A team can evolve from a pre-existing group. However, a group by itself cannot be considered a team. A team tends to be more close knit and works together over a longer period of time than a group. A team also holds a stronger sense of collective identity than a group.
Definition of a Group
A common definition of a group is three or more individuals that interact about a common goal and have influence over one another. Three components of a group are size, goal orientation, and influence. Figure 1
Definition of a Team
A common definition of a team is that it comprises a group of people. A group can develop into a team if it has a coordinated effort to reach a common goal. Teams are typically more close-knit groups of people who work together over a long period of time to accomplish a goal.
Differences Between Groups and Teams
A group doesn't necessarily constitute a team because a team requires a coordinated effort. A team is a more specialized in that it includes common resources and collective effort. Characteristics of a group are interdependence, interaction, synergy, common goals, shared norms, and cohesiveness. A group can be informal, such as 3-12 people that are in a meeting to discuss a business problem. Teams are structured more formally and are sometimes assigned. Teams have a purpose, specific goals, and assigned duties. Teams need to have different members with special roles in order to help achieve a common goal.
On the other hand, groups are often comprised of people with similar abilities and goals and may not have participating members with different skill sets. Groups come together more casually and will typically have less structured meetings than teams. A successful business needs both groups and teams in order to function effectively. Groups may come together to solve less complex issues in meetings, while teams will be structured and formed in order to solve more difficult issues that take a longer time to solve.