Professor Ashraf Esmail
Sociology of the Workplace
June 27, 2012
Self-Directed Work Teams: Annotated Bibliography
Cartmell, K. (2000). Self-Directed work teams in a health care environment. Home Health Care manager Prac, 12(6), 38-40. This article defines what a self-directed work teams are. It gives an overview of what qualities make a good team and the qualities that make an employee a good team member. Empowerment is based on trust, open communication, and shared decision making. Through education and empowerment the teams become powerful decision makers for recruitment, interviewing, performance measures, and team-based budgets. Benefits of self-directed work teams in health care organizations improve quality of care, increase efficiency in the delivery of care, and enhance customer satisfaction. All this translates into an organization that is financially stable and an organization that has high employee satisfaction. Carton, A., & Cummings, J. (2012). A theory of subgroups in work teams. Academy of management review, 37(3), 441-470. This article discusses several theories of subgroups in work teams. To be considered a subgroup it must be a subset of the members of the same work team whose membership and task are formally recognized by the organization. A subgroup is characterized by the interdependence that is unique because of a shared culture value or knowledge frame. A particular subgroup in a work team is likely to have between two and six members. The article has a table that shows a topology of subgroups in work teams. It identifies three types of subgroups. One subgroup is called "identity- based" which are cliques, those identifies relationally and socially. Another subgroup is referred to as "resource-based", which are built around coalitions, factions, alliances, and blocs. The last subgroup is called "knowledge-based" that are made up of information processing, cohorts, clusters, and task-related. For large organizations that are using self-directed work team this research information on subgroups adds information on another managerial style.
Douglas, C., & Martin, J. K. (2006). Communication in the transition to self-directed work teams. Journal of Business Communication, 43(4), 295-321. This article discusses the importance of communication when organizations are in the transition of developing self-directed work teams. As this manufacturing firm implements change from bureaucratic to team-based management they experienced multiple forms of communication modifications. The results of the study indicate that managers who communicated persuasively using "soft" influence tactics were more effective. Three soft influence tactics were identifies as inspirational appeals, consultation, and rational persuasion. They also learned that team communication had a positive effect on the team member’s participation. By positive communication within the teams the organization experienced relationships characterized by trust, mutual respect, and openness between superiors, subordinates, and coworkers. This article supports organizations transition to self-directed work teams. It gives insight into the different communication styles and changes in a manager’s role in an organization with self-directed work teams. Frankforter, S., & s, C. (2006). Finding competitive advantage in self-managed work teams. Business Forum, 27(1), 20-24. The articles make a point how self-managed work teams give companies an advantage in the marketplace. Work teams are proving to be a valuable managerial tool for improving productivity, cost management, and quality. It is a tool to revise the top-down style leadership that became very popular in the 1980’s. The article covers four problems with the traditional top-down leadership approach. These areas were inflexibility, inefficiency, absenteeism/turnover, and accountability problems. The new approach focused on job enrichment through...