Throughout the many job interviews I've experienced in my life, the most often asked question that I can recall is "how do you see yourself as a team player?" Today, more and more education institutes have recognized the importance of developing students' professional skills as part of their education. Skills such as "problem solving, communication skills, collaboration, interpersonal skills, and time management" (Luca & Tarricone, 2001, p. 367) are heavily emphasized by most organizations during employee recruitment. Among these skills, employment authorities consider the most critical skills to have in an organizational team environment to be collaboration and teamwork (Luca & Tarricone, 2001). .
Schools often request that students participate in group projects in order to enhance their collaboration and teamwork abilities. These can be in the form of a research project, presentation, or field study. No matter what kind of project it may be, or who the members of the group are, I often find it is difficult for everyone to work together as a team. What usually happens is that the students will divide the work and each individual will do their assigned part by themselves, and then combine the work together at the end. Students often choose this method because there is less conflict, no problems collaborating during the decision-making process, and it is less time consuming. This model may be more efficient, however there is no "working together," and it is not real teamwork. But what is real teamwork? What are the conditions in forming a team? If achieving teamwork in a small group for a school project is difficult, then one can imagine how much more difficult it could be for an entire organization to work together.
A team is not just a group of people who work together. I believe that a team is a unit of members who all share the same visions, goals, and values.