In of each other whereas individuals in a team

In our organization, there is a clear chain of
command, which is “an unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of
the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to who”
(Robbins and Judge, 2017, p. 496). Unlike in other organizations where
dotted-line reporting relationships might be utilized, we apply the principle
of unity of command at the PTC. Each employee only has one direct supervisor
that he or she reports to. This eliminates any conflicting demands or
priorities that the employees might experience under the supervision of
multiple managers (Robbins and Judge, 2017, p. 496). This leadership framework
ensures that the decision-making process is centralized. However, it is for the
same reason that decisions are not made quickly because they must go through
many layers of the approval process.

Groups
and Teams

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The use of groups and teams is important to
achieve different goals and objectives in an organization. While the words
“group” and “team” might seem interchangeable, there are some differences
between them. A group is defined as “two or more individuals, interacting and
interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives
(Robbins & Judge, 2017, p. 277). Individuals in a group work independently
of each other whereas individuals in a team must collaborate together to
achieve a set goal or project. A work team is defined as “a group whose
individual efforts result in performance that is greater than the sum of the
individual inputs” (Robbins & Judge, 2017, p. 314). In my organization, we
have both groups and teams. We have a formal group called TEA, which stands for
Turnpike Employees Association. It is a voluntary group of Commission
employees. TEA is solely responsible for its activities which are completely
independent of the Commission. Anyone can join at any time. Then we also have
informal groups of employees that like to have lunch together. These employees
come together to meet the need for social contact.

When it comes to teams, we also have many
different types at the PTC. The one that I am most familiar with are
cross-functional teams. Cross-functional teams bring together individuals from
different work areas to accomplish a task (Robbins & Judge, 2017, p. 316).
I am currently part of a cross-functional team for a construction project that
is scheduled to break ground next year. My background is in accounting so I
bring my expertise in financial analysis to the team. I work with many
engineers and the conversations can get very technical at times but that is the
reason why this type of team works. Everyone comes with a different set of
skills and together, we join forces to achieve a goal that is greater than what
we can do on our own. A multi-team system is also being utilized in our
organization when roadway accidents occur. There is a high coordination of
response needed from different teams including, but not limited to, the Traffic
Operations Center, the Emergency Services team, the PA State Police (Troop T),
and the Safety Patrol team. Our mission is to provide a safe and reliable toll
road system for our customers so we do our best working with different teams to
clear the road as quickly as possible when an accident occurs.

In my opinion, as an organization, we are
effective at forming work teams to achieve a specific goal or project. However,
I do not see the same level of cohesiveness among departmental teams. My
observation in the eight short months that I have been at the PTC suggests that
some departments work in isolation and do not talk to other departments. There
is a lack of communication and coordination. As an example, it would be fairly
easy for an employee in one department to pick up the phone and call an
employee in another department to clarify and rectify an issue for a customer.
However, some employees operate with a mindset that it is not their job to do
so and push all issues to the Accounting Department if the issues remotely have
anything to do with numbers. It delays problem solving and causes a great deal
of dissatisfaction from the already not-so-happy customer. Working
collaboratively with other departments is an area that we are not good at in my
opinion. I believe that we can improve in this area with team-building
activities. It is only when we can work effectively with members within our own
department that we can begin to work effectively with members from other
departments.