Specialisation: Roy Throne

Diverse Team Management

Abstract

ATD Systems, Inc., a Kingston, New York video game developer, recently hired Roy Throne as team leader. This essay analyzes the challenges of managing a diverse team with different backgrounds and personalities. The piece highlights the team’s diverse backgrounds and Throne’s possible challenges. The paper also suggests creating a team culture that promotes productivity and inclusivity by recognizing and using each team member’s talents to achieve goals. The essay lists major and minor issues, including the team leader’s inexperience managing a diverse team, the manager’s discriminatory behavior and inappropriate comments, and some team members’ problems that could impact their work performance or cause conflicts. The essay notes that these issues may affect the team’s psychosocial and technical dynamics, lowering output and performance. Leaders must recognize and overcome their biases and assumptions to build team trust and respect.

Situation

The case study portrays Roy Throne, the recently appointed team leader at ATD Systems, Inc., a video game development enterprise in Kingston, New York. Tim Richardson, the manager of Throne, acquaints him with the team members who are engaged in developing a game centered on political machinations and warfare during the medieval era. The team comprises a diverse group of individuals with varying backgrounds and characteristics. Donna, a proficient and attractive woman, possesses technical skills and enjoys listening to music. Bob, who has tattoos and a Mohawk haircut, lacks a college education and spends much of his free time playing computer games. Amir, a reserved and skilled programmer, wears a turban and is in the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship, hailing from India, Pakistan, or Iran. Omari, an African-American, is reflective and responsible for documenting bug reports. Kyoko, a meticulous woman from Japan, excels in software quality.

Gina, a single mother of two, frequently leaves work to pick up her children from school. Jack, a seasoned developer with the company since its inception, is a voice of historical knowledge. Maria, a Mexican woman who uses a wheelchair, has experienced a drive-by shooting. Joan, a divorced woman, distrusts men and has a teenage son who struggles with drug addiction. Finally, Ken, a minister, actively seeks to convert others and has served in the military. The case study illustrates the heterogeneous backgrounds of the team members and the potential difficulties that the newly appointed team leader may encounter due to these differences. The team leader’s superior, Tim, appears to hold preconceived biases toward certain team members based on race, ethnicity, and physical appearance.

Furthermore, Tim appears to possess insufficient comprehension regarding certain team members’ situations, such as Joan’s challenges in coping with her offspring’s substance abuse. The central argument of this case study posits that effectively managing a team of individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can present difficulties. However, it is crucial to establish a team culture that fosters productivity and inclusivity by recognizing and utilizing the unique strengths of each team member to attain shared objectives (Duchek et al., 2020; Hao & Han, 2022). Identifying and comprehending the distinctions among team members is a crucial aspect. However, it is equally imperative to concentrate on their common goals and concerns to cultivate cooperation and harmonious interaction within the team (Budur, 2020; Roberson & Perry, 2022). Leaders must acknowledge their biases and assumptions and take necessary measures to overcome them to establish trust and respect among their team members. Through this approach, leaders can develop a conducive setting wherein all individuals are esteemed, regarded, and inspired to make meaningful contributions towards the collective triumph of the team.

Problems

Major Problems

Major Problem 1

The team leader, Roy Throne, must gain experience managing a diverse team with different backgrounds and personalities.

Major Problem 2

The team’s manager, Tim Richardson, is biased and has made inappropriate comments about the team members’ diversity, which could lead to a toxic work environment.

Minor Problems

Minor Problem 1

The team’s composition is imbalanced, with some team members selected based on gender or race rather than their qualifications.

Minor Problem 2

Some team members have personal issues that could affect their work performance or create conflicts.

Causes

Causes for the Major Problems

Causes for Major Problem 1

Due to his limited exposure and previous background, Roy Throne must gain experience managing a diverse team with different backgrounds and personalities. He just graduated from a major university in New York City and may have yet to have the chance to lead diverse teams.

Causes for Major Problem 2

Tim Richardson’s bias and inappropriate comments about the team members’ diversity could lead to a toxic work environment. This could be due to his beliefs, the need for more awareness, or inadequate training on diversity and inclusion.

Causes for the Minor Problems

Causes for Minor Problem 1

Some team members were selected based on their gender or race rather than their qualifications, leading to an imbalanced team composition. This could be due to management’s focus on meeting diversity quotas rather than selecting the most qualified individuals.

Causes for Minor Problem 2

Some team members have personal issues that could affect their work performance or create conflicts, such as Joan’s trust issues or Gina’s frequent absences due to her children’s sickness. These issues could be due to factors outside of work, such as personal problems or family responsibilities.

Systems Affected

Structural Issues

The team’s composition is imbalanced, with some team members selected based on gender or race rather than their qualifications. This affects the Structural system as the team’s structure is not based on merit, qualification, or expertise. Generally speaking, a company’s structure is critical in determining its success. The number of managerial tiers and the communication patterns between departments are governed by organizational structure. Lackluster communication and bloated administration are two issues arising from the poor organizational structure. Inadequate organizational structure hinders the development of collaborative efforts among team members. Interdepartmental collaboration may be hampered by reluctance or incapacity, and intra-departmental solidarity may be lacking among personnel. Workers can prioritize their tasks and only provide aid to their colleagues if instructed to do so by a superior.

Psychosocial Issues

The team leader, Roy Throne, must gain experience managing a diverse team with different backgrounds and personalities. The major problem of the team leader’s lack of experience in managing a diverse team with different backgrounds and personalities affects the psychosocial dynamics of the team, as he may need help understanding or managing conflicts arising from differences in personalities and backgrounds. The team manager’s inappropriate comments about the team members’ diversity, which could lead to a toxic work environment, also affect the psychosocial dynamics of the team, as it creates a hostile work environment for team members (Kamales & Knorr, 2019). It is crucial to differentiate between psychosocial hazards, such as an overwhelming workload, and work circumstances that, while stimulating and occasionally demanding, offer a supportive work atmosphere where employees are adequately trained and motivated to perform to the best of their abilities when assessing job requirements. An optimal psychosocial milieu fosters positive outcomes regarding individual growth, work productivity, and employees’ overall health and wellness.

Technical Issues

The major technical issue that the company can face includes but is not limited to; writing software, bug reports, and fixing bugs. The issues mentioned earlier can be caused by; the imbalanced team composition, insufficient women, and lack of knowledge of certain team members. Generally speaking, to maintain competitiveness within the global economy, businesses must adjust to a constantly evolving environment to cater effectively to the demands of their clientele. Maintaining competitiveness necessitates ongoing organizational evolution and implementation of process and technological modifications to achieve a competitive advantage over rivals. Organizations must develop proficiency in assimilating novel technology and effectively addressing the obstacles accompanying such changes. Organizational alterations of this kind have the potential to yield substantial advantages, yet they may also pose several obstacles that require effective management to achieve a favorable result. Challenges may arise when organizations endeavor to implement technology without adequate management and training for their personnel.

Managerial Issues

The major problem of the team leader’s lack of experience in managing a diverse team with different backgrounds and personalities affects the organizational dynamics of the team, as he may need to be able to lead the team effectively, resulting in lower productivity and performance. The team manager’s inappropriate comments about the team members’ diversity, which could lead to a toxic work environment, also affect the organizational dynamics of the team, as it creates an unprofessional and hostile work environment.

In certain instances, personnel may experience a decline in their collaborative efforts as a result of dedicating a significant amount of time to accomplishing tasks independently. To reinstate effective collaboration, managers should revisit the fundamental objectives of a given project. It is a common phenomenon that managers who invest their time in recognizing their team’s contributions and providing a clear understanding of the objectives of their work tend to witness a rise in the motivation levels of their team members. It may be beneficial to allocate team members into pairs to facilitate collaboration on a designated project. Incorporating team-building exercises is a practical approach to fostering improved collaboration and cooperation among team members. The activities should be tailored to address the specific challenges encountered by your team. If individuals require further acquaintance with one another, it is recommended to prioritize the establishment and cultivation of interpersonal connections. In summary, managers responsible for supervising teams often encounter various obstacles to productivity and communication. Identifying and effectively tackling these obstacles can enhance a manager’s self-assurance and aptitude in guiding a group.

Goals and Objectives

The team composition being imbalanced, with some team members selected based on their gender or race rather than their qualifications, could potentially affect the achievement of the organization’s goals and objectives, as it may lead to lower productivity and performance in developing video games, meeting deadlines, and completing projects. Goals fulfill various functions: Establishing goals provides guidance and direction to all stakeholders, indicating the organization’s intended path. Individuals who coordinate planning and actions can comprehend the significance of individual objectives in achieving the company’s overall mission from a holistic perspective. Employee motivation can be enhanced by providing them with a clear understanding of the underlying purpose of their actions. Moreover, objectives can be associated with particular incentives for achievement. The establishment of goals enables organizations to monitor and regulate their processes effectively. This, in turn, facilitates process control and aids in measuring progress. Moreover, managers can assess the efficacy of employees in achieving objectives.

Alternatives

ATD Systems, Inc. needs help managing its diverse team. The team leader Roy Throne needs to gain experience working in a group with diverse backgrounds and personalities. In contrast, the team manager Tim Richardson is biased and has made inappropriate comments about the team’s diversity, leading to a toxic work environment. The team’s composition could be more balanced, and some members have personal issues that can affect their work performance or create conflicts. This part of the essay will explore alternative solutions to address these problems.

First Alternative

The first alternative solution is hiring a consultant specializing in managing diverse teams. The consultant can train Roy Throne and other team members to understand and appreciate each other’s backgrounds and cultures. They can also teach them how to resolve conflicts that arise from these differences (Liu et al., 2021). This solution can help the team leader gain more experience in managing a diverse team and improve the overall psychosocial dynamics of the group.

Second Alternative

Another solution is to provide diversity and inclusion training to all team members. This training can help team members understand each other’s backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. It can also help them to communicate effectively and respectfully with each other. This solution can help address the team manager’s inappropriate comments about the team’s diversity, leading to a toxic work environment (Budur, 2020). This solution helps to balance the team’s composition and helps to resolve conflicts that arise due to personal issues.

Third Alternative

A third alternative solution is to create a committee or team within the organization that focuses on diversity and inclusion. This committee or group can develop policies and procedures that promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They can also monitor the team’s composition and ensure that team members are selected based on their qualifications rather than their gender or race. This solution can help to address the structural issue of the team’s composition and can also help to prevent biases and inappropriate comments in the workplace.

Fourth Alternative

The fourth alternative solution is to do nothing. Sometimes problems go away independently, which may be the case in this situation. However, this solution is not recommended as it may negatively impact the team’s performance, leading to decreased productivity and an inability to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

Fifth Alternative

The fifth alternative solution is to offer flexible working hours or remote work options to team members with personal issues that affect their work performance or create conflicts within the team. This solution can help team members balance their work and personal lives, leading to better job satisfaction and performance.

Sixth Alternative

The sixth and final alternative solution is to hire a new team leader with experience managing a diverse team. This solution can help address the team leader’s need for experience working with a diverse group with different backgrounds and personalities (Liu et al., 2021). The new team leader can provide guidance and leadership to the team and can improve the team’s organizational dynamics.

In conclusion, ATD Systems, Inc. can address its problems by managing a diverse team through several alternative solutions. These include hiring a consultant, providing diversity and inclusion training, creating a committee or group, doing nothing, offering flexible working hours or remote work options, and hiring a new team leader. It is essential to address these problems promptly to ensure the team’s productivity and to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives.

Solution

Solution Selected

The solution selected is the second alternative – to provide diversity and inclusion training to all team members.

Justification for the Solution Selected

Providing diversity and inclusion training to all team members can help the team leader and other team members understand each other’s backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. It can also help them communicate effectively and respectfully with each other. This solution can address the team manager’s inappropriate comments about the team’s diversity, leading to a toxic work environment. Moreover, diversity and inclusion training can help balance the team’s composition and resolve conflicts arising from personal issues.

The other alternatives also have their merits, but providing diversity and inclusion training to all team members is the most effective solution to benefit the team in the long run. Hiring a consultant to manage diverse groups or create a committee within the organization may also be helpful (Budur, 2020). Still, these solutions can be more costly and take more time to implement. Offering flexible working hours or remote work options may benefit individual team members but may not address the team’s lack of diversity and inclusion. Hiring a new team leader with experience managing a diverse team may also be helpful. Still, it may not be necessary if the current team leader can improve their leadership skills with diversity and inclusion training. Doing nothing is not recommended as it may negatively impact the team’s performance, leading to decreased productivity and an inability to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

Ramifications

Electing the solution of providing diversity and inclusion training to all team members can have both positive and negative ramifications. Positive ramifications may include but are not limited to improved understanding and awareness of diversity and inclusion among team members: Greater respect and empathy towards colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Improved communication and collaboration among team members: Reduced workplace discrimination and bias incidents: Increased employee satisfaction and retention.

Nonetheless, it is imperative to acknowledge the possible adverse consequences that require contemplation, such as the likelihood of encountering opposition from certain team members towards the training. This could result in reduced levels of engagement and participation. The efficacy of training is constrained in the absence of proper design and efficient delivery (Liu et al., 2021). The training may be perceived as a simple measure aimed at fulfilling a requirement rather than a sincere attempt to enhance diversity and inclusivity (Budur, 2020). If the training is not carefully designed and delivered, there is a risk that it may perpetuate stereotypes or biases.

Notably, offering diversity and inclusion training may only effectively resolve some fundamental concerns within the team or the organization. It is imperative to adopt a comprehensive approach that entails tackling policies and procedures that sustain disparities and fostering diversity and inclusivity across all echelons of the institution. In brief, implementing diversity and inclusion training for all team members can yield favorable outcomes for both the team and the organization. However, it is crucial to meticulously evaluate any possible adverse consequences and adopt a comprehensive strategy to tackle concerns about diversity and inclusion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the case study of Roy Throne and the ATD Systems team highlights the challenges of managing a diverse group with varying backgrounds and personalities. The team’s composition is imbalanced, with some members selected based on gender or race rather than their qualifications. The lack of experience of the team leader, Roy Throne, in managing a diverse team can lead to conflicts arising from differences in personalities and backgrounds. The team manager, Tim Richardson, ‘s inappropriate comments about the team members’ diversity could create a toxic work environment. Moreover, certain team members possess personal concerns that may impede their productivity or give rise to interpersonal discord. To surmount these obstacles, it is imperative to cultivate a team culture that promotes inclusiveness by acknowledging and leveraging the distinct capabilities of each team member to achieve common goals (Budur, 2020; Kania et al., 2022). Leaders must recognize their inherent biases and assumptions and undertake appropriate actions to surmount them to foster trust and admiration within their team. This approach will develop a conducive setting wherein all individuals are esteemed, regarded, and inspired to make meaningful contributions towards the collective triumph of the group. Addressing these issues will help the team work cohesively and effectively, improving productivity and performance.

References

Budur, T. (2020). Effectiveness of transformational leadership among different cultures. International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies7(3), 119-129. http://eprints.tiu.edu.iq/390/

Duchek, S., Raetze, S., & Scheuch, I. (2020). The role of diversity in organizational resilience: a theoretical framework. Business research13(2), 387-423. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40685-019-0084-8

Liu, Z., Venkatesh, S., Murphy, S. E., & Riggio, R. E. (2021). Leader development across the lifespan: A dynamic experiences-grounded approach. The Leadership Quarterly32(5), 101382. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1048984320300096

Kamales, N., & Knorr, H. (2019). Leaders with managing cultural diversity and communication. Asia Pacific Journal of Religions and Cultures3(1), 63-72. https://so06.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ajrc/article/view/242052

Roberson, Q., & Perry, J. L. (2022). Inclusive leadership in thought and action: A thematic analysis. Group & Organization Management47(4), 755-778. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/10596011211013161

Kania, J., Williams, J., Schmitz, P., Brady, S., Kramer, M., & Juster, J. S. (2022). Centering equity in collective impact. Stanford social innovation review20(1), 38-45. https://ncimpact.sog.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1111/2022/02/Centering-Equity-Collective-Impact-Winter-2022.pdf

Hao, S., & Han, P. (2022). The moderating roles of trust and felt trust on the relationship between proactive personality and voice behavior. Management Decision, (ahead-of-print). https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/MD-04-2021-0444/full/html