Many studies have been documented particularly dealing self-directed work teams as a means of organizing organizational groups. The main reason why organizations embrace self-directed work teams is because it aims at achieving the maximum utilization of the available organizational resources (Lanier, 2003, p. 2). Therefore, it is important that organizational stakeholders understand and agree on the characteristics which define successful teams such as effective training. Organizations which embrace the concept of self-directed work teams have over 10. 7% potential of generating more profits than those which do not (Emery & Fredendall, 2002).
The Major Consequences and Problems of Self-directed Work Teams There are several major consequences and problems which usually accompany the implementation of self-directed work teams. One such major consequence and problem is more meetings. Teams are usually comprised of many people. The implication for this is that the team members would need to get together several times to discuss the team affairs as opposed to if there was no team.
There is therefore need to train the team members so that their meetings would be more productive and not just a gathering of individuals (O’Berry, 2006). The other major consequence and problem which face self-directed teams is longer decision- making process (O’Berry, 2006). In the case where an individual is charged with all the decision-making processes, decisions are usually made quickly. On the contrary, in a case where people are many such as in self-directed teams, many people are required to give their contributions towards the decision thereby implying that the resulting decision would be longer to arrive at.
There is therefore need to train the team members in decision-making skills. The next major consequence and problem is a reduction in productivity. What is implied here is that in most cases before self-directed teams take off in a positive direction, they are usually faced by several challenges which could lower the production levels. In fact there is always a likelihood that they may not even succeed in the first instance. Therefore there is need to exercise a lot of patience with regards to the self-directed teams because with time there is bound to be enormous potential for success (O’Berry, 2006).
Finally, the other major consequence and problem is chaos. According to O’Berry (2006), it is very important that the organization is prepared to offer not only the requisite infrastructure but also the necessary support which the self-directed team members would need to successfully accomplish their objectives. It means therefore that organizations should not just refer to a work group as a team without providing the critical training and support. If this is not done, the organization would be courting trouble. Conclusion
What organizations need to learn is that work groups and self-directed teams are not the same thing. What this means is that self-directed work teams are distinct from small groups. As opposed to groups, a self-directed work team is not just a collection of people. Teams are special in the sense that they need specialized knowledge and skills alongside the fact that their success depended on effective feedback mechanisms. Self-directed work teams need to have not only shared goals and expectations but also shared vision if they are to succeed in their endeavors (Paris et al, 1999, p. 330).