Working Together

Topics: Management Pages: 13 (4676 words) Published: October 8, 1999
II. Introduction
An historic example of team effort gone away. In that legendary story, a few key events transformed Camelot from a utopian kingdom into a wasteland. This isn’t just idle meandering. There are corporate Camelots, too, suggests Steven Rayner (6) -- those companies that started with such promise and fell victim to problems in their teamwork concepts. It is clear to see that team-based systems simply don’t work; better control equals better management. An emphasis on separating workers into specifically defined jobs, having centralized management control, and maintaining a structured chain of command contributes to a much better and more effective workplace situation (Rayner 15). There are, writes Steven Rayner in Team Traps, "literally hundreds of traps" that can "open a gateway to team disaster" (15). It makes more sense, therefore, to stick to the traditional structures in the workplace.term papers and term papers, did I tell about term papers on, term papers in , term papers about , term papers II. Problem With A Group Approach term papers on and also term papers in and term papers about ebfefOne of the major problems presented in the team work approach is that people are not accustomed to "group problem-solving" (Harrington-Mackin 137). It is a practice that not only hasn’t been learned, but is a difficult one to institute. In school, children are taught to rely on their own resources; to develop their individual capabilities. Deborah Harrington-Mackin cites the example of a fourth grader, who wouldn’t be allowed to say, "Hey, Joe, you’re good at word problems and I’m good at multiplication tables, so let’s get together for this test" (137), yet the adult equivalent of this is seen in the workplace when teams are expected to come up with a group solution to a problem. This is an odd practice for most people, as well as the fact that trying to reach a consensus in a group of adults can frequently result in heated arguments, and no solution. Team decision-making can be frustrating. The team members have to take the time to listen to everyone’s opinions -- a time-consuming process where the inclination is frequently to jump on the first answer given rather than go through the lengthy and frequently tedious process of hearing from everyone (Harrington-Mackin 138). term papers qwrgIt seems that teams are being formed for every imaginable reason -- quality improvement teams, project teams, management teams, task force teams -- companies are quick to assume that increased employee involvement leads to improved productivity (Rees 7). But the problems that occur in trying to increase employee involvement outweigh the benefits. Many organizations that began traditionally are not accustomed to involving non-managerial employees in the procedures of planning, decision-making, and goal setting. These organizations have leaders who pass out information and answer questions, usually without requiring further involvement from subordinates.term papers vqrgOrganizations have been "structured historically to reinforce authoritarian management styles" (Mosvick-Nelson 109). There is no easy way to facilitate a team-oriented decision making policy. The authoritarian organizational structure is still the type of management style most used in business (Mosvick-Nelson 109), and for a good reason. Many leaders don’t know how to manage the participation of employees in these processes, even when a team is set up, and they frequently discourage participation (whether or not it’s done intentionally) by their actions -- they may allow for minimal time for participation, interrupt people, or simply ignore what they hear. This is a good case for leaving the decision-making to the top leadership (Rees 10).term papers III. "What are we supposed to do?"

vevevMany problems with teams result because there is no clear understanding about what is supposed to be accomplished....

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