Before the important characteristics that are important for a successful MUN and any other team will be announced, let us make sure that we have an equal understanding what a team is. Let us assume that a team is a group of people that have a certain role given inside this group and that every other team member understands each role a person has in this group. The tasks are given according to the strength of every team member to ensure that the group would be as effective as possible.
To most business students, the theory of R. M. Belbin’s nine characteristics of an effective team should be known. Belbin created in 1969 a business game to study different behaviour of different teams and how the characteristics of the team members might affect the results of the team in the end of the game. After the game had been played and repeated many times, there could be identified nine different characteristics that are important in an effective team. This means lacking one of the nine characteristics or having too many of one characteristic is bad for a team.
The nine characteristics are as follows: Plant, Resource Investigator, Co-ordinator, Shaper, Monitor Evaluator, Teamworker, Implementer, Completer Finisher and Specialist. To make it easier to follow these nine important characteristics, a table with the characters and their definitions by Belbin has been created.
The nine characteristics that are needed for a successfully-run team does not mean that a perfect MUN organizing team would need nine people. In most MUNs more people are needed, depending on the number of participants. However,the core organizing team should have all these characteristics on aggregateto ensure that the MUN would keep on running the way it should.
Also, if all these nine characteristics are found in the core MUN organizing team, it does not necessarily mean that the team will be successful.The aim is to keep these nine characteristics balanced. For example a too perfectionist approach from a completer finisher can have a bad influence on the dynamics of the whole team.
It does not take a lot to make a functioning team a totally non-functioning team. In most cases, one only needs a few really bad characteristics such as lacking the understanding of actual money, being unrespectful towards others and making decisions without letting others know to name a few of them. It is also already enough that only one team member has some really bad characteristics to get the whole team out of balance.
Out of my own experience I can tell that it is enough to have one person in the core organizing group with some really bad characteristics to bring the whole MUN to be totally ruined. In a situation like that, it does not matter if this person has the good characteristics mentioned in Belbin’s theory if there is even one characteristic that the person has that makes co-operation with him impossible to maintain. However, the characteristics Belbin has outlined are a good guideline for us when composing a core MUN team which needs to possess the mentioned characteristics.