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The difference between team and group dynamics


Although team dynamics are very similar to group dynamics, and the terms are often used interchangeably, there is an essential difference.

Groups are a social community, consisting of two or more people who have something in common.

A team is a special instance of a group in which the commonality is a shared goal.  This fact, itself, creates a dynamic between team members because they are dependent on each other for success.  For example, a sports team wins or loses as a whole.

The word “team” is sometimes used, incorrectly, to refer to a group.  For example, many sales “teams” are groups - because the sales people are incentivised individually.  A sales person wins commission based on his/her own sales, and is not affected by the performance of other sales people.

psychological models of team dynamics

© 2013 S. P. Myers

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