Masters of Sociological Thought, Case Study Example


Organizations function as a large group. Members can create teams capable of completing tasks. It must be understood that even though organizations behaved like a group, they need a team culture for accomplishment of goals. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) a classical sociological theorist applied the biological approach into understanding how organizations function as a group and at the same time creates teams to achieve daily objectives. Spencer (1820 -1903)    advanced that the human body is like an organization or society. Organs of the body are developed into groups, which function as teams to carry out various distinct processes in the body’s organization (Coser, 2007).

For example, the heart and blood vessels are group of structures which team up in creating the circulation system responsible for pumping blood throughout the human body. Similarly society consists of groups of structures forming intuitions, which operate as a team to service humanity. A typical example is health care whereby hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses function as the healthcare organization (Coser, 2007).

Case description

This case study pertains to team functions as a feature of organizational behavior. While teams are considered reformed groups functioning to accomplish specific tasks within the organization they do have similar characteristics to groups. In this case study the team operates in a health care organization. They are designed to perform obstetric care in an obstetric clinical setting. The team consists two advanced practice nurses, one license practical nurse, one patient care technician and an obstetrician.

The two advanced nurse practitioners are leaders of the team; one being the senior and other junior. The senior advanced nurse practitioner monitors women in labor and prepares to conduct uncomplicated deliveries. The junior one evaluates women who are not in active labor, but are hospitalized due to complications of pregnancy for management. He/she communicates with the attending obstetrician updating him/her with women’s progress in labor and those in prenatal care.

The senior advanced nurse practitioner (obstetrics) assigns specific tasks for the both the LPN and the patient care technician. Within the healthcare setting roles of these team members are limited to their licensure. However, the team leaders’ expertise ensures that tasks allocation do not exceed the licensure requirements.

Discussion and evaluation

One question pertains to the obstetrician being the team leader. Teams conduct functions using skills of experts to compliment execution of tasks. The tasks here require the skills of an expert is delivery of woman in labor the goal is a successful delivery of infant and safe post delivery experiences. The obstetrician cannot serve as expert and team leader because both roles deserved full attention (Chand, 2014).

While teams consuist of a group of people they do have a common purpose. Human teams are most effectively used in completing   high complexity  tasks such as those contained in obstetric nursing. Usually, they are interdependent subtasks as those carried out by the senior and junior advanced nurse practitioners, LPN and patient care technician.  A group does not have the characteristics of a team. In teams members combine complementary skills that generate synergetic force.  This is obtained from coordinated efforts allowing each member the opportunity to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses (Forsyth, 2006).


 This case study highlighted organizational behavior in terms of group dynamics. A sociological interpretation was given showing how a classical theorist embraced the notion of organization behavior being that of a human organism. A case study highlighting how an obstetric team  was organized to deliver infants was offered.


Coser, L. (2007) Masters of sociological thought: ideas in historical and social context. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Chand, S. (2014) Group Dynamics: Its characteristics, stages, types and other Details. Management, Retrieved from

Forsyth, D. (2006). Teams: Group Dynamics (5th Ed.)  Belmont: CA, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning

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