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Impact of ILO on Labor Laws in India

by apurv_karmakar

The ILO (International Labor Organization) was set up in the year 1919, with an aim to improve
the conditions of labors around the world.India was the founding member of ILO, which has now
expanded its membership to 145 nations. ILO through its conventions and recommendations
helps nations to draw their own set of labor laws for the better treatment of the working class,
and the preservation of their rights. The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up the
International Labor Standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations. Conventions
are international treaties and are instruments, which create legally binding obligations on the
countries that ratify them. Recommendations are non-binding and set out guidelines orienting
national policies and actions.
Labor Law regulates matters, such as, labor employment, remunerations, and conditions of work,
trade unions, and labor management relations. They also include social laws regulating such
aspects as compensation for accident caused to a worker at work, fixation of minimum wages,
maternity benefits, sharing of the companys profit by the workers, and so on. Most of these legal
instruments regulate rights and responsibilities of the working people.
The approach of India with regard to International Labor Standards has always been positive.
The ILO instruments have provided guidelines and useful framework for the evolution of
legislative and administrative measures for the protection and advancement of the interest of
labor. To that extent the influence of ILO Conventions as a standard for reference for labor
legislation and practices in India, rather than as a legally binding norm, has been significant.
Ratification of a Convention imposes legally binding obligations on the country concerned and,
therefore, India has been careful in ratifying Conventions. It has always been the practice in
India that we ratify a Convention when we are fully satisfied that our laws and practices are in
conformity with the relevant ILO Convention. It is now considered that a better course of action
is to proceed with progressive implementation of the standards, leave the formal ratification for
consideration at a later stage when it becomes practicable. We have so far rat
ified 39 Conventions of the ILO, which is much better than the position obtaining in many other
countries. Even where for special reasons, India may not be in a position to ratify a Convention,
India has generally voted in favor of the Conventions reserving its position as far as its future
ratification is concerned.
Core Conventions of the ILO: The eight Core Conventions of the ILO (also called
fundamental/human rights conventions) are:
Forced Labor Convention (No. 29)
Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (No.105)
Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)

Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)

(The above four have been ratified by India).
Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organized Convention (No.87)
Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention (No.98)
Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
Worst forms of Child Labor Convention (No.182)
(These four are yet to be ratified by India)
Consequent to the World Summit for Social Development in 1995, the above-mentioned
Conventions (Sl.No.1 to 7) were categorized as the Fundamental Human Rights Conventions or
Core Conventions by the ILO. Later on, Convention No.182 (Sl.No.8) was added to the list.
As per the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up, each
Member State of the ILO is expected to give effect to the principles contained in the Core
Conventions of the ILO, irrespective of whether or not the Core Conventions have been ratified
by them.
Under the reporting procedure of the ILO, detailed reports are due from the member States that
have ratified the priority Conventions and the Core Conventions every two years. Under the
Follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, a report is to
be made by each Member State every year on those Core Conventions that it has not yet ratified.
Active partnership policy & multi-disciplinary team
One of the major reforms initiated recently is the launching of the Active Partnership Policy
whose aim is to bring ILO closer to its constituents. The main instrument for implementation of
the policy is the multi-disciplinary team, which will help identify special areas of concern and
provide technical advisory services to member States to translate ILOs core mandate into action.
The multi-disciplinary team for South-Asia is based in New Delhi. It consists of specialists on
employment, industrial relations, workers and employers activity, small-scale enterprises and
International Labor Standards.
Child Labor Legislations
ILOs interest in child labor, young persons and their problems is well known. It has adopted a
number of Conventions and Recommendations in this regard. In India, within a framework of the
Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulations) Act, 1986 and through the National Policy on Child
Labor, ILO has funded the preparation of certain local and industry specific projects. In two
projects, viz. Child Labor Action and Support Programmes (CLASP) and International
Programme on Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), the ILO is playing a vital role.

The implementation of IPEC programmes in India has certainly created a very positive impact
towards understanding the problem of child labor and in highlighting the need to elimination
child labor as expeditiously as possible. A major contribution of the IPEC programme in India is
that it has generated a critical consciousness among all the 3 social partners for taking corrective
measures to eliminate child labor.
The effect of ILO on Labor legislation in India
With the growth and expansion of factories and industries in the subcontinent beginning in the
mid-nineteenth century, new avenues for employment were created, resulting in a gradual
migration of the labor force from rural areas to mills and factories located primarily in urban
areas. At that time, in the absence of any state control or organization of the workers, the
employers were less concerned about the needs of their employees; the work hours were too
long, wages much below the subsistence level, and the workers employment conditions were
unsatisfactory. The situation led to the enactment of a number of legislations beginning from the
year 1881. These include, inter alia, the Factories Act (1881), Workmens Compensation Act
(1923), Trade Unions Act (1926), Trade Disputes Act (1929), Payment of Wages Act (1936),
Maternity Benefit Act (1939), and the Employment of Children Act
The Factories Act 1881 is the basis of all labor and industrial laws of the country. It contained
provisions even for hours of work of women and workers including that of minimum age for
employment of children. After the International Labor Organization (ILO) was formed in 1919,
this Act was amended and thereafter repealed, resulting in the promulgation of the Factories Act
1934. It makes provision for safety, health and hygiene of the workers and special provision for
women and juvenile workers. It also prohibits child labor. It limits work of a child in factories,
including the seasonal ones.
Under the Mines Act 1923 which applies to workers employed in mines, the hours of work for
persons employed on surface are limited to ten per day and fifty four per week. The periods of
work including rest interval shall not spread over more than 12 hours in any day. For workers
employed underground, the daily limit is nine hours per day. The Act does not contain provisions
as to overtime work. No worker is to work in a mine for more than six days a week. The Act does
not provide for wages for the weekly rest day.
The government of India set up an enquiry committee in 1926 to ascertain the loophole for
irregularity of payment of wages to industrial workers. The Royal Commission on Labor
appointed in 1929 considered the reports and suggestions of the aforesaid enquiry committee and
recommended for enactment for prevention of maladies relating to payment of wages resulting in
the promulgation of the Payment of Wages Act in 1936. It aimed, firstly, at disbursement of
actual distributable wages to workers within the prescribed period and, secondly, to ensure that
the employees get their full wages without any deduction. The Act was passed to regulate the
payment of wages to certain classes of persons employed in industry. The object of the Act
obviously was to provide a cheap and speedy remedy for employees to whom the Act applied
inter alia, to recover wages due to them, and for that purpose, a special tribunal was subsequently
created, but due to some inherent defects in the statute the recovery of decree able wages rema
ined difficult.

The Weekly Holidays Act of 1942 prescribes one paid holiday a week for persons employed in
any shop, restaurant or theatre (excepting those employed in a confidential capacity or in a
position of management). The government is empowered to grant additional half-day holiday
with pay in a week
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 came into being on the 1st day of April 1947. The Act
provided for establishment of industrial tribunals by the appropriate government in British India.
It established a full-fledged industrial tribunal for adjudication of industrial disputes for the first
The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 came into operation for the first time
requiring employers in industrial establishments employing 100 or more workmen to define the
terms of employment of workmen in the form of standing orders which should be in general
conformity with the model standing orders incorporated in the Act. The Merchant Shipping Act,
1923 provided for an agreement between a seaman and the master of the ship regarding terms of
Labor class is indeed one of the classes most vulnerable to exploitation if not the most. Most of
the labor legislations in India are pre constitutional. The concept of Fundamental Rights was
introduced the Constitution. Although most of the pre constitutional legislations have been
repealed or curtailed following the Doctrine of Eclipse and Doctrine of Severability, not a lot of
changes have had to be made to the labor laws that were well passed before the Constitution. The
success of these labor legislations must be attributed to the ILO, as the guidelines issued by the
ILO were formed the principles on which these legislations were drawn. By observing the
passage of Labor Legislations in India, through the various amendments and enactments, it is
evident that the ILO did have a great impact on the Labor Laws in India. Many new laws were
enacted to incorporate the guidelines of the conventions of the ILO that were ratified by India.
The setting up of ILO also saw the amendment of Factories Act, 1881. Al
l these amended and enacted legislations make provisions for the general welfare and protection
of interest of the labors in India. The positive influence of ILO is seen in form of recognition of
many new kinds of rights that were erstwhile not available to the labor class, but were made
available post the creation of ILO.

This prcis provides an extended summary of the Notes on Training Needs Assessment
methodology extracted from:
Riise J. Christian and Dirk Reyntjens.1998. Report on Training Needs of Research staff at the
National Fisheries Institutes in Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Results of missions to Libya,
Morocco and Tunisia in October/November 1998.
Keywords: marine fisheries/ research staff/ training needs

Why needs assessment

It is becoming widely recognised that the outputs of informal and formal training activities will
be enhanced by assessing the needs and the level of skills and knowledge of potential
participants before implementing the training. By knowing the overall objectives of an
organisation or an institute and the profiles, jobs and daily tasks of each staff, it becomes
possible to tailor training activities to the needs of an organisation or institute as well as to the
personal needs of the staff members. Furthermore, it becomes easier for the organisation or
external funding agencies to identify who should, and who should not participate in specific
courses or workshops. The immediate gains are motivated participants and a higher satisfaction
of their immediate needs. The long-term gains are longer-lasting effects of training, when needs
have been addressed at the right time in the right way.
Expected outputs from needs assessment missions

a description of the objectives and activities undertaken by the marine resource

division(s) at each institute.

a brief description of the environment in which the institute is presently operating.

the job descriptions and present tasks all professional staff involved in marine resource
assessment and related activities.

a profile and analysis of the performance of each member of staff involved in marine
resource assessment and related activities.

recommendations for informal and formal training to be undertaken by research staff.

recommendations on immediate follow-up activities to be organised by COPEMED, e.g.

consultant support, workshops and training courses in the region.

A series of methods are available and commonly used in a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) for
the gathering and subsequent analysis of information related to the job functions and tasks
performed by staff potentially in need of training. To avoid a skewed picture of the actual needs
the same kind of information will often be sampled by slightly different means, e.g.:

analysing answers to personal questionnaires.

interviewing key persons.

conducting focused workshops with staff in charge of resource assessment at each


reviewing recent key publications.

observations of working practices and working conditions in each institute.

Questionnaires should be forwarded by E-mail to the institutes at least two-three weeks before
the visits by consultants. The questionnaires should consist of three separate questionnaires to be
completed by potential training candidates (= respondents):
Q1. A profile of potential training candidates (personal history form).
Q2. A description of job functions and tasks performed by potential training candidates.
Q3. An assessment of the training needs, skills and knowledge, as identified by potential training
The Training Needs Assessment should only cover staff involved with marine resource
assessment and related activities at the national fisheries research institutes, and therefore should
be handed to selected staff only. The questionnaires are designed to provide basic personal
information as well as being the main source of information for the assessment of staff
knowledge and need for training in topics related to fishery resources assessment.
Questionnaire1 is designed to collect basic personal information. In Questionnaire 2 respondents
are presented with a list of the major job functions normally assigned to staff involved in the
assessment of natural resources at National Fisheries Institutes. In the list, respondents are asked
to identify the job functions that best correspond to the job functions in their present position.
Under each major job function, tasks are listed, that are normally performed by fisheries officers.
Respondents are then asked to rate how often they perform each task; how important they rate
the task compared to other tasks; and whether they have difficulties in performing the task, by
using rating scales. In Questionnaire 3 respondents are asked to rate their competency, i.e. skills
and knowledge, in a number of disciplines and activities directly or indirectly related to the job
functions and tasks, that have been identified in Questionnaire 2. Three questions are to be
answered: at what level do you possess the skill or knowledge?; how important is the skill or
knowledge for your present job?; and how do you perceive your need for training in this
discipline/subject? Again, each respondent is asked to use a rating scale for their answers.
Interviews are normally used as an additional way of obtaining information and should always be
supplemented by other means of gathering information. The main advantages of an interview

the information received is more detailed, adding qualitative information to quantitative

answers in questionnaires.

misunderstandings may be avoided, as the respondent is able to ask clarifying questions.

The interview method recommended for use during missions is called the structured or
formalised interview as opposed to an open interview. The structured interview should always
follow a list of questions decided upon beforehand and changes and/or additions to the questions
should not be made unless absolutely necessary. However, the interviewer is of course welcome
to answer clarifying questions from the respondent, whenever necessary. Each interview should
take between one and two hours, taking into account that the respondent sometimes needed time
to find the right answers.
Interviews are primarily with directors and/or high ranking officers in charge of departments,
divisions, sections or specific working practices and with the responsibility of supervising a
number of staff.
The need for training amongst resource assessment staff in general can also be assessed during a
workshop. Alone and in small groups, staff can be asked to identify what skills and knowledge
they found were needed to do proper resource assessment and to help each other in identifying
areas of improvement in their work plans and working practices. The reason for using workshops
and not interviews for permanent staff are:

interviews are time consuming and are not feasible for a larger number of staff within a
constrained time frame.

workshops are good for gathering information and creating awareness amongst staff at
the same time.

The criteria for selecting staff for participation in Training Needs Assessment workshops are:

staff actively involved in activities related to marine resource assessment.

staff that have completed questionnaires 1-3.

staff who hold a permanent position or at least be assigned to a post minimum three years

a maximum 16 people should participate in each workshop. If more staff wish to

participate in the workshop, they should be split into smaller workshops (minimum four
people) preferably with homogenous groups of staff, e.g. knowledgeable senior staff
separated from junior staff etc.

A recommended method for use during workshops is the "Pyramid method", whereby
participants are firstly one by one, secondly two by two and thirdly four by four asked to discuss
and identifying certain issues. Finally, in groups of four or eight, participants are asked to find a
consensus to the questions given and choose a spokesperson to present the results of the group.
Review of publications
Publications should be reviewed to assess the quantity and quality of scientific research
published by researchers at specific institutes.
During each mission, the consultant(s) should observe and note down the general facilities
supporting the daily work of people working in resource assessment. Particular focus should be
on computer and library facilities and if available, on research facilities and working conditions
on board research vessels.
the structured questionnaire employed in the study were adapted and
modified from previous studies by
ODriscoll and Taylor (1992); Agnaia (1996); Gray,
et al
(1997) and
Elbadri (2001).
General TNA literatures were also
referred for guidelines to develop items that were not covered in the studies mentioned earlier. A draf
t of the
questionnaire was also reviewed by a consultant / trainer experienced in the TNA field. Comments from
them were
used as guidelines to improve the instrument. It was
then addressed to the Human Resource Director / Manager or key
person involved i
n making TNA decisions with a cover letter attached explaining the purposes of the study.
In order to
ease reply, self
addressed and stamped envelopes were also sent together with the questionnaires.
As poor response rate
is a common fear in conducting res
earch, therefore, a small token was given to the samples as complimentary gifts as
well as holding a lucky draw contest.
Respondents could also receive a free summary of the study findings by
contacting the researchers.
The population of the study was draw
n from the directory of
Malaysia 1000
that listed the top 1000 companies.
They were chosen because they were the top performing companies based on their business
performance such as
turnover, profits, total assets, shareholders funds, profit margin, retur
n on capital, return on shareholders funds,
absolute increase in sales, absolute increase in profits, and percentage increase in profits.
This information was
important to the study because literature showed that training tended to be neglected in small c
ompanies (Westhead and

Storey, 1997 in Tung

Chun, 2001) and one of the reasons why training was not done systematically was due to financial
constraints. Since the top 1000 companies were considered successful, it was assumed that they would
tend to be mor
committed towards training and development activities compared to less successful companies. Selection
of population
to be studied was, therefore, crucial in this research as focusing on the wrong population would not
provide useful nor
much informati
on regarding TNA practices. The second reason was due to the diversity of the characteristics of the
companies, covering various industries, sectors, states, origins of parent company and length of
operation. This would
provide a comprehensive picture re
garding TNA practices in different companies. Finally, they were chosen based on
the belief widely stated in the training literature that training and developing employees is one of the
factors that could
enhance organizations profitability (Cosh,
et al
1998 and
Chun, 2001).
As the companies selected in the study
were the most profitable in Malaysia, theoretically, their TNA practices should be systematic and formal.
Whether or
not this is the case can only be answered by the results
ut of the total population of 1000 companies, 27% (278) companies were randomly selected based on
and Morgans (1970; in Sekaran, 1992) sampling table.
All questionnaires were mailed and respondents were given
three weeks to complete and return the
questionnaires. Due to the slow response, the deadline to return the
questionnaire was extended in order to allow the respondents to participate in the study.
84 questionnaires were returned
which is equivalent to 30.3 per cent. This amount is considered
acceptable according to Sekaran (1992) and
Diamantopoulos and Schlegelmilch (1997). The analysis of data was carried out using SPSS (Statistical
Package for
Social Science )

Organizational Behavior: A Study on Managers, Employees, and Teams

Belal A. Kaifi
Saint Marys College of California
Selaiman A. Noori
Carrington College California
In recent decades, there has been a tremendous shift in the structure and operation of organizations.
Advancements in technology and skill diversity have fostered a modern workplace of skill and
interdependencies. Hence, for success in todays business world, it is imperative for organizations to
understand the forces that impact team outcomes. This study on 100 managers from the same organization shows that female managers have higher communication skills when compared to male
but are also more influenced by group think. A total of 200 employees from this organization were
studied and the results show that female employees contribute to team outcomes more than male
employees. Implications for researchers, managers, and human resource professionals are considered.
In our modern world, teams are essential to everything individuals do in daily life. For many, their
exposure to the notion of teams began early on during participation in various youth sports. While
a position on a team, whether on the soccer pitch or baseball diamond, young athletes are exposed to
timeless adage: There is no I in team. Taking a quick look at the four letters that comprise this
and one can conclude that, indeed the letter I does not make an appearance. Approach this saying
from a
figurative perspective, and an entire world of interp
retation is made possible. For instance, coaches will
often teach their players that everyone on the team ha
s a specific job to perform, and that every job is

equal in its importance to overall team success. Through this lens, team work is seen as a tale of
with different skills coming together with a common purpose. Extending this concept to the context
of the
modern business world, we can note that there has been rapid organizational movement from a
of individual jobs to work groups and teams in response to emergent multilevel systems.
The last two decades have experienced rapid advancements in technology and an unfolding of
forces that have pushed organizations worldwide to restructure work around teams to enable more
flexible, and adaptive responses to the unexpected (Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006, p. 77). A number of
are accelerating the shift in work structure. An increasingly stressful and emotionally taxing
characterized by high competition, constant transformation, innovations in technology and best
and looming uncertainty generates many pressures for skill diversity, rapid response, and successful
adaptation (Kaifi & Noori, 2010; Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006). Teams offer the most effective approach
resolving the organizational challenges of the 21

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Organizational behavior
(OB) is a field of study devoted to recognizing, explaining, and eventually
developing the attitudes and behaviors of people (individual and group) within organizations.
Organizational behavior is based on scientific knowledge and applied practice. According to Kaifi
the RED Analysis can be applied by practitioners and researchers for understanding organizational
behavior issues:
- Recognize
- Explain
- Develop
Diagnosing organizational behavior is an ongoing cycle of
areas of concerns,
the short-term and long-term implications of each behavior, and continuously
best practices

and strategies that can help an organization transform into a robust, high-performing, and dynamic
It must be mentioned that organizations need strong managers who are capable of controlling the
organizations behavior. Managers who understand hu
man resource management and strategic management are able to influence specific behaviors that help shape the culture of an organization.
specific behaviors in an organization can be a difficult task to undertake for a number of reasons. The
most obvious reason is that humans are unpredictable and have unique attitudes and perspectives.
they enter the workforce, they also bring their expectations and experiences to the workforce which
not correlate with the organizations mission. This creates an instant dilemma that can be contagious
others. Controlling such organizational ills is a battle with no end, which accurately explains
study of organizational behavior is so important. Being able to diagnose those issues and responding
well-formulated solutions is what many organizational behavior researchers and managers strive for.
three primary outcomes of organizational behavior are job performance, organizational commitment,
quality of work life (QWL).
Although organizational behavior is an applied discipline, students are not trained in organizational
behavior. Rather, they are educated in organizational behavior and are a co-producer in learning
& Quick, 2011, p. 25). The study of organizational be
havior requires a rudimentary understanding of
psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and axiology. From a psychological perspective,
human behaviors and mental processes dictate how organizations perform; from an anthropological
perspective, the culture, language, and beliefs of each individual dictate how organizations perform;
a sociological perspective, the development of human and social behavior dictate how organizations
function; from a philosophical perspective, the morals and ethics of an individual dictate how
organizations function; and from an axiological perspective, an individuals values dictate how
organizations function. Other disciplines (e.g., economics, engineering, or social psychology) may be
applied to organizational behavior, as well. For example, in 1776, Adam Smith published
The Wealth of
where he explained the economic advantages of division of labor (breakdown of jobs into
narrow and repetitive tasks) in organizations. This diversity in organizational behavior allows
to investigate new avenues for dealing with organizational issues from different perspectives and
Many organizational behavior researchers believe that organizations are systems. The two basic types
of organization systems are closed and open. Many contemporary organizations are open systems

interact with their environment. A closed system does not depend on its environment and can
without the consumption of external resources. An open system must interact with the environment to
survive by consuming and exporting resources to the environment. In an open and closed
system, the
are the human resources of the organization who have specific skills, the
the organization is the mission, vision, and goal for existing, the
of the organization is the strategy,
competitive advantages, and objectives of the organization, and the
of the organization are what
drive the organization to thrive or excel, which in most cases is revenue. Schwartz, Jones, &
(2010) explain, No matter how much value we produce todaywhether its measured in dollars or
Journal of Mana
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or goods or widgetsits never enough (p. 3). The four Ps to understanding organizations as
(Kaifi, 2010) is depicted in Figure 1:
An open organization system functions both internally and externally. The external system has an
impact on the internal system and vice versa. For example, the actions of customers (externally)
affect the
organization and the behavior of people (internally) at work. Today, when we describe organizations
systems, we mean open systems. An organization takes inputs (resources) from the environment and
transforms or processes these resources into outputs that are distributed in the environment (Robbins
Coulter, 2005, p. 35). An example of an open system organization is a college or university that
transforms students into highly-skilled workers that become a part of their environment. A closed
organization system (which is becoming less common) does not interact with its environment and as
result is disconnected to the real-world. Some examples of closed system organizations are the
armies of the Peoples Republic of China (Shambaug
h, 1991), spiritual cults (e.g., Waco), Camp X-Ray at
Guantanamo Bay, and prison systems (Fong, Vogel, & Buentello, 1995). With globalization,
technological advancements, and unlimited competition, organizations are more likely to become

systems and depend more on their environments. As a result, organizations are investing in teams.
Simply defined, a team is composed of two or more individuals who possess any number of common
goals. Exhibiting skill and workflow interdependencies, members combine their differing roles in the
completion of a given task. It must be noted, however, that a salient component to team structure is a
platform for social interaction, which continues to become more virtual. For the purposes of this
the authors will offer a more thorough treatment of teams.
Research focusing on teams began more than fifty years ago in the area of social psychology. The
more recent shift in the organization of work, however, also brought about a shift to the study of
teams as
an organizational construct (Moreland, Hogg, & Hains, 1994). A modern work system that is
and complex creates commensurate demands on teams to coordinate and combine skill sets and
to resolve tasks efficiently and effectively (Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006). From an organizational
perspective, a work system composed of teams creates a pool of collective knowledge, skills, and resources
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support members in resolving a task. Therefore, team task becomes the focal point around which
structure and team coordination are determined.
In todays multilevel organization systems, the capacity for a team to resolve team tasks is influenced
by many forces and is gauged by team outcomes. The authors define team outcomes as a
measure consisting of team performance and team effectiveness. According to Forrester and
(2006), performance is an efficiency competency that refers to the amount of work the team delivers
its adherence to temporal goals. Effectiveness, on the other hand, describes the quality of output
by the team and whether the team has met its goals and objectives. Kozlowski and Ilgen (2006) state,
members collectively lack necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, or resources to resolve the team
task, the
team cannot be effective (p. 80). In that sense, team outcomes are determined by member diversity;
range of skills, abilities, and experiences are necessary for positive team production. The collection
wide latitude backgrounds begs the question: What significant predictors effect team outcomes? The

answer to this question, and many similar to it, is central to the ongoing research of many
seeking insight into team processes and effectiveness.
Forrester and Tashchian (2006) reported that social cohesion and task cohesion were both positively
associated with team outcomes. Through these forces
of interpersonal attraction and task commitment,
members develop a sense of team unity and a shared commitment to team goals. In addition to
analytical and problem solving skills in potential employees, Hernandez (2002) stated that
also need employees who know how to work effectively with others (p. 74). The ability to work in a
team and contribute positively toward task completion is an important skill to master and one that
employers seek (Hansen, 2006).
Diversity in a team allows for access to a diverse array of external networks that contribute directly
the teams social and knowledge-based capital, as well as team performance (Joshi, 2006, p. 583). A
diversity of skills and capabilities is vital to organizational success, but teams must have an
of how to work effectively with this diversity and to leverage the strengths of each other (Nath,
2008, p.
29). Open communication, combined with appreciation and respect for the skills and experiences of
colleagues, are important mechanisms through which team cohesion is enhanced. A level of trust in
others abilities and a commitment to team success will create a stage for collaboration and creativity.
Team accomplishments, such as the safe return of Apollo 13 astronauts and the success of the
Project, are the result of team cohesion and coll
ective creativity (Sarmiento & Stahl, 2008). High
cohesiveness in teams, however, can create conformity among members and lead to the negative
implications of group think. The Challenger space shuttle tragedy and the Bay of Pigs invasion of
are famous examples of when striving for consensus overshadows informed decision-making
Lepine, & Wesson, 2011).
As employers respond to the growing demands placed on organizations to compete on a global level,
an implementation of effective team processes is vital to successful business outcomes. In fact, many
researchers have reported that college students have a poor understanding of teamwork skills and
emphasize the importance in implementation of such training across the curriculum (Williams &
Anderson, 2008). To become more than the sum of its parts, a team must operate in an environment
respect and appreciation for the diversity of style, skills, experiences and contributions (Nath, 2008,
29). To create this culture of sharing and collaboration, organizations should engage in activities that
enhance and leverage the benefits of both cohesion and communication among members.
A total of 100 managers working for the same organization located in the San Francisco, Bay Area
filled out a short survey relating to teams. Also, a total of 200 employees working for the same

organization filled out a survey relating to teams. This strategy allows for a more comprehensive
that illuminates the perspectives of both managers and employees. As a part of the survey, each participant also answered questions relating to demographic. Table 1 (Managers) and Table 2
represent the demographic nature of the population.
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Age Group
30 and above
five years of team
Male 50 46 48 43
Female 50 50 42 39
Total 100 96 90 82
Age Group
30 and above
work experience
Male 100 75 63 67
Female 100 62 54 59
Total 200 137 117 126
The information above illustrates several key points. Of the 250 surveys sent by email to managers, a
total of 59 males and 53 females responded, giving a 45% response rate. Surveys from 9 male and 3
female managers were rejected for incompleteness.
In all, the responses of 50 male and 50 female
managers were accepted for this study. Concer
ning age group, 46 (representing 92%) of male and 50
(representing 100%) of female managers were 30 years or older. Also, 48 (representing 96%) male
and 42
(representing 84%) female managers identified as having five or more years of team management

experience. A total of 43 (representing 86%) male

and 39 (representing 78%) female managers that
participated in this study have earned a bachelors degree.
Of the 350 surveys that were sent by email to employees, a total of 108 male and 102 female
were returned, giving a response rate of 31%. Survey
s from 8 male and 2 female were rejected on the
basis of incompleteness. In all, the responses of 100 male and 100 female employees were accepted
this study. Among the employee responses, 75 or 75% of male participants and 62 or 62% of female
participants were 30 years or older. Furthermore, 63 or 63% of male employees and 54 or 54%
employees reported five years or more of team work experience. Concerning employee education, 67
67% of male participants and 54 or 54% of female participants have earned a bachelors degree.
The participants were requested to take the survey as a part of an organizational behavior training
exercise. The participants were told that the results would be shared in organizational behavior
Each statement on the survey was measured using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from Never to
Always (Table 3). For example, one inquiry stated: I strive toward consensus to maintain team
2 Rarely
3 Sometimes
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The sums of the answers were used to determine the different scores relating to the hypotheses for
study which are:
Hypothesis 1:
Female managers will have higher scores in valuing communication with employees.
Hypothesis 2:
Female managers will have higher scores on becoming influenced by group think.
Hypothesis 3:
Female employees will contribute to team outcomes more than male employees.
The first hypothesis predicted that
Female managers will have higher scores on communicating with
and, as presented in Table 4, this study supported this supposition since female managers
scores were significantly higher than the males with a p-value of 0.001.

Female managers will have higher scores on communicating with employees.
Descriptive Statistics and T-test of two means.
Standard Deviation
Sample Size
Male 32.80 5.22 50
Female 41.04 6.30 50
t = 7.115; p = 0.001
The second hypothesis predicted that
Female managers will have higher scores on becoming
influenced by groupthink
and, as presented in Table 5, this study supported this supposition since female
manager scores were significantly higher than the males with a p-value of 0.001.
Female managers will have higher scores on becoming influenced by group think.
Descriptive Statistics and T-test of two means.
Standard Deviation
Sample Size
Male 25.10 4.13 50
Female 36.98 7.72 50
t = 9.595; p = 0.001
The third hypothesis predicted that
Female employees will contribute to team outcomes more than
male employees
and, as presented in Table 6, this study supported this supposition since female managers scores were significantly higher than the males with a p-value of 0.001.
Female employees will contribute to team outcomes more than male employees.
Descriptive Statistics and T-test of two means.
Standard Deviation
Sample Size
Male 31.59 6.74 100
Female 41.48 5.42 100
t = 11.428; p = 0.001
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This research showed that female managers valued communication with their teams more than their
male counterparts. Organizations that value communication, accountability, and transparency are the

that are more successful during times of organizational change. If female managers understand the
importance of communication better than their male c
ounterparts as this study has demonstrated, then
organizations should feel comfortable hiring and promoting females to management positions. Kaifi
Noori (2010) explain, Although, both men and women can increase their emotional intelligence
this study has shown that women have higher levels of emotional intelligence which may make them
better manager of the 21st century (p. 19). Many believe that women have innate leadership skills
can make them more approachable, understanding, and effective. For example, some believe that
are more organized, empathetic, creative, and accountable. As a result of having innate leadership
females understand the importance of connecting when communicating. Maxwell (2010) explains,
Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your
on them (p. 3). There are also different levels of connecting to others depending on different factors
(e.g., formal vs. informal settings). Maxwell (2010) clearly defines what it means to connect with
at each of the three levels. When connecting one on one, it is important to Talk more about the other
person and less about yourself (p. 20). When connecting in a group, Look for ways to compliment
people in the group for their ideas and actions (2010, p. 21). Finally, when connecting with an
let your listeners know that you are excited to be with them (Maxwell, 2010, p. 21). Each level of
connecting requires different levels of energy. Maxwell states, Connecting always requires energy.
larger the group, the more energy thats required to connect (2010, p. 93).
Similarly, it is important for a great communicator to be able to use facial expressions to convey
specific messages. Maxwell (2010) justifies this important tactic by explaining how Great actors can
an entire story without uttering a word, simply by using facial expressions (p. 56). Effective
communicators are able to share experiences that others can relate to. For example, a leader trying to
connect to his or her followers can explain how he or she has been in their shoes and more
can relate to their experiences. This simple connecting factor of relating to the experiences of others
help a leader promote higher standards, enhance morale, and advance performance levels within an
organization. Maxwell (2010) states, Theres no substitute for personal experience when we want to
connect with peoples hearts (p. 63). Connecting to peoples hearts is the most powerful medium for
connecting. Leaders who have an ethical image and who are trusted are able to influence more
Maxwell (2010) explains, Trust plays the same role in all relationships, and it always impacts
communication. To be an effective connector over the long haul, you have to establish credibility by
living what you communicate and further states, If you dont, you undermine trust, people

from you, and they stop listening (p. 231). As a matter of fact, Effective communicators are
in their own skin. Theyre confident because they know what they can and cant do, and they
gravitate to
their communication sweet spot when they speak to people (Maxwell, 2010, p. 63). Connecting
communicating helps with team cohesiveness; especially when working on projects that require high
levels of productivity, efficiency, and creativity.
Also, organizations have been known to use crossfunctional teams (people from different departments of an organization working as one team) as a
comprehensive medium for building morale, uniting and empowering employees, and promoting the
concept of synergy. As such, women in the workforce should become team leaders because of their
to recognize the importance of communication, cohesiveness, and creativity.
The ability to engage personal emotions and the emotions of others are important skills for managers
to possess in the 21

century workplace. As organizational leaders, managers can set the performance

pace and collective attitude within their teams thr
ough cohesion. Having better skills of emotional
intelligence than their male counterparts, female managers can develop strong emotional bonds to
members of their team and to the team itself (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson
2011, p. 425). As such,
women managers are able to develop higher levels
of cohesiveness within their teams, which in turn,
tends to create an atmosphere of high motivation and performance. Although female managers were
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found to be at an advantage in creating team cohesion, the results also indicate that they are more
prone to
groupthink than male managers. Group think phenomena often evolve in highly cohesive teams when
members may try to maintain harmony by striving toward consensus on issues without ever
seeking, or seriously considering alternative viewpoints and perspectives (Colquitt, Lepine, &
2011, p. 425). Being more understanding and empathetic than males, female managers may drive
conformity more often in order to avoid confrontation and misunderstandings, and to give their team
members creative freedom. Galbraiths (2010) explanation of womens natural human skills adds
insight into why female managers may gravitate toward group think more than male managers:

tend to prefer to build connections with other people and see themselves as relative equals and
states, Thus, a relationship defined by power over others is not as natural a state for women as it is
men. Women leaders often see themselves in the center of a web of relationships, rather than atop a
pyramid (p. 46). The ability to develop cohesion within their team allows female managers to
higher levels of performance. This finding, however, also indicates that the leadership abilities of
managers have a higher tendency of being hindered by group think. To leverage the benefits of
without the negative implications of group think, female managers should undertake training in
identifying and preventing the detrimental consequences of cohesion.
The study findings also confirmed the hypothesis that female employees will contribute to team
outcomes more than male employees. The authors of this study define team outcomes as an
comprised of two measures: team performance and team effectiveness. Adopting the definitions
by Forrester and Tashchian (2006), the authors describe team performance as an efficiency
that refers to the amount of work the team delivers an
d its adherence to temporal goals. Effectiveness, on
the other hand, describes the quality of output produced by the team and whether the team has met its
goals and objectives. Women may contribute more to
team task completion than men because they have
the advantage of being better communicators. Communication skills are imperative for success in
business world where task completion is achieved in organizational systems of multiple
horizontal and vertical levels. As Colquitt, Lepine, and Wesson (2011) explain, Much of todays
work is
accomplished interdependently and involves communication among members, and therefore, the
effectiveness of communication plays an important role in determining whether there is process gain
process loss (p. 422). Furthermore, communication may benefit female employees by allowing them
better share ideas with members, make recommendations, and seek assistance when encountering an
they cannot personally resolve.
Having a higher score in team outcome contribution also suggests that female employees are more
to following task deadlines and producing higher quality work. This finding alludes to the belief that
women are innately more organized, creative, and empathetic than men. Furthermore, these qualities
also contribute to higher levels of cohesion, which in turn, produce higher levels of team and task
commitment. The results of this study support the possibility that female employees have greater
for leadership positions within organizations. It is well known, however, that women are in fact

underrepresented in positions of authority and often earn less income than men for doing the same
(Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2011). The unfortunate reality is that sex discrimination is
commonplace in
organizations. For instance, if a businessman is required to choose between a man and a woman
possessing the same qualification levels, he would opt for the man, due to some misconceptions
widespread among businessmen, such as the idea that women involve a cost when they take a
leave, that they create controversial relationships with their colleagues or they do not meet the
skills to be
good executives (Lopez-Fernandez
et al
., 2009). Findings reported by Heckman
et al.
indicate that men are more likely to receive favorable customer satisfaction judgments than women
counterparts, suggesting that sex discrimination is
pervasive in the general public, as well. Perhaps
confronting gender inequality in the workplace, and society at large, will enable female employees to
recognized for their qualities and contributions to
team outcomes. By fostering procedural justice in
organizations, authorities will empower women to accelerate their journeys up the organizational
and to receive merit raises based on job performance (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2011; Heckman
et al.,
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There are some limitations to this study and one is the limited amount of responses from each group.
This survey can be combined with other more comprehensive instruments to enhance and confirm
results. Also, future studies can duplicate the research with a greater number of participants that are
compared to other organizations. Perhaps different population groups (higher and lower management
levels) and people working in various industries can be
studied separately to learn more about teamwork.
It may also be beneficial to study the contribution to team outcomes made by male and female
Furthermore, exploring the occurrence of group think among male and female employees can offer
further insight into gender differences in organizations. Finally, future researchers should consider
translating the survey instrument into other languages to see if the same results are true in
throughout the world.

Theoretically, it is important to understand how and why teamwork affects peoples success in the
workplace. Practically, it is important for managers to know whether teamwork affects performance
because it proxies cohesiveness and synergy. The study presented in this article clearly suggests that
teamwork affects peoples careers and workplace interactions and therefore is worthy of continued
scholarly investigation.
Colquitt, J. A., Lepine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2011). Organizational Behavior
New York: McGrawHill/Irwin.
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from prison gangs.
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Forrester, W. R., & Tashchian, A. (2006). Modeling the relationship between cohesion and
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