Team Roles in a Nutshell
Ever wondered why some teams just seem to work
and others hit the rocks? When things don’t work, it
is obvious to all and it often has a profound effect on
the people involved, as well as the project or
In the 1970s, Dr Meredith Belbin and his research
team at Henley Management College set about
observing teams, with a view to finding out where
andhow thesedifferences comeabout. Theywanted
to control the dynamics of teams to discover if – and
Over a period of nine years, international management teams were studied. Each participant
completed a battery of psychometric tests, so that attributes such as personality and behaviour
couldbebrought intoplayand their effectson the teamcouldbeaccurately considered.
As the research progressed, the research revealed that the difference between success and failure
for a team was not dependent on factors such as intellect, but more on behaviour. The researchfor a team was not dependent on factors such as intellect, but more on behaviour. The research
team began to identify separate clusters of behaviour, each of which formed distinct team
contributions or “Team Roles”. A Team Role came to be defined as: “A tendency to behave,
contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way.” It was found that different individuals
displayeddifferent TeamRoles to varyingdegrees.
The first Team Role to be identified was the “Plant”. The role was so-called because one such
individual was “planted” in each team. They tended to be highly creative and good at solving
One by one, the other TeamRoles began to emerge. The Monitor Evaluator was needed to provide
a logical eye, make impartial judgements where required and to weigh up the team’s options in a
dispassionate way. Co-ordinators were needed to focus on the team’s objectives, draw out team
When the team was at risk of becoming isolated and inwardly-focused, Resource Investigators
provided inside knowledgeon theopposition andmade sure that the team’s ideawould carry to the
worldoutside the team. Implementers wereneeded toplanapractical,workable strategy and carry
it out as efficiently as possible. Completer Finishers weremost effectively used at the endof a task,
to “polish” and scrutinise the work for errors, subjecting it to the highest standards of quality
control. Teamworkers helped the team to gel, using their versatility to identify the work required
and complete it on behalf of the team. Challenging individuals, known as Shapers, provided the
necessarydrive toensure that the teamkeptmovinganddidnot lose focusormomentum.
Whilst someTeamRolesweremore “highprofile” and some teammembers shoutedmore loudly than
others, each of the behaviours was essential in getting the team successfully from start to finish. The
keywasbalance. For example,MeredithBelbin found that a teamwithnoPlant struggled to comeup
with the initial spark of an idea with which to push forward. However, once too many Plants were in
the team, bad ideas concealed good ones and non-starters were given too much airtime. Similarly,
withno Shaper, the teamambledalongwithout drive anddirection,missingdeadlines. With toomany
Shapers, in-fightingbeganandmoralewas lowered.
As well as the strength or contribution they provided, each Team Role was also found to have an
“allowable weakness”: a flipside of the behavioural characteristics, which is allowable in the team
because of the strength which goes with it. For example, the unorthodox Plant could be forgetful or
scatty; or theResource Investigatormight forget to followupona lead. Co-ordinatorsmight get over-
enthusiastic on thedelegation front and Implementersmight be slow to relinquish their plans in favour
of positive changes. Completer Finishers, often driven by anxiety to get things right, were found to
take their perfectionism to extremes. Teamworkers, concerned with the welfare and morale of the
team, found it difficult to make decisions where this morale might be compromised or team politics,
involved. Shapers riskedbecomingaggressiveandbad-humoured in their attempts to get thingsdone.
It was only after the initial research had been completed that the ninth Team Role, “Specialist”
emerged. The simulated management exercises had been deliberately set up to require no previous
knowledge. In the real world, however, the value of an individual with in-depth knowledge of a key
area came to be recognised as yet another essential team contribution or Team Role. Just like the
other Team Roles, the Specialist also had a weakness: a tendency to focus narrowly on their ownother Team Roles, the Specialist also had a weakness: a tendency to focus narrowly on their own
subjectof choice, and toprioritise this over the team’sprogress.
The Team Roles that Meredith Belbin identified are used widely in thousands of organisations all over
the world today. By identifying our Team Roles, we can ensure that we use our strengths to
advantage and that we manage our weaknesses as best we can. Sometimes, thismeans being aware
of thepitfalls andmakinganeffort to avoid them.
Most people have a number of “preferred Team Roles” or behaviours they frequently and naturally
display. We also have “manageable roles”, roles which might not be the most natural course of
behaviour for us, but which we can assume if required and might wish to cultivate. Lastly, we have
least preferred roles, thosewe shouldnot assume, sincewe’ll be playing against type. In this instance,
the effort is likely to be great, and the outcome, poor. If work requires Team Roles other than our
own, it is a much better bet to find and work with others who possess roles complementary to our
own. Since people tend to display more than one preferred role, a team of four could quite easily
So, in a nutshell, the Belbin philosophy is about celebrating – and making the most of – individual
differences. The message is that there is room for everyone in the team: all positive contributions
www.belbin.com© Belbin Associates 2011
COURSEWORK BRIEF: Module Code: MANG6311 Assessment: Supplementary Coursework Weighting: 100%
Module Title: Project Management – People and Organisations
Module Leader: Dr Ramesh Vahidi
Submission Due Date: @ 16:00 Friday 19 August 2022 Word Count: 3,000
Method of Submission:
Electronic via Blackboard Turnitin ONLY (You are not required to submit a hard copy) (Please ensure that your name does not appear on any part of your work)
Any work submitted after 16:00 on the deadline date will be subject to the standard University late penalties (see below), unless an extension has been granted, in writing by the Senior Tutor, in advance of the deadline.
University Working Days Late: Mark: 1 (final agreed mark) * 0.9 2 (final agreed mark) * 0.8 3 (final agreed mark) * 0.7 4 (final agreed mark) * 0.6 5 (final agreed mark) * 0.5 More than 5 0
1. Introduction to the Coursework
This coursework (cw) is an individual essay of 3,000 words, worth 100% of the total mark of the module. The coursework intends to assess the depth and breadth of your reflection and critical analysis on people and organisational aspects of project management.
The essay is an academic piece of work and is evaluated as such. Hence, by no means your descriptions should be presented as pure descriptions. Your analysis and reflection should be informed by the lecture contents, discussions on case studies and your comprehensive background studies (textbooks and journal papers).
2. Essay Content
This Essay aims at evaluating your capability in: describing organisational and people aspects of a given project; identifying weaknesses and strengths of the project from these aspects; critically analysing the project performance, success or failure in relation to these aspects; and reflecting on whether and how taking different approaches could have led to different outcomes.
Throughout this essay you should clearly demonstrate that you have used formal and academic project management knowledge in developing any of the above items.
2.2.2 Essay Contents
The essay is a 3,000-word analytical and critical review of a ‘project’ based on the knowledge learned throughout MANG6311. For the essay, you need to select and review a national ‘project’ from your own country (e.g. restructuring a major bank or an education system, mechanising agricultural system, or digitizing the health system). The project should have been completed within the last 3 years.
Please note: this project should be DIFFERENT from the project you selected and reviewed for the previous main coursework.
There is no restriction in the industry or discipline of the project. Hence, you can select a project in line with your personal or career interests or in line with your previous educational backgrounds, and so on. Please consult Ramesh if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of your project.
Important point: Case studies used in MANG6311 and MANG6310 are not acceptable for this essay. Also, very well-known and/or old projects, which their analysis have become extensively published in books, papers or websites in form of case studies are not acceptable. These will not let you demonstrate your own capabilities and at the best, your essay will end up being a description and collection of others’ analysis and insights. One way to test this is Googling the name of the project and if there are many results for the project stakeholder analysis in journals and various websites, the project is not appropriate.
Examples of projects not to choose are as below. Note that the list is not exhaustive, so check your project with Ramesh if you are in doubt:
– Projects on Airports, Airplanes, Olympics, World Cups, NHS-related, O2, Scottish Parliament, Channel Tunnel, NASA, Three Gorges Dam, Grenfell Tower, Bicycle sharing projects in China, Uber, Disney, Tesco in China, M&S and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, One Tablet Per Child project in Thailand; Demonetization in India; Garden Bridge London; HS2; London transport (Metro, tube, underground, …); Millennium Dome.
– Projects, which were completed before 2018 (contact me if you are interested in a unique project that has finished before 2018 or has not been finished but meets other criteria).
Examples of sources for finding appropriate projects are websites of: public or large private organizations; PM professional bodies or similar institutes (such as construction or financial institutes) active in your country; and major and formal news agencies to name a few. Please consult lecturers if such sources are not available.
In any case, you should make sure that for your analysis you would be able to access enough valid data and information in the public domain.
Here are the main and general topics to be covered in your essay (see marking scheme for further details):
a. Introduction to the essay (15%) b. Body of the essay: Project analysis (60%) c. Conclusions (25%)
3.1 Essay Format
Structure: Make sure to structure your essay with sections separated with appropriate and relevant titles. Use subtitles as required. Essays without titles and subtitle are hard to read and mark.
Paragraph: Should be ‘justified’. Avoid using very long paragraphs. Break very long paragraphs into manageable small ones with a clear central idea and a few relevant sentences focused on one or two clear themes.
Line Space: 1.5 Titles Font: Larger than 12, bold, and should be easily distinguishable from the body text. Font: 12, Times New Roman or Arial. Cover page: Should include module code and name, title of the assignment, your student ID.
Table of Contents: provide the list of the titles and subtitles used in your text with their page numbers on the first page after the covering. At the bottom of the page provide the essays ‘word count’.
3.2 Further Notes on Resources and Referencing
– Essential resources: It is absolutely necessary that you initially study the main references given for each topic in the lectures and then move on to further background studies using other resources. This will ensure you have appreciated the fundamentals as expected by the lecturers. It will also help you to select better and more relevant resources for your further studies, rather than a random selection of numerous PM resources, which might not be of a high quality or academically valid.
– Further resources: You are strongly advised to use a good range of relevant textbooks and papers from academic journals. See above point for more details.
– Correct citation: It is necessary to follow the Harvard referencing system as suggested by the University/School guidelines.
– Citing lecture slides: Lecture slides cannot be referenced unless absolutely necessary. All the slides which you might need to refer to have citation(s) or the related references are given at the end of lecture hand-outs. It is expected that you study and refer to the original references rather than the lecture slides.
Word Count – Word count for the essay is 3,000. – For the details on what is included in the word count and what is not, please refer to the Business School
word count (limit) policy. – For this essay, cover page, table of contents, references list and the attachment(s) are not counted
towards your word limit.
5. Further Guidance and Tips
– Balance your theoretical and actual data and discussions: High quality essays provide a reasonable balance of literature/theoretical discussions and the actual data. Such essays, carefully select the main incidents from the project, which are worth to discuss and analyse. They focus on the most relevant theories and provide discussions, which add value in line with the essay aims. You need to be selective and precise to make the best out of your word permit.
– Depth of your Essays: To add academic value to your essays, try to be as analytical, reflective and critical as you can throughout the essays.
– Follow the Coursework Instructions: Before you start working on the actual assignment, read these instructions carefully once more and review as many times as required while you are in the process of
preparing the assignment. This will ensure you do not unintentionally deviate from the cw instructions and that your essay will cover all the tasks set here. Ask the lecturer if you need further clarification on the instructions.
Nature of Assessment: This is a SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT. See ‘Weighting’ section above for the percentage that this assignment counts towards your final module mark. Word Limit: +/-10% either side of the word count (see above) is deemed to be acceptable. Any text that exceeds an additional 10% will not attract any marks. The relevant word count includes items such as cover page, executive summary, title page, table of contents, tables, figures, in-text citations and section headings, if used. The relevant word count excludes your list of references and any appendices at the end of your coursework submission. You should always include the word count (from Microsoft Word, not Turnitin), at the end of your coursework submission, before your list of references. Title/Cover Page: You must include a title/ cover page that includes: your Student ID, Module Code, Assignment Title, Word Count. This assignment will be marked anonymously, please ensure that your name does not appear on any part of your assignment. References: You should use the Harvard style to reference your assignment. The library provide guidance on how to reference in the Harvard style and this is available from: http://library.soton.ac.uk/sash/referencing Submission Deadline: Please note that the submission deadline for Southampton Business School is 16.00 for ALL assessments. Turnitin Submission: The assignment MUST be submitted electronically via Turnitin, which is accessed via the individual module on Blackboard. Further guidance on submitting assignments is available on the Blackboard support pages. It is important that you allow enough time prior to the submission deadline to ensure your submission is processed on time as all late submissions are subject to a late penalty. We would recommend you allow 30 minutes to upload your work and check the submission has been processed and is correct. Please make sure you submit to the correct assignment link. Email submission receipts are not currently supported with Turnitin Feedback Studio LTI integrations, however following a submission, students are presented with a banner within their assignment dashboard that provides a link to download a submission receipt. You can also access your assignment dashboard at any time to download a copy of the submission receipt using the receipt icon. It is vital that you make a note of your Submission ID (Digital Receipt Number). This is a unique receipt number for your submission, and is proof of successful submission. You may be required to provide this number at a later date. We recommend that you take a screenshot of this page, or note the number down on a piece of paper. The last submission prior to the deadline will be treated as the final submission and will be the copy that is assessed by the marker. It is your responsibility to ensure that the version received by the deadline is the final version, resubmissions after the deadline will not be accepted in any circumstances. Important: If you have any problems during the submission process you should contact ServiceLine immediately by email at [email protected] or by phone on +44 (0)23 8059 5656. Late Penalties: Further information on penalties for work submitted after the deadline can be found here. Special Considerations: If you believe that illness or other circumstances have adversely affected your academic performance, information regarding the regulations governing Special Considerations can be accessed via the Calendar: http://www.calendar.soton.ac.uk/sectionIV/special-considerations.html Extension Requests: : Extension requests along with supporting evidence should be submitted to the Student Office as soon as possible before the submission date. Information regarding the regulations governing extension requests can be accessed via the Calendar: http://www.calendar.soton.ac.uk/sectionIV/special-considerations.html
Academic Integrity Policy: Please note that you can access Academic Integrity Guidance for Students via the Quality Handbook: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/quality/assessment/academic_integrity.page?. Please note any suspected cases of Academic Integrity will be notified to the Academic Integrity Officer for investigation. Feedback: Southampton Business School is committed to providing feedback within 4 weeks (University working days). Once the marks are released and you have received your feedback, you can meet with your Module Leader / Module Lecturer / Personal Academic Tutor to discuss the feedback within 4 weeks from the release of marks date. Any additional arrangements for feedback are listed in the Module Profile. Student Support: Study skills and language support for Southampton Business School students is available at: http://www.sbsaob.soton.ac.uk/study-skills-and-language-support/.
Team Role Summary Descriptions
© BELBIN® 2012 www.belbin.com‘BELBIN®’ is a registered trademark of BELBIN UK.
MANG6311 – Interactive Seminar
How far do you know yourself?!
“Belbin Team Roles”
Dr Ramesh Vahidi Week 3 – 21-22
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 1
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 2
Preparation for Week 3 Sessions
– Read through the next few slides and the Beblin pdfs on the Bb. You could find these
under the Week 3 items in the Course Contents folder.
– Watch the videos on the next few slides.
– Decide which Belbin role(s) best define your behaviour, should you work in a team.
– There are no right or wrong/ good, better, best/ or bad, worse, worst in team roles!
– Come ready to the sessions for some good discussions!
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 3
– A popular and very practical concept/tool helpful for knowing yourself and others is called Belbin Team Roles. This is specially used in the context of teamwork and will also help you to better understand how people work together. Students have been finding this very helpful in understanding each other, managing their team dynamics and analysing it over the years.
– You could watch the short clips/videos on the next slide for a quick understanding of Belbin in general and each Team Roles.
– Also review the very short pdf documents uploaded on the Bb for more on Belbin Team Roles. Have Beblin Roles Summary and Nutshell pdf files handy when we have the live session as you need to look at them during the session.
Belbin Team Roles Explained ….
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 4
The Official Guide to Belbin Team Roles from Belbin HQ – What is Belbin?
An Overall Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFsA4wUf3I0
What Are Belbin Team Roles? More detailed intro and history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M0Al3Oi0-8
Belbin Team Roles Belbin Team Roles in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5oB8PhS64Q
Belbin Team Roles Video Scribe
Composition of team roles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-efhOLVgEvM (4:04 mins) (20 first seconds repetitive)
Watch These Short Videos before the Session
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 5
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 6
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 7
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 8
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 9
Knowing Your Belbin Team Role(s)
– Now that you have watched the videos and have read the pdfs, you should have developed
enough understanding of the roles (more sources on the next slide).
– So, you should be able to identify at least one of your dominant Belbin Roles (with some extent of
confidence). This is the one, which you feel closer to when referring to your previous teamwork
experiences, your personal preferences or the examples when you worked with other people in
– No worries if this feels difficult though as you will learn about yourself more in the future!
– At this stage of your life/career, the knowledge of such roles would help you observing, thinking,
reflecting and exploring on team behaviours of yourself and others.
– As we go, we will discuss many more subjects related to self-awareness and knowing others.
MANG6311 – ©RameshVahidi2021-22 10
To know more you could gradually read the followings, specially when working in teams:
– Boddy, D. (2014) Management: an introduction. 6th ed. Imprint: Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall. Chapter 17. [electronic resource]
– Or take a look at the official website of Belbin: https://www.belbin.com/ (Note: this is not an academic source. So, it should NOT be used as a reference in your coursework. This is only for your knowledge. For essays, you should read and reference books and papers.
Library Sources about Belbin …
Hang on … when did we actually
become a ‘team’?! (Teamwork & Leadership – part 1)
Dr Ramesh Vahidi [email protected]
12&14 Oct 2021
MANG6311 Project Management
People & Organizations
MANG6311 -21-22 Week 2
1. Do you generally prefer to work in teams (or with others) or to work on your own?
1. Strongly Prefer Teamwork
2. Slightly Prefer Teamwork
3. Equally prefer Teamwork or Individual Work
4. Slightly Prefer Insividual work
5. Strongly Prefer Individual Work
Rules of the Teams/Breakout Rooms!
– If you are not clear about the task: Ask me before joining the rooms/working together.
– If there was silence at your desk/in a breakout room: The person whose first name starts with the earliest character in alphabetical order will start the conversation! (or the one nicest one!) Example: Anna will start if the group members are: Anna, James, Mary, Ramesh!
– Introduction: Members should quickly introduce themselves and then start the discussion.
– Contribution 1: The team should agree who reports back to the main room when you are back.
– Contribution 2: Share your findings in the main room briefly and referring to the main points so we could have more views! (give enough details considering the time)
You could choose: ‘Teamwork’ or Not? …
I will definitely design the software myself for increasing my chance of success.
I will consider a few factors before making my
decision on building a team or not:
– – –
I will build the team to design the software and will accept the potential challenges of working with this team.
Scenario: You are tasked with designing a small software for your department to record the time people spend on their assigned tasks.
You will be accountable for the final success of the software. You have all the software design skills. This is a critical/urgent project. You have many other tasks to do in parallel.
You have been given the chance to build a team with some other colleagues from your own and other departments. You do not know these people in person. You know they have different expertise but no one has software design expertise.
MANG6311 -21-22 Week 2
1. I will definitely design the software myself for increasing my chance of success.
2. I will first consider a few factors before making my decision on building a team or not.
3. I will build the team to design the software and will accept the potential challenges of working with this team.
2. In this Scenario: Which one would you prefer?
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