The Value of Self-Directing Work Teams

By Galli, Brian J.; Kaviani, Mohamad Amin | Industrial Management, March/April 2017 | Go to article overview

The Value of Self-Directing Work Teams


Galli, Brian J., Kaviani, Mohamad Amin, Industrial Management


Self-directing work teams (also known as self-designing work teams) are teams that are authorized to decide their objectives and how to achieve them. Research indicates that such teams offer many benefits, including the most potential for innovation, enhanced goal commitment and motivation and opportunity for organizational learning and change, L.J. Thompson wrote in Making the Team:A Guide for Managers. But organizations should be aware that self-directing work teams also have a few key disadvantages. According to Thompson, they can be time-consuming, have the greatest potential for conflict and can be very costly to build.

What the research says

In 2007, B.A. Macy, G. F. Farias, J.F. Rosa and C. Moore reported about their study, where they examined the organizational design of a global consumer products manufacturer that was trying to move toward high-performance work systems with self-directed work teams. The study, "Built to Change: High-Performance Work Systems and Self-Directed Work Teams - A Longitudinal Quasi-Experimental Field Study," was published in Research in Organizational Change and Development. It showed that self-directed work teams made an important contribution to organizational development, change management and organizational transformation.

Likewise, M. Roy's study in Safety Science focused on how self-directed work teams have considerably changed the power with companies. Not only have they been able to carry out necessary work and tasks, but they are able to make decisions normally made by line supervisors, Roy reported in "Self-directed Work Teams and Safety: A Winning Combination?" Roy examined the ability of self-directed work teams to affect 12 factories in Quebec. The study revealed that the empowerment provided to self-directed work teams positively affected the management of health and safety. Teams played more important roles in planning, implementation and monitoring of corrective measures.

J.R. Wilson and S.M. Grey-Taylor performed a case study on self-directed work teams and their ability to tackle issues with a product redesign through the use of simultaneous engineering. Specifically, "Simultaneous Engineering for Self-directed Work Teams Implementation: A Case Study in the Electronics Industry," in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, examined their interactions among various disciplines and parallel consideration of product design. Results indicated that members of self-directed work teams, through their involvement in the first pilot of the redesign, were able to gain confidence, skills and knowledge.

C. Douglas and W.L. Gardner found that the use of self-directed work teams can contribute to current product and process development. "Transition to Self-directed Work Teams: Implications of Transition Time and Self-Monitoring for Managers' Use of Influence Tactics" in the Journal of Organizational Behavior focused on the tactics required by management to use self-directed work teams.

Today, organizations tend to rely on self-directed work teams due to the high expectations, demand and the need for work empowerment. Various analyses indicate that although selfdirected work team tactics are needed to implement this new team environment, most management tactics still focus on an individual level. But many authors suggest that transitioning to these new teams will require an adjustment by management. In this adjustment period, managers tend to use soft influence tactics and decrease their use of high influence tactics.

D.F. Elloy, in "The Influence of Superleader Behaviors on Organization Commitment, Job Satisfaction and Organization Self-esteem in a Self-managed Work Team," collected data from a nonunion paper mill company in a rural community located in the Northeast. The authors findings, reported in Leadership & Organization Development Journal, indicated that groups led by supervisors with superleader characteristics had higher organizational commitment, job satisfaction and organizational self-esteem. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Value of Self-Directing Work Teams
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.