Team based management


When two or more people gather together in order to accomplish a common task, then it’s known as a group. A team comprises of a group of people who are link for a common purpose. Teams are suitable for tasks which are complicated in nature. In a team there are different people with different skills to support one another. People individual ability helps minimize other people’s disability. There are many teams like independent and interdependent team; self managed team, project teams, sports team, cross functional team and virtual team. (Wikipedia, 2008) The main objective of this essay is to identify the advantages of team based management and affect of team on organization culture and structure. In this essay, different types of teams, pros and cons of team, impacts of team on organization structure and culture have been discussed.

A team which is staffed with a mix of specialists is known as a cross functional team. On the other hand members of virtual team are electrically connected. These types of teams are important for the success of any organization. A team’s effectiveness can be determined by considering the people and organizational related factor. Employee job satisfaction, high job security, mutual trust and team spirit, good communication, low unresolved problem and power struggle lies in the people related factors. Organization stability, proper reward and compensation, autonomy, stable goals, well directives lies in the organizational factors. Combination of these two factors builds up an effective team. High performance, high morale, high job security, high team commitment are the characteristics of an effective team. Another important aspect of building an effective team is trust. Trust is the belief in integrity, character and ability of others. Without trust an effective team cannot be formed. Trust leads to the way of revealing information which creates influence on others and help to gain control on one-self as well as others. Communication, support, respect, fairness, predictability and competency are the six steps of building trust. (Kreitner, 2007)

Teams are basic functional unit of an organization. It brings complementary skills and experiences of various people which is better than any individual. It produces high morale, productivity and sense of competition among the members of an organization. Teams are not always effective. It has some advantages and disadvantages as well. Advantages of having a team includes highly motivated work climate and environment, shared ownership, faster response to technology change, cross training, delegation of work, better communication, improved self- worth etc. On the other hand disadvantages of a team includes time consuming and conflicting, confused group member, role confusion and required longer time for results etc. Everything has it’s positive and negative side. But nowadays teams are coming to the lime light only because of it’s high efficiency. A well organized team can bring a company tremendous result. The company might reach to its desired target before deadline. For all these reasons, the concept of team is now emerging. One another thing is mentionable here that all workplace groups are not teams. To be a team, group of people have to behave like a team. There should be trust among the team members and a driving force of achievement should be there in the team. (Alachua excels, N/A)

There are several ways of building a team. The three most practiced approaches are formal retreat, continual improvement and outdoor experience. In case of outdoor experience approach, the members of a team a put in such an outdoor situation where they have to work physically and mentally to prove their capabilities. Though its not a widely practiced approach but it’s a good way to build a team. For an effective team building, the members should be given clear and specific objective. There should be good communication among members and the leaders should play a role model for the members. While choosing the members the organization has to be careful about the skills of the members. Members with proper skills should be taken in the team. The team members should be regularly introduced with new facts and there must be driving force in the team which will lead the team toward achievement. Regular feedback should be provided for the team members and there should be specific training and development programs. By following all these criteria an effective team can be formed. It is very important for any team to have clear goals. Each member should know what their role is in a team and there should be no role ambiguity or role uncertainty. It only creates confusion among the members. If everyone in the team behaves according to their role, it’ll be easy to reach the goal. (Wood, Chapman, Osborn, 2004)

The basic foundation of an organization is its structure. It makes up the organization. The type of the structure is purely determined by the type of the organization. Whether the organization is product oriented or service oriented is the indicator of the structure of the organization. Wheelwright and Clark defined two types of organizations; the functional organization and the project organization. Functional organizations are mainly service oriented organizations. One people has all the skills to complete a task and the type of job is not that much complicated. A light-weighted matrix organization remains functional and the level of specialization is comparable to that found in the functional mode. What is different is the addition of a product manager who coordinates the product creation activities through liaison representatives from each function. Their main tasks are: to collect information, to solve conflicts and to facilitate achievement of overall project objectives. Their status and influence are less as compared to functional managers, because they have no direct access to working-level people. On the other hand, in case of project organization, the job is complicated and usually a single person doesn’t have all the knowledge and capability to complete the task. The level of difficulty is also high here. Team based management is appropriate for these types of organization. In these types of organizations the workload is high and complex. So, team is used here to remove the unnecessary variables and make the production faster. In increases productivity as well as specialization. But it’s not possible to implement team based management in functional organization. In functional organization there are only temporary formal teams like quality control teams or task team. These teams are created for a specific purpose and after the completion of task the team gets disbanded. But in production based organizations, team is a must. Without a team the production will not be up to the mark. (Organizational Structure, N/A) [Online]
To sustain in today’s competitive business environment organizations must change their organization structure. The primary objective of changing organization structure is nothing but promoting globalization. Especially the production oriented organization should concentrate more on changing the structure. Long ago Henry Ford’s assembly line has proven the effectiveness of team. It not only increases the production capability of the organization but also increases specialization. Through specialization they create a life long employment opportunity for the worker. It is expensive to transform the bureaucratic organizations to a flat team based organization. For that the organization has to concentrate on horizontal specialization of the employees which includes more personal coordination and customer oriented service. The design of the organization has to be transferred to organic design. Though organic designs are not as productive as mechanistic organization but in the long run organic design proves to be beneficial for the organization since the employees don’t get dissatisfied. (Chowdhury, F. 2008).

Centralization refers to the degree power is distributed in the organization. In centralized organizations power is in the hand of the top level management. In this type of organization team based management doesn’t work properly. Here teams emerge only to solve problems and after solving the problem the team gets dissolved. The members of the team don’t know much about the higher level of the organization. So they are not that much effective. On the other hand teams are appropriate for decentralized organizations. This is the culture of decentralized organizations. In this type of organization power is delegated to lower level and teams work together to achieve the goal. The competition among teams is more intense in these organizations which are a positive factor. (Team self management, organizational structure and judgments of team effectiveness, 2004) [Online]

It’s not obvious that teams will work effectively and create a positive impact on the organizational goal. Sometimes reverse happens and the team dysfunctions. There are several reasons behind dysfunction of a team. The main reasons are lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. The main reason behind this is that sometimes team members think that their contribution is less noticeable and they are not properly rewarded. Sometimes team doesn’t see the end product which also is frustrating for them. Moreover there are social loafers who like to see others working in the team. Sometimes it takes long time to build a team. These are the reasons behind dysfunction of a team. These problems can be solved by applying Hackman and Oldham’s job characteristic model. The best ways to motivate employees are skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. (Chowdhury, F. 2008)

Though there are some pros and cons of team based management but to sustain in today’s world, it is important to implement this approach. Team based management affects the structure and culture of the organization and sometimes it’s expensive to implement this approach. From the above discussion it is clear that TBM is not appropriate all type of organizations. It is most suitable for the production oriented organizations. It is important to understand the basic motive of a team and the key points of building an effective team. Organizations for which teams are suitable and the key points of building an effective team are discussed in this essay.

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