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OBXtra 4

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Ryerson University
Human Resources
MHR 505
Frank Miller

MHR 505 Week 2 OBXtra 4 – High Performance Teams What are SDWTs? • Self-directed work teams – a unique type of permanent teams defined as a group of interdependent individuals that can self-regulate on relatively whole tasks • SDWTs have become more prevalent in North America because of increased competitiveness • Members of this type of team have the autonomy to carry out tasks and make decisions that were once reserved for managers, such as work scheduling, job assignments and staffing • The decision making activities of self-managed work teams are more broadly focused than those of quality circles which usually emphasize quality and production problems Do SDWTs Work? • An analysis of 70 studies concluded that self-managed work teams positively affected productivity and attitudes towards self-management • The analysis indicated no significant effects of self-managed teams on job satisfaction, absenteeism, or turnover • The implementation of trams does not guarantee improved performance either; one evaluation of SDWTs and TQM programs found that companies associated with these popular management techniques did not have higher economic performance • A study that examined the benefits of quality circles and SDWTs had the following findings: o Firms that used only QCs had higher levels of productivity than firms with no teams o Firms with only SDWTs and those with SDWTs and QCs benefited from increased productivity, a reduced management hierarchy, and reduced employee turnover o Apart from higher levels of productivity that occurred only within the first two years of implementing self-managing work teams, firms with these structures continued to improve upon the initial benefits of reduced employee
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