What is the difference between a group and a team?

What is the difference between a group and a team ?

A group is a collective of mutually independent individuals with separate goals who are brought together by common interests and experience. Even though everyone shares information and resources with other group members, each member is responsible for their own work.

There are two types of groups:

  • formal group, created by the management to perform a particular task

  • informal group, formed naturally by employees for different reasons

A team is an interdependent group of individuals who share responsibility and are focused on a common goal. People in a team have a mutual understanding with other members. By working together, they tend to maximize each other’s strengths and minimize weaknesses. Unlike a group, where each member is expected to contribute separately, the most important characteristic of a team is synergy: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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In a group, there’s a clear lack of synergy. All group members work towards individual goals. Their performance is merely the summation of each group member’s individual contribution.

In a team though, there’s shared efforts and joint responsibility. All team members unify human and non human resources in working towards attainment of organizational goals.