An intelligent lone wolf’s endorsement on TEAMWORK via dialectical thinking 通過辯證思維,一個聰明的獨行俠 對團隊合作的支持

For a part-time lecturer with a self-image of a lone wolf, it is quite a tranquil and isolated life to me recently. The only minor issue: I have been thinking hard of how to reduce usage of toilet paper in a convenient way. Thus, when the university asked me to write an article on teamwork, I came up with this article title: “An intelligent lone wolf’s endorsement on teamwork”. Conducting this intellectual exercise inevitably invokes my dialectical thinking. This thinking follows three stages: Thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
對於一個習慣獨來獨往的兼職講師,近來都過著頗為寧靜而孤癖的生活。唯一的小問題就是:我一直在認真思考如何方便地減少使用廁紙。因此,當大學邀請我寫一篇關於團隊合作的文章時,我想到了這篇文章的標題:「一個聰明的獨行俠對團隊合作的支持」。要進行這種智力練習無可避免地會引發我的辯證思維,這種思想分為三個階段:論點、對立和綜合。

To begin with, teamwork is generally considered as the commitment of a group of people (i.e., a team) to work together in order to achieve a common challenging team purpose. Teamwork is not required to a group, which is simply a collection of people who interact with each other such that one person’s actions have an impact on the others.
首先,團隊合作通常被認為是一群人(例如:一個團隊)承諾共同努力,實現一個具挑戰性的團隊目標。團隊合作並非需要一群人,而是一群人的互相交流,一個人的行動影響其他人。

With regards to the management field, I understand why managers are interested in teamwork as a management technology: Organizations comprise groups and teams, which managers need to manage well. Besides, there are business trends that foster managerial interest in teamwork, e.g.
對於管理領域,我理解為什麼經理們視團隊合作為一種管理技術而感興趣:機構由小組和團隊組成,這些都需要經理人們妥善地管理。此外,商業趨勢都激發管理層對團隊合作的興趣,例如:

  1. need for organizational restructuring to cope with increased competition,
    需要進行架構重組,以應對日益激烈的競爭,
  2. need for better talent utilization, and
    需要更善用人才,以及
  3. need for more flexibility and responsiveness to come up with changes of all kinds, etc.
    需要更具彈性和反應性去應對各種改變等。

This kind of favourable view constitutes the thesis position of dialectical thinking on teamwork.
這種有利觀點便成為團隊合作在辯證思維中的論點。

For a self-proclaimed intelligent lone wolf, I also hold a negative view on teamwork. Such antithesis view is based on the following ideas:
作為一個自稱聰明的獨行俠,我也對團隊合作持負面看法。這種對立觀點是基於以下想法:

  • Idea 1: I am not a sociable person, and have a low level of affiliation needs.
    想法1:我不是一個善於交際的人,而且我只需要很低程度的聯繫。
  • Idea 2: As an intellectual with critical thinking, I suspect that teamwork is being used as a coercive tool to force people to comply with illegitimate aims.
    想法2:作為一個有批判性思維的知識分子,我懷疑團隊合作是強迫人們遵從不合理目標的強制性工具。
  • Idea 3: I am highly concerned that, more often than not, some team members are pig-like (a Cantonese English for stupid people).
    想法3:我非常擔心有些團隊成員是像豬一樣的隊友。
  • Idea 4: Teamwork hampers my personal life experience of liberation as a lone wolf.
    想法4:作為一個獨行俠,團隊合作阻礙我解放我個人的人生經驗。
  • Idea 5: Teamwork is not much required for certain professions, e.g. golf players. Again, as an academic, I do not write academic papers with other people as co-authors.
    想法5:對於某些專業,例如高爾夫選手,並不需要太多團隊合作。同樣,作為一名學者,我不與其他人合作撰寫學術論文。
  • Idea 6: Teamwork, by stressing common purpose, very often promotes a functionalist (thus conservative) sociological view, while, an intelligent lone wolf is fully aware of a more pluralist and coercive view on society.
    想法6:為達成共同目標,團隊合作通常會提倡功能主義(因此是保守主義)的社會學觀點,而聰明的獨行俠則充分意識到社會上更多元化和強制性的觀點。

In the setting of education, the conflict between the thesis and antithesis positions is often at work: Universities set group assignments so that students are able to gain useful teamwork experience (which many students do). At the same time, some students do not enjoy group assignments and have bad experience to work with uncommitted teammates.
在教育的設定下,論點和對立在實踐時往往出現衝突:大學設置小組任務,讓學生獲得有用的團隊合作經驗(很多學生都會做)。同時,有些學生不喜歡小組任務,與不合作的隊友會發生不愉快的工作經驗。隊精神。畢竟,領導團隊並不是一次性的工作。必需創建並延續良好的團隊文化,讓團隊能在未來的挑戰中,變得更加無懈可擊。

Using dialectical thinking, I now try to offer a way to synthesize the thesis and antithesis views on teamwork. The synthesis view is based on two ideas:
利用辯證思維,我現在嘗試提供一種方法來綜合關於團隊合作的論點和對立觀點。綜合觀點是基於兩個想法:

  • Idea 1: The contingency idea: Whether teamwork is effective or not depends on the application situation. The three main application situational factors are:
    想法1:權變管理想法:團隊合作有效與否取決於應用情況。三種主要應用情況的因素有:i) context (adequate resources, leadership and structure, climate of trust, performance evaluation),
    景況(足夠的資源、領導力和結構、信任的氛圍、效能評估),ii) composition (abilities of members, personality, allocating roles, diversity, team size,
    member flexibility and preferences) and
    組成(各成員的能力、個性、崗位分配、多樣性、團隊規模、成員靈活性和偏好)和iii) process (common purpose, specific goals, team efficacy, conflict levels, and social loafing. If these factors are unfavourable to teamwork effectiveness, then teamwork is an unattractive organizational practice.
    過程(共同目的、特定目標、團隊效能、衝突程度和社交態度),如果這些因素不利於團隊效率,那麼團隊合作就是一個沒有吸引力的組織練習。
  • Idea 2: The critical idea: the perceived application situation (re: idea 1) is itself a social construct. Thus it is important to maintain high critical awareness in the social construction of such teamwork application situation.
    想法2:批判性思考:感知的應用情況(參考:想法1)本身就是一種社會構建。因此
    ,在社會構建中這種團隊合作的應用情況,保持高度的批判意識是十分重要。

The synthesis view, in this respect, represents this intelligent lone wolf’s endorsement of teamwork. More importantly, it makes clear that, an intelligent lone wolf can be a valuable teammate, especially in his/her analytical contribution, on team performance when the team environment is right.
就這些綜合觀點,代表了這聰明的獨行俠對團隊合作的認可。更重要的是,可確證一個聰明的獨行俠可以成為有價值的隊友,尤其是他/她的分析能力,在合適的團隊環境中,能為團隊效能上作出貢獻。

 

Author’s Profile 作者簡介
Dr. Joseph Ho
is currently a lecturer at University of Sunderland in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Industrial Engineering, Hong Kong University and a MA Management Systems from the University of Hull, U.K. He has ongoing research interest and publications in the areas of Systems Thinking in Management, Management Accounting, Business Management, Research Methods, and Management Learning. Also, he has over 12 years’ of industry experience in the Information Systems, Accounting and Logistics functions.
現職新特蘭大學香港分校講師。持香港大學工業工程博士及英國赫爾大學管理系統碩士。現時的研究及出版範疇包括管理的系統思維、管理會計、商業管理、研究方法及管理學習。於資訊系統、會計及物流界更擁有超過十二年的行業經驗。

 

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