Self-directed work teams (SDWTs) - Cross-functional work groups organized around work processes that complete and entire piece of work requiring several interdependent tasks, and that have substantial autonomy over the execution of those tasks. (minimal upper management involvement) Example on the book: Whole food Market * Store team (management) - productivity, inventory, sales, losses. * Sea food Team * Warehouse Team * Cashier Team * Bakery Team Other Example: Warehouse * Loading/Unloading Team * Inventory Team * Management Team * Delivery Team * Maintenance Team * Order pullers Team SDWTs were initially designed for production facilities, but are now found in other job environments.
Sociotechnical systems (STS) theory – (STS theory was introduced during the 1940s at Britain’s Tavistock Institute, where researchers had been studying the effect of technology on coal mining in the United Kingdom) A theory stating that effective work sites have joint optimization of their social and technological systems, and that teams should have sufficient autonomy to control key variances in the work process. Four Main Conditions of high-performance SDWTs: 1. Responsible for an Entire Work Process 2. Sufficient Autonomy 3. Control Key Variances 4. Operate under Joint Optimization (In other words: the technological system should be implemented in ways to make the work/task easier, facilitate team dynamics, and obtain good feedback.)
Challenges to Self-Directed Work Teams In determining the best combination of social and technical subsystems corporate leaders need to recognize and overcome three potential barriers to self-directed work teams: 1. Cross-Cultural Issues The culture in the country where the tasks or services are conducted should be taken into consideration since business is conducted differently in other parts of the world. Some employees want to have total control of their work and some rather just follow orders. 2. Management Resistance Management sometimes has a problem giving responsibility and control to employees because they may be afraid of loosing power. When management learns how to be more “hands off” and gives the employees control, self directed teams will operate more effectively. 3. Employee and Labor Union Resistance Some employees are afraid of change, exploring new roles, learning new techniques, or adding more assignments to their job which may cause resistance to becoming more self-directed.
Virtual teams : Teams whose members operate across space, time and organizational boundaries and who are linked through information technologies to achieve organizational goals. Virtual Teams usually: - Have members in different physical locations. - Members depend on information technologies rather than face-to-face. Advantages of virtual teams: - Instant messaging - Virtual whiteboards - Makes it easier to coordinate people at a distance - No need to travel to meet to discuss issues etc.
Designing high-performance virtual teams: Team Environment: Need several communication channels to replace the lack of face-to-face communication. Team Tasks: Virtual teams work better structured than in complex tasks. Team size and Composition: Smaller teams, be skilled in communication through information technology, and require cross-cultural awareness and knowledge. Team Processes: Team development/formation requires some face-to-face interaction to begin the process.
High Trust : A psychological state composing the intention to accept vulnerability based on positive expectations of the intent or behavior of another person. Team Trust: Virtual Teams require a certain amount of trust and a relationship between team members. Individual Difference in Trust: The individual’s ability to trust varies by the person and how much they are willing to trust others. Dynamics of Trust in Teams: Most people join a team with a high level of trust in their new co-workers. However, trust is based on assumptions rather than experience. Trust usually lowers as experience grows. Potential level of trust Low
Constraints on Team Decision Making • More time is required with large groups • Evaluation Apprehension • Pressure to Conform • Groupthink • Group Polarization
Time Constraints • More time is required to make a decision with large groups • Production Blocking • Makes concentrating on your own ideas difficult while listening to others • Ideas may be forgotten • May ignore others to focus on your own ideas
Evaluation Apprehension • When individuals are reluctant to mention ideas because they believe other team members are silently evaluating them • Most common in meetings with different levels of status
Pressure to Conform • Causes team members to suppress their ideas to “fit in” • Members might punish a violator • Opinions will be persuaded to be incorrect
Groupthink • The tendency of cohesive groups to value consensus at the price of decision quality • Common in stressful situations, team has experienced failure, team lacks clear guidance or an opinionated leader • Characteristics of groupthink can improve the decision-making process
Group Polarization • A tendency of teams to make more extreme decisions than individuals working alone • Team members support same position • Persuasive arguments convince doubters to the majority • Individuals feel less responsible
Improving Team Creativity & Decision Making • Constructive Conflict: team members debate their different perceptions about an issue that is focused on the task • Brainstorming: members are free to generate as many ideas possible without criticism by abiding by four rules
Electronic Brainstorming: members produce and share ideas through computers • Delphi Method: decision-making process of systematically pooling the knowledge of experts to make decisions, predict the future or identify opposing views • Nominal Group Technique: members write down ideas, describe and clarify them to the group and then independently rank or vote on them
Types of Team Building • Goal Setting: clarifies the team’s performance and increases motivation • Role Definition: encompasses the emerging concept of team mental models • Interpersonal Process: identifying the team’s weaknesses and learn to continuously manage constructively • Problem Solving: team’s participate in hypothetical situations
Is Team Building Effective? • Maybe • Leaders assume activities are general solutions • Assume activities are a one-shot solution • No diagnosis of team’s specific needs
1. Evaluation Apprehension occurs when individuals are reluctant to mention ideas because they believe other team members are silently evaluating them. True or False 2. Interpersonal Process is a type of team building. True or False 3. Name a type of trust:___________ • Identification-based trust • Knowledge-based trust • Calculus-based trust 4. Teams who meet across space and who are linked through information technology are called: ___________ (Virtual Teams) 5. What does SDWT stand for: a. Self Directed Work Teams b. Stress Development Working Teams c. Self Directed Work Time Answer: a