Week_7_Download_Harley - Self-managed work teams,...

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Self-managed work teams, self-directed work teams, high performance/high commitment teams, employee involvement teams, employee participation teams, quality circles, and total quality management teams — all are names given to an organizational approach designed to empower work teams to make more decisions affecting their work units. The introduction of the "team concept" in the work place is one of the leading strategies US corporations are using in the 1990s to gain a competitive advantage. Leading companies such as American Express, Disney, Ford, General Mills, Hewlett-Packard, and Shell Oil are using empowerment techniques to increase organizational effectiveness and employee morale. Recent surveys have reported up to 70 percent of US companies are employing some version of self-managed work teams (SMWT) or high-performance work teams (Dumaine, 1994; McCann & Buckner, 1994; Ostennan, 1993). McCann and Buckner found, however, that only about one-third of human resource professionals believed that power and decision making were truly being shifted to lower levels within the organization. They questioned whether empowerment was being directed from the top-down without the corresponding movement of power. They called for additional research to obtain a better understanding of what actually is occurring in organizations empowering their employees. The purpose of this case analysis is to exploi e the perceived readiness of an organization to implement the team concept. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are performed to examine the different perceptions of managers, team leaders, and team members with regard to the team concept. Suggestions are made on how to more effectively introduce and implement the team concept. Transitioning to Team-Based Management us business has accepted the general concept of empowering employees. However, there is considerable disagreement regarding what empowering employees and teams actually means (Dumaine, 1994). There appears to be a high level of agreement among managers that empowering teams is desirable but a great deal of disagreement on what it is they , as managers, should do to implement it! The most common definition of team-based management is that it is an evolutionary process in which team members eventually are "empowered" to make all decisions relevant to the functioning of their work unit (Case, 1995). Table I highlights the key differences between a traditional managementbased
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company and one employing team-based management. The movement toward teams is a dramatic change for most organizations and, as with any significant change, organizational members face many impediments and considerable reluctance. A substantial body of literature suggests that
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course PM586ON B taught by Professor W during the Fall '10 term at Keller Graduate School of Management.

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Week_7_Download_Harley - Self-managed work teams,...

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