Team building as a challenge to student completion at the College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University: Experience of staff
The purpose of the study was to explore team building as a challenge to student completion at the College of Education and External Studies of Makerere University. The study was based on the observation that team building was affected by many lecturers displayed ineffectiveness at work. Its objectives were thus to explore the influence of the personal challenges, leadership challenges, and structural challenges to team-building on the lecturers’ effectiveness. The study adopted an exploratory case study design involving a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. Data was collected using an interview schedule administered to two purposively selected deans and a semi-structured questionnaire administered to eight lecturers selected using convenience sampling. The data was analyzed using content analysis techniques, which included slightly edited narratives, scaled interpretation, deciphering and thematic analysis. Findings indicate that personal challenges to team-building adversely influenced the effectiveness of most of the lecturers at the College of Education and External Studies. These challenges included some lecturers’ negative attitude towards their colleagues, some lecturers’ low interest in lecturing, and incompatibilities that some lecturers displayed as a result of having incongruent central personality traits and personal values. The leadership challenges to team building also negatively influenced the effectiveness of these lecturers. These challenges were in form of bureaucratic and non-participatory leadership styles, and the method of task allocation that promoted a situation in which lecturers worked more as individuals than as a team. The influence of the structural challenges to team building was also a constraint to the effectiveness of the lecturers. These challenges were in form of departmentalized and structural allocation of tasks, and low application of internet facilities that would promote the building of virtual teams among lecturers across departments. From these findings, it was concluded that lecturers’ effectiveness was constrained by different challenges to team building. It was therefore recommended that the management of the College of Education and External Studies should address the challenges by dealing with incompatibilities in lecturers’ core values and personalities, adopting leadership training, revising the departmentalization and task allocation structure, and installing adequate internet facilities that promote virtual team building. Research was recommended into how these recommendations can be practically implemented.