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reported using team structures (Gordon, 2002). During the same period, as v many as 68% of the Fortune 1000 companies used self-managed teams
(Lawler, Mohrman & Ledford, 1995).
There were two main reasons for undertaking this study: satisfying my own
natural inquisitiveness regarding teams, and investigating teamwork and the
expectations of employees of teamwork in 21st century South African
organisations. I set out to explore, describe and understand the challenges
teams have to face, as well as individuals’ expectations of working in teams. A
qualitative approach, with due reference to the multiple levels of organisational behaviour (individual, groups and organisational level), was
applied in this quest to understand team expectations and challenges in
A total of 20 in-depth, semi-structured interviews and four focus group
interviews were conducted amongst 38 voluntary participants. The transcripts
were then thoroughly analysed and compared to identify shared themes and
to explore differences and similarities in terms of team experiences and
Four themes and numerous sub-themes evolved from the research. Theme 1
deals with the individual level expectations of teamwork, and represents the
individuals’ need to be part of the organisation and to enjoy this experience.
Theme 2 indicates the specific team level expectations of team work. Teams
expressed a need for clear roles and to be rewarded if they reached those
goals, as well as for team skills. Theme 3 deals with the expectations that
leaders and organisations have when they implement teamwork. It turns out
that organisations often implement teams and expect them to solve business
problems without offering the relevant support to those teams. Theme 4
addresses the greatest challenges teams face in 21st century South African
organisations. Virtual teaming and a loss of identity are identified as a few of
these challenges. The themes as well as sub-themes are discussed in detail
in Chapter 4.
Based on the study findings, several recommendations are made based on
the shared experiences and unique feedback of these 38 individuals from all vi organisational levels. I further identify various “team paradoxes”, as I call
them, and indicate the relevance of these paradoxes in understanding teams.
Some of the findings question existing premises regarding teamwork,
establishing a foundation for possible future research. The truth is that there is
still much to be done in terms of optimising team effectiveness and a better
organisational understanding of the complexities of individuals working
together in teams. vii OPSOMMING STUDIELEIER : Dr Yvonne du Plessis DEPARTEMENT : Menslike Hulpbronbestuur FAKULTEIT : Ekonomiese en Bestuurswetenskappe GRAAD : “PhD IN ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR” Organisasies is toenemend ten gunste van spanwerk en die ontwikkeling van
spanne in hulle strewe na effektiwiteit in ‘n vinnig veranderende markomgewing. Bestuurders sowel as leiers moet hulle spanne toerus ten
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- Summer '13