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Unformatted text preview: Abstract In this article, we explore the relationship between self-managed work teams and innovative behaviors they demonstrate from the socio-technical, social learning, and cognitive perspectives. Our specific argument is that self-managed work teams foster greater autonomy, increase communication among team members, and intensify their commitment to the team and the organization, which in turn enhances innovative behaviors in such teams. Propositions that may be of use to both the theo- retician and the practitioner are presented. Self-Managing Work Teams: Enhancing Organizational Innovativeness Increasing global competition, sharp reductions in product life cycles, and swift changes in consumer demand patterns have put greater emphasis on the organizational need for and com- mitment to innovations (Teece, 1998; Harryson, 2000). For purposes of this paper, innovation refers to the creation or adoption of a new idea, product, or technology that has the potential of adding value for the client (Harryson, 2000; Ohr, 1999). This increased emphasis on innovation has substantially changed the context of work in corporations in the Western industrial world. Corporations are now developing new organizational design and human resources management (HRM) practices to meet these challenges. Blue chip corporations such as IBM, ABB, XEROX, and Ericsson are implement- ing new programs such as Communities of Practice, job rotation and enlargement, and extra- corporate networking for building knowledge- based innovative organizations (Cusimano, 1995; Feature Articles Volume 23 ¡ Number 3 ¡ Fall 2005 53 Self-Managing Work Teams: Enhancing Organizational Innovativeness Senthil K. Muthusamy Jane V. Wheeler Bret L. Simmons Dr. Senthil K. Muthusamy, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, College of Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, is a member of the Academy of Management and Organization Development Network. He received his doctoral degree in management from Oklahoma State University. His research interests include social exchanges in interfirm alliances, knowledge manage- ment, and organizational learning and innovativeness. His research articles have been published in Organization Studies , and Journal of Information & Knowledge Management. Contact Information Senthil K. Muthusamy, Department of Management, College of Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403, Email: [email protected] Harryson, 2000; James, 1997). One such practice, which has seen increasing application in recent years, is the use of self-managing work teams (Druskat & Wheeler, 2003; Yandrick, 2001; Manz, 1992). Dramatic changes in technology, globalization, demographics, socio-cultural values, a shift from production-based industries to knowledge-intensive service industries, and deregulation have created a dynamic and hyper-competitive landscape (Schendel, 1995; Bettis & Hitt, 1995; Harryson, 2000) relative to the stable business environment...
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- Spring '12
- Management, Work teams, SMWTs, feature articles, Innovative Behaviors