Trends of Team work
In the last fifteen years, organizational structure has undergone a shift from the individual climb up the corporate ladder to an increasing emphasis on work teams and groups.
The shift to work teams is largely due to factors such as globalization, downsizing and the need for technological efficiency. As companies expand and tasks become more complex, more and more specialists are needed within organizations. These specialists must learn to work together so that colleagues have an understanding of the role and responsibility of those whose skill sets differ from their own. In addition, the convergence of products, services and technology from around the world has forced ...view middle of the document...
Most importantly, the team must have a desire to work together to implement solutions. A team that functions efficiently learns to benefit from the diversity of skills among its members, and the result is much more than can be accomplished by each member of that team working alone. It follows that the single most important factor in determining whether a team will work well and be productive is a sense of teamwork. This foundation should be in place before the team’s tasks are even defined. With a sense of teamwork and the right mix of skills, teams will have the basis for functioning autonomously and the commitment to accomplish their goals.
Work teams are usually self-managed, which is very different from the traditional management approach of holding individuals responsible for the whole group. Though they function collaboratively, most teams have a member who can function in a leadership role. When teams develop, natural leaders should be allowed to emerge. Team leaders have a role that is very different from traditional managers. The leader may facilitate group activities, such as brainstorming sessions in which no idea is a bad idea. With a free expression of ideas in an environment that encourages people to think actively, team members are more likely to proactively seek solutions in a way that allows every member of the team to participate according to his or her strengths and level of skill. When every member of the team is engaged, the group as a whole is productive.
While at best work teams operate to increase productivity, there are many challenges that can affect their efficiency and lead frustrated human resource managers to abandon the effort entirely. For example, members of a team can suffer from “groupthink,” the belief that every member already knows what the others will propose as solutions. When this happens, teams can become paralyzed by inaction. Issues related to globalization create what are perhaps the most daunting challenges to teams. As national borders become transparent and economies intertwine, there is an increased risk of choosing solutions that isolate or marginalize some team members because the solutions are based on preconceived notions that do not apply across international borders.