A group and a team represent two different collections of people, with solely different objectives. A team will work together to achieve a common objective while a group will collectively work to achieve individual objectives. Effective leadership unites the two collections of individuals to enhance objective attainment. This paper will differentiate a group and a team, explain ethical decision-making team leadership in the context of promoting social responsibility, identify the leadership styles and traits for effective team and group management, and include a discussion on ethical leadership.

Differences between a group and a team

A group comprises of various individuals working to complete a task collectively while a team is a group of people with a collective identity joined together to achieve an objective. In a group, mutually independent people with divergent goals are joined by a common experience and experience. They share resources and information, though each member is individually responsible for their work. A team, on the other hand, is an independent group of people with similar responsibility and objective. They mutually understand each other and thus maximize each other’s strengths. The table below provides the differences between a team and a group as described by Forsyth (2018).

Members of a group exclusively work independentlyTeam members perform tasks independently to achieve both team and personal objectives
Members do not plan for the goals of the groupThere is a sense of ownership between members towards each person’s role since they commit themselves to the objectives they created
Group members are given a specific task to executeTeam members work collectively to achieve the objectives of the team
Members are cautious to openly communicate as the given task restricts them to do soThe communication channel is open as different views are accepted
There is no channel of conflict resolutionConflicting opinion is an important part of problem-solving, and problems are constructively solved

Table 1: Differences between group and team

Ethical Decision-Making in Team Leadership that Promotes Social Responsibility

Ethical decision-making in team leadership entails accountability to the fulfillment of a leader’s civic duties and responsibilities. A leader’s actions must be beneficial to the whole team. Social responsibility is only accomplished when there is a balance in the welfare of the team and the objectives of the team (Kim, & Thapa, 2018).

Social responsibility theory hinges on ethics, in which the actions and decisions need to be validated before continuation. In case the decisions are viewed to be harmful to the team, then they are socially irresponsible.
Leadership Styles and Traits for Effective Team and Group Management

Effective team and group leadership is characterized by various styles and traits. Quality team and group performance derives from various key leadership traits and styles. Successful integration of the applied leadership styles by the team members and leaders leads to a collective success of the team and thus team or group failures may be due to failures to synchronize and coordinate personal contributions. Leaders are tasked with various traits and responsibilities as described below;

  1. Functional leadership

This style of leadership addresses the relationship between leaders and the team. In this perspective, leadership is viewed as a social problem-solving. Team and group leaders are tasked with solving arising problems that could slow the attainment of the objectives of the group and the team. They are also responsible for the generation and implementation of the appropriate solutions (Santos, Caetano, & Tavares, 2015).

  • Effective communication skills

Good leaders should clearly relay information to the team. Quality written and verbal communication skills allow for the effective relay of the expectations of the group or the team to the members in an understandable manner. This trait also enhances effective listening, and thus creating an effective means of communication in the team.

  • Efficacious organizational skills

Managers should possess efficacious organizational skills, which are important in planning and strategizing. This allows leaders to create and implement effective systems that help guide members towards achieving the objectives of the team or group. Efficacious organizational skills thus enable for optimum output and input from members.

  • Influential

Leaders should have influence in key areas of the team and group as this will inspire members to achieve their targets. Coupled with effective communication and decision-making, influential managers will be able to create changes in the team or group through gaining members confidence.  

Ethical Leadership

            Ethical leadership is the act of demonstrating leadership for the common good and in an appropriate and acceptable manner, with the aim of creating a conducive environment and a productive relationship. It is comprised of effective communication, championing for the significances of ethics, and being an example. An ethical leader should allow team members to have an open communication platform and also communicate with each member of the team as people interact in a variety of ways. Championing for the values of ethics as well as being an example to other team members are characteristics of ethical leaders.

            This aspect of leadership is important in teamwork as it helps nurture the well-being of an individual (Hansen, et al., 2016). An ethical leader who leads by example will in many cases impact other members as people tend to be affected by the interactions within their environment. Positive interactions in a team is an important factor in influencing task productivity and creating a positive attitude towards the task at hand. Acting as an example will further enhance a team’s energy and thus creating a productive working environment. It is important to understand that the success of a team largely relies on the effectiveness of the team leader, and thus utilization of ethical leadership as a leader is a morale-boosting factor in a team.


            This research aimed at highlighting the importance of effective leadership in a team or an organization. The research highlighted various leadership traits and styles that are important in achieving successful team management. It has ascertained that maintaining a productive team depends on the leadership traits and styles applied. Team members rely on the team leader to offer direction, solve-problems and provide the needed morale for successful completion of the team’s task. It is therefore important for managers to evaluate their utilization of leadership opportunities to enhance the attainment of company objectives.


Forsyth, D. R. (2018). Group dynamics. Cengage Learning.

Hansen, S. D., Dunford, B. B., Alge, B. J., & Jackson, C. L. (2016). Corporate social responsibility, ethical leadership, and trust propensity: A multi-experience model of perceived ethical climate. Journal of Business Ethics, 137(4), 649-662.

Kim, M. S., & Thapa, B. (2018). Relationship of ethical leadership, corporate social responsibility and organizational performance. Sustainability, 10(2), 447.

Santos, J. P., Caetano, A., & Tavares, S. M. (2015). Is training leaders in functional leadership a useful tool for improving the performance of leadership functions and team effectiveness?. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(3), 470-484.