Chapter 9: Teams
Evidence suggests that teams out perform individuals on tasks that require multiple skills,
judgment, and experience.
As organizations restructure themselves to compete more effectively and efficiently, they
are turning to teams as a better way to utilize the talents of employees.
Management has found that teams are more flexible and responsive to a changing
environment because they can be quickly assembled, deployed, refocused, and disbanded.
In addition, teams promote job satisfaction through enhancing employee involvement,
increasing employee morale, and promoting work force diversity.
Also, superior work teams are fundamental to TQM.
Team development is a dynamic, ongoing process that can be broken into five stages:
forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.
The first stage,
, is characterized by uncertainty about the team’s purpose,
structure, and leadership. This stage is when members begin to think of themselves as a
stage involves intragroup conflict over individual roles and leadership. This
stage is complete when there is relatively clear leadership within the team.
stage, close relationships and group cohesiveness develop. This stage is
complete when the team’s structure solidifies and members have accepted group norms
that pertain to workplace behavior.
In the fourth stage,
, the structure
is fully functional and accepted by all team
members. For permanent teams, performing is the last stage.
For temporary teams, though, the final stage is
, and the team wraps-up
activities and prepares to disband.
is two or more interdependent individuals who interact to achieve particular
interacts primarily to share information and make decisions that will help
group members to perform their on-the-job responsibilities.
generates positive synergy through coordinated effort. The figure above
highlights the differences between work groups and work teams.
In an effort to obtain synergy that can boost performance, many organizations have
recently restructured work processes around teams. The use of teams creates the potential
for an organization to generate greater outputs with no increase in inputs.
But there is nothing “magical” in the creation of teams that assures the achievement of
positive synergy. And merely calling a group a team does not automatically increase its
are problem solving teams that consist of eight to ten employees and
supervisors who assume responsibility for solving quality problems. These teams
recommend their solutions to management for final approval.
Self-managed work teams
consist of ten to fifteen people who assume the responsibilities
of their former supervisors: such as, controlling the pace of work, organizing breaks,
determining work assignments, choosing inspection procedures, and choosing and