority complex to ask any questions regarding my task because he says that why I am asking such a small doubts. But I don’t understand why he cannot feel that doubt is very small to him not for me. Although we achieved how to connect two computers by using pervasive computing concepts, my group failed to submit the task of connecting more than 2 computers in a room by using pervasive concepts .So, as a result the client was upset and after our prior request, he had extended another week to submit the project and then we submitted our project to the client .So we failed as a tem to submit the project on time.

Now I would like to relate this experience in relation to that of Trait theory.

6. Analysis based on Trait Theory on my experience in 4c solutions:-

Trait theory attempts to identify specific characteristics like physical, mental, personality associated with leadership success. It relies on research that relates various traits to certain success criteria. (GIBSON, IVANCEVICH, DONNELLY, 1994).


Gibson (1994) cites the work of Ralph Stogdill as “Leaders were more intelligent than followers. One momentous judgment was that intense intelligence variation among leaders and followers might be unfunctional. A leader with an fairly high Intelligence trying to manipulate a group whose members have usual intelligence may be incapable to understand that why followers are not realizing the problem.


Some traits like attentiveness, innovation, confidence are connected with successful leadership. Gibson (1994) cited the work of Edwin Ghiselli as person who exhibit individuality were the most effective leaders.

Physical Characteristics:-

There are some organizations that deem that a physically big person is needed as a leader to safe compliance from his members of a team. But studies of the relationship between physical characteristics and leadership gave contradictory result. There are examples of leaders like Napoleon, Stalin, and Gandhi with small posture but also proved effective leadership.

Supervisory Ability:-

There is a optimistic association between supervisory ability and level in organizational ladder. Ghiselli stated that “Effective utilization of whatever supervisory practices are indicated by the particular requirements of the situation.”

In my point of view, I related my work experience in 4c solutions, with that of trait theory because actually my group had failed to submit the project to the client on time and that situation made us to request our client to prolong the submission for another week .why I choosed to relate this experience with that of Trait theory means I can tell that our group had failed to submit the project to the client on time duet o ineffectiveness of the project leader .Ineffectiveness means not that he had no concept my project leader had vast knowledge and is very intelligent and it made me and some of our group members to follow him and moreover he didn’t maintained a strict supervision our team because he handled three teams which are working on computing concepts. So I found my experience, similar to that of the rait theory and thus related my experience with that of traits of leadership. So, after working in that group seeing that failure what i experienced is Leader of the group should be effective and should be friendly with the group to answer doubts of group members and he should govern the group on regular basis.

In my point of view, my project leader, instead of doing like that if had done like that of Action – Centred Leadership then we had finished the task on time.

7. Action- Centred Leadership model:-

Action – Centred Leadership is a highly successful method of leadership , developed by John Adair in the year 1984.This theory tells that effective leadership must contain three sets of interconnected needs, which give rise to three functions and they are as follows:-

Task-related function:-

Leader should meet the needs of the group and by helping its group members, the leader should relay on task completion so that the group overcomes barriers of task completion.

Team -related function:-

The leader should meet up the needs of the group to hold together as a unified unit.

Individual Oriented functions:-

The leader should ensure whether individual needs are met or not. Leader should not only focus on the task highly but he should consider individual needs like if a group member needs assistance in one concept, the leader should be in a position to clarify his doubts.

DDEREK ROLLINSON.2008 Organizational Behaviour and Analysis,4th edition. London: Prentice hall gives us the diagrammatical representation of Action -Centred Leadership is represented as follows:-

So, in my group, If my Project leader if had done the above three tasks i.e.,task-related function, team-related function and individual oriented function, then we may achieved the task on time. My project leader ignored individually oriented function because he ignored fresher group members who are new to the work environment .If he had solved my doubts patiently instead of saying me that why I am asking some small doubts and governed the team by encouraging us to finish the task on time, we may achieved result on time .So, I related this Action centred leadership if had followed, my group and my project leader may achieved success.

After this I would like to tell about the qualities of an effective leader.

8. Who is a Efficient Leader:-

In general, a leader is a person who is in a higher position than others in a group .The main important management skill to be developed in each and every individual is Leadership quality. BELLA BANATHY, 2010.A manager who is leading a team should have qualities like giving information to his subordinates on their doubts, understanding their group needs, controlling the group, representing the group, planning and also motivating the group.

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9. Distinction between Leaders and managers:-

The word Leader and manager although has same meaning I don’t know why some authors makes difference of the roles that were performed by leaders and managers respectively. The difference between leaders and managers was stated by Abraham Zaleznik, a professor at Harvard business school as those leaders put up with confusion and lack of arrangement and is thus equipped to keep answers in suspense. Managers look for order and control and are in

a position to solve the problems even before they recognize their consequence.(Gibson,1994).

10. Conclusion:-

This assignment helped me to know about many group behaviour theories, leadership theories and Process theories and made me to realize the faults that I had done in past. So, I got a framework of the theories in my mind now and I came to know how to behave while working in a group .After studying leadership concepts, we taught that the most important skill that each and every individual should possess is Leadership quality and I got an idea of qualities to possess to become a effective leader .Finally I conclude that a leaderless group or an organization is like pie-in-the sky propaganda.


1. DEREK ROLLINSON.2008.Organizational behaviour and Analysis an Integrated approach .4th edition.England:Pearson.pp.317-326.

2. GIBSON,IVANCEVICH,DONNELLY.1994.Organizations:Behaviour,Structure,Processes.8th edition.America:Irwin.p.5.

3. MARVIN E.SHAW .1984.Group Dynamics.Newyork:McGeawhill.pg.310.

4. ANDRZEJ HUCKZYNSKI and DAVID BUCHANAN.2001.Organizational Behaviour.4th edition. England: Prentice Hall.p.297 .

5. BELLA BANATHY, 2010.Leadership skills. The Eleven skills of Leadership. [online Journal] http://www.whitestag.org/skills/index.html

6. J GEOFFREY RAWLINSON .1981.Creative Thinking and Brainstorming. England: Gower


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