1. Why have teams become so popular?
a. As organizations have restructured themselves to compete more effectively and efficiently, they have turned to teams as a better way to use employee talents
b. Teams are more flexible and responsive to changing events
c. Teams facilitate employee participation in operating decisions
d. Teams are an effective means for management to democratize organizations and increase employee motivation
2. Differences between groups and teams
a. Group: two or more individuals, interacting, and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives
b. Work group: a collective of any size that interacts primarily to share information and make decisions to help each member perform within his area of responsibility
i. Have no need or opportunity to to engage in collaborative work that requires joint effort
c. Work Team: Generates positive synergy through coordinated effort
i. Individual efforts result in a level of performance greater than the sum of those individual inputs.
3. Types of Teams
a. Problem-solving teams
i. Typically composed of 5-12 hourly employees from the same department who meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment. ii. rarely have the authority to unilaterally implement any of their suggestions
b. Self-managed work teams
i. Groups of employees (typically 10 to 15) who perform highly related or interdependent jobs and take on many of the responsibilities of their former supervisors. ii. Typical tasks: planning & scheduling work, assigning tasks to members, making operating decisions, taking action on problems, and working with suppliers and customers. iii. Do not typically manage conflicts well. iv. Team members report high levels of job satisfaction, but also sometimes have higher absenteeism and turnover rates