In recent times, the structural trend within organizations world wide has been towards self-directed work teams. These consist of a varying number of employees forming a team or work group, who then combine their efforts to work towards a common goal or purpose, which can generally be broken down into smaller, interrelated segments. The defining difference between a self directed team and a normal work group, is that the team will perform the task or process with a considerable amount of autonomy, lacking the traditional managerial supervision and taking on the roles of management within the team. There is a clear connection between self-directed work teams and increased productivity, that is the overall outputs which the teams are in control of, in relation to the inputs used to generate that outcome. In particular the information sharing and individual motivation which stems from this type of structure, has resulted in the organizations which have implemented self directed work teams increasing their productivity, and a notable difference in the productivity rates between these organizations and the organizations which are still more traditionally managed.
There are inevitable problems associated with self directed work teams, especially in the implementation stage, which consist not only of the problems related to team working in general, but the more specific issues regarding the self-management within the self directed work teams. However, as the concept of self directed work teams is becoming more and more commonplace, research and experience has shown that there are various strategies which can be used to overcome these problems. The organizational redesign which has been occurring in recent years has been triggered primarily by the managerial desire for work groups to have increased authority to deal with the problems and issues which they encounter. Although self directed work teams do not have the formal leader or manager similar to typical working groups or teams, they can select a leader within the group, interchange leadership depending on the task or they can choose to remain without a leader. However it is important to note that if the team does decide to elect a ‘leader’ within the group, that the leader is aware that their role r is not the same as the traditional role as a leader or manager and that they need to behave in a whole new set of ways. This leader must function more as an educator, coach and facilitator, and be there more as a resource for the team to use, than someone to take charge (Dyer 1995).
The Organization that I use to work with, and that picked for my case study is on the United States Marine Corps. While serving in the corps we had an arrival of a new infantry Sergeant, Staff Sergeant Jordan. In my platoon we had people of all different cultures and ethnicity. Staff Sergeant Jordan was brought to our platoon because we had a hard timework together. All the Hispanics hung out with ...
The team then has to take on all the roles which in a more traditional format, would be determined by management. These roles include areas such as setting the team work goals, which must be in sync with the organizational goals, training the employees within the team to ensure they can do what is required of them, agreeing upon a suitable work schedule and deadlines, hiring new employees and terminating members within the team that are not working effectively. The team is then responsible for a designated process, from start to finish. They are required to take an input and produce an output. The team is granted considerable autonomy in the way they go about getting from the input to the output, as long as they are completing the process accurately and promptly. For example, in the case of a power utility a self directed work team may be established to be in charge of repairs.
Some management teams are bound to succeed while other are not due to a number of factors. A team, according to Adair (1986), is more than just a group with a common aim. It is a group in which the contributions of individuals are seen as complementary. Collaboration, working together, is the keynote of a team activity. Adair suggests that the test of an effective team is: “whether its members can ...
In the case of an electrical fault, the team would be notified of the problem. Weather the team then decides to split the task into sections and assign a single employee to each task, or if they decide to assign three employees to work through the process of repairing the fault together is up to them, as long as the input, being the damaged or faulty equipment, is transformed into an output, being a properly functioning machine, in the required time. Osburn, J. D. (2000) The new self-directed work teams: mastering the challenge New York: McGraw-Hill Many, C. C.
, Sims, H. P. (1995) Business without bosses: how self-managing teams are building high-performing companies New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc. McShane, S. and Travaglione, T. (2003), Organisational Behaviour on the Pacific Rim, New South Wales: McGraw Hill Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, Coulter (2003), Management, New South Wales: Prentice Hall Australia Accel Team.
com (2003), ‘Section Two: Employee Motivation in the Workplace’ [Online], Accel Team United Kingdom, < web > [13 October 2003].