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Press Release

University of Phoenix Survey Reveals Nearly Seven-in-Ten Workers Have Been Part of Dysfunctional Teams

PHOENIX, Jan. 16, 2013 – A recent University of Phoenix national survey finds that 95 percent of those who have ever worked on a team say teams serve an important function in the workplace, but less than a quarter (24 percent) prefer to work on teams. Furthermore, 36 percent of younger workers (ages 18-24) who recognize a team’s importance in the workplace, would prefer to work alone all of the time. Some of the hesitation to working in teams may come from negative team dynamics. Nearly seven-in-ten (68 percent) of those who have ever worked on a team, admit they were part of a dysfunctional unit.

Collaborating with different personalities can be challenging, which might be why many Americans believe that college graduates should possess teamwork skills. In fact, a majority (65 percent) say that collaboration and team-building are among the necessary skills for students coming out of school today, followed by conflict resolution (64 percent) and team management (61 percent).

“Employers and students should expect education to mirror the dynamics in the workplace,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. “This is why University of Phoenix integrates learning teams into curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Learning team projects help prepare students to be more effective in work environments that include team members with diverse skills and experience.”

Teams Behaving Badly

The survey identifies several key factors that may contribute to Americans’ reticence to engage in teamwork, including verbal and physical confrontations, scapegoating and spreading rumors. Forty percent of those who have ever worked on a team in the workplace have witnessed a verbal confrontation among team members, and 15 percent said a confrontation actually turned physical. Forty percent report that one team member placed the blame on another for something that went amiss and 32 percent said a team member started a rumor about another team member.

Teaching Teamwork in the Classroom

University of Phoenix integrates teamwork and collaboration training into its curriculum, so students enter the workforce with a skillset that includes organization, cooperation and effective communication.

To learn more about University of Phoenix’s efforts to help close the skills gap in the American workforce, visit www.phoenix.edu.



The University of Phoenix Education survey was conducted by Kelton, between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7, 2012, among 1,019 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, using an online survey. Quotas regarding the amount of respondents in standard demographics including age, gender, region, and ethnicity are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over.

About Kelton

Kelton is a market research and strategy consultancy that works with many of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands to help them better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized qualitative, quantitative, innovation and design research for a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors, including many in the Fortune 500. For more information, please see www.keltonglobal.com.



University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship university of  Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.phoenix.edu.


Media Contact: Tanya Flynn

University of Phoenix