Why Work Teams Don't Work

Topics: Human resource management, Management Pages: 11 (3846 words) Published: November 4, 2011
Why Work Teams Aren’t Allows Effective’’
Teams have become a mainstay in the way America does business. Teams started as social-technical-business experiments and have since vaulted their way into the American business environment. Led by Deming’s Total Quality Management movement the development of teams has become the standard acceptable structure for a majority of organizations today. Throughout my work experience and my university based education the concepts and theories about the use and need for teams have been stressed. Personally, my position of the use of work teams, based on my personal experiences t is that most organizations should slow-down in the use of teams and carefully hand pick specific tasks and assignment in which a work team will flourish. Organizations can be successful by not using teams and using alternative structures for accomplishing goals and in developing strategies. ,In this paper, I will look at reasons why, I believe that the overall use of teams in American business environments is more of a negative than a positive. I am not saying that there are not some places for using teams but that the use of work teams should only be used for selective assignments and tasks and that I take the position that for teams to be successful that major changes need to take place in the psyche of the American workers.

According to Daft, organizations build teams with the idea that people who work together can work as a team. Such teams can be brought together for all kinds of reasons including to discuss conflicts, goals, decision making processes, communications, creativity and leadership. It is believed by many that teams building will lead to better results and help in overcome organizational problems. Teams can be used for product development, task forces, or as committees Daft suggests that team building and large group intervention activities are an effective ways to have employees involved in an organizations change processes (Daft, R., 2007).

In order to understand my argument, it is important to understand that there are some positive benefits, which an organization’s employees could obtain from the development of successful teams. These benefits that the employees could develop are (Ozols V., 1996): •Project management skills

Strategic planning
Problem solving
Conflict management
Facilitation skills
Communication skills
Negotiation skills
Group dynamics training
Functional cross-training
Strategic planning
Diversity training
Leadership training
It should be noted that most team results are average at best and are rarely considered being successful, thereby limiting the development of such benefits (Ozols V., 1996).
I understand the principle for why the use of teams is viewed as a wave for the future, that being the belief that working in teams makes us more creative and productive. It is not uncommon for a manager to immediately put together a work team in order to address new task and assignments. Some argue that this argument is supported by the overall business successes in China and Japan. These are countries which teach Confucius based thinking of all people being part of the same eco-system and for all members of the society to work as a team to accomplish tasks and assignments.

I feel that working in teams is counter to the culture and society that American’s have grown up in. American’s as a whole grew up in a society which highly values its independence. This is a democracy which strives on capitalism. American’s praise the individual for taking the chance and becoming rich for taking that chance. American’s look down on Socialist and Communist societies from a personal values point of view.

Having judged the success of the Japanese economy led to a change in thinking of management around the world and that it became important for business success for the development of work teams. This has led to a ground floor...
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