Difference Between Group and Team

Group and team concepts have become popular in this age of technology and a fast-moving competitive environment. Every organization tries to fulfil their objectives by bringing together individuals as a group or team.


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Group and team are terms commonly used by people as synonyms. However, in reality, there are distinct features between these two words that, if rightfully known and utilized, can bear fruitful results.

Key Takeaways

  1. A group is a collection of individuals who interact with one another, sharing common characteristics or interests, without necessarily working towards a shared goal.
  2. A team is a smaller, cohesive unit of individuals who work together collaboratively to achieve a specific goal or complete a task, often with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  3. While groups and teams involve individual interactions, teams are distinguished by their focus on cooperation, shared objectives, and coordinated efforts.

Group vs Team

The difference between a group and a team is that a group has more people with a primary aim to complete a focussed assignment by delegating the tasks. In comparison, a team will have fewer people focused on achieving a common goal with collective effort.

Group vs Team

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However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on specific parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonGroupTeam
DescriptionIndividuals with similar ideas, thought patterns or goals come together to complete an assignment.Individuals with similar or diverse skills come together to achieve a common goal.
ExamplesTrade UnionsLeadership Team, Cricket Team
Process followed for accomplishing the taskDiscuss and delegate furtherDiscuss and do without further delegating (i.e. collectively performed where everyone does his or her bit of work)
FocusThe accomplishment of the goals of each individualThe accomplishment of the goals of the entire team
ManagementMaybe more of an autocratic nature in the form of telling the members what to do and to get it done.In the form of collective efforts and decision making
Impression of the membersComing together for the fulfilment of specific tasksWorking together to accomplish a common goal
Sharing of responsibilityNo sharing of responsibilityTeam members share the responsibility
Nature of membersIndependentInterdependent (each member is dependent on the efforts put in by others)
Number of leadersOneCan be more than 1
Nature of work productIndividual work productCollective work product
Awareness of the everyday tasksNot much awareness as members tend to complete their own taskAware of the other members’ work, as success depends on collective functioning
Contribution to other members’ workLess or nil as members are focused on their own assignmentsCan contribute to other members’ work due to high visibility
End ResultsIt may not be great as members lack visibility of others’ workBetter due to high visibility
ConflictsHigh as each member may have different thought patternsLess due to small size and common goal
Development of membersLess scopeMore scope due to the recognition of individuals
Praising, rewards and recognitionLess or noneHigh


What is Group?

A group is a collection of persons whose main objective is to work in a cohesive manner to complete a typical assignment. Group members have an individual identity meaning each member is responsible for his or her own work without any collective responsibility or dependency on others.

The group can have multiple patterns or types, such as formal groups, which include task groups or committees created by an authority for completing a specific task; membership groups, such as trade unions; informal groups, such as friendship groups; permanent and ordinary groups etc. Group management tends to be more in the form of an imposing nature where people are provided directly to perform their duties.

Individuals in a group may not be appreciated, recognized and praised, with all success being attributed to the leader. The group may be small or large, but the people will have some common aspects that encourage the members to come and remain together.

However, due to individual choices and conflicts and non-dependency on other members, there can be a feeling of resentment and easy breaking or dissolution of the group.


What is Team?

A team is a group of individuals coming together in an organized fashion to achieve a common purpose. Team members will usually possess specific skill sets, enabling them to partner with others to achieve a common goal.

Team members possess collective accountability meaning all the members share the burden of responsibility or failure. The various examples of teams include project teams, leadership teams, football teams, management teams, special task teams, troubleshooting teams etc.

The team will have interdependence amongst members who share and contribute to the work of others, maximizing the overall potential and generating success. The team can create synergies among the members, generating collective efforts and using everyone’s knowledge for common purpose achievement.

Team management is based on the philosophy of nurturing the members through effective collaboration. This can mean including the members in the decision-making process, sharing tasks and recognizing, appreciating, celebrating, and rewarding the success of members that enable the production and retaining of the best talent.


Main Differences Between Group and Team

  1. A group is a collection of individuals who come together to fulfil a common task. A team is a collection of individuals coming together for the accomplishment of a common goal.
  2. The group follows a process of accomplishing the tasks by discussing the tasks and further delegating the same. The team follows a process of accomplishing the tasks through collective efforts, so every person in the team accomplishes that performance.
  3. Group focus is on the achievement of the goals of each individual, and hence members are not dependent on other members. The team focus is on the attainment of the goals of the team, so members are dependent on each other.
  4. The group develops work products which tend to be individualistic in nature. The team puts together work products which portray the entire team’s efforts.
  5. Group members are more interested in their own tasks and hence may not know or contribute to the work of other members. Team members have visibility of other members’ assignments, promoting contribution and high-quality results.
  6. Group conflicts are more and tough to resolve due to large size and lack of trust. Team conflicts are less due to small size, high visibility, high trust, internal bonding and cooperativeness.
Difference Between Group and Team
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tdpdDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Group+and+Team&ots=GN0LMg0xB6&sig=mo1A9LA-C9c4DAEKG4mOZh-TZ8U
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1998-07314-006
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