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Team Based Organization
Implementing a team-based approach to organizational structure can empower employees and increase
cooperation among different skills and disciplines. Based on the belief that organizational goals will be
achieved not by individuals working together separately, but by groups of people who share
responsibility for outcomes and who work efficiently and effectively in team?
o These processes require highly developed communication competencies from all team members.
o Team skills usually are divided into two categories
_ Task roles
_ Maintenance roles
Characteristics of Traditional Vs Team-based Organizations
Traditional Team-based
Individual command structures Collective structures
Manager controls Team monitors
Vertical hierarchy Horizontal integration
Stability and uniformity Change and flexibility
One best way to organize Organization-specific
Managers manage Self-managing teams

Traditional vs. Best Place to Work Changes
To understand this we need to understand basic concept of organizational structure.

The Basics of Organizational Structure:
o Organizational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated.
o The organization chart is a visual representation of this division, grouping, and coordination.

Organizational Structure: Organizational structure is the formal setup of task and authority
relationships. Structure controls the coordination of activities and employee motivation to attain goals.
Structure must be continually evaluated. Formal structure shows the intended configuration of
positions, job duties, and the lines of authority among different parts of the enterprise.

Designing an Organization Structure: Organization design is the process by which leaders/managers
select and manage aspects of organizational structure so that an organization can achieve its goals.

Basic Steps
o Leaders/Managers must decide how to divide the overall tasks of the organization into successively
smaller jobs.
o Leaders/Managers must decide the basis by which to group the individual jobs.
o Leaders/Managers must decide the appropriate size of the group reporting to each supervisor
o Leaders/Managers must distribute authority among the jobs.
Departmentalization is the bedrock of horizontal differentiation, which begins when one person
assumes a functional task. As others assume specialized roles, a functional structure emerges, with
people placed in groups based on common skills or common use of resources.

Span of Control
To avoid becoming too tall, an organization can increase the span of control, the number of
subordinates a manager directly oversees. Different companies have different spans of control.
A manager’s span of control is limited to the number of subordinates that can be adequately supervised.
An increase in subordinates exponentially increases the subordinate relationships to be managed. A
manager with two subordinates manages three relationships, but a manager with three subordinates
manages six. If the span of control becomes too wide, a manager loses control over subordinates.

The use of written rules and procedures to standardize operations is known as formalization. If
formalization and standardization are extensive, there is no room for mutual adjustment. Employees are
held accountable for following rules.

When top managers make decisions, authority is centralized. When lower-level managers make
decisions, authority is decentralized.

Organizational Design Decisions:
Mechanistic Organization Organic Organization
o Rigid and tightly controlled structure
o High specialization
o Rigid departmentalization
o Narrow spans of control
o High formalization
o Limited information network
o Highly flexible and adaptable structure
o Non-standardized jobs
o Fluid team-based structure
o Little direct supervision
o Minimal formal rules
o Open communication network

Mechanistic vs. Organic Models
Mechanistic structures
influence people to behave in a predictable manner. Decision making is highly
centralized and roles clearly defined.

Organic structures encourage flexibility and decentralize decision making. Roles are loosely defined.
Employees perform many tasks and work with people from various functions.
Strategic planning assumes that the old structure may not work in the new realities. It demands the
organization think in terms of new approaches to solving existing and potential issues.
Benefits of Teams in Organizations:
_ Enhanced Performance: Teams may take many forms, i.e. including improved productivity,
quality, and customer service such the enhancements result from pooling individual efforts in
new ways and continuously striving to improve for the benefit of the team.
_ Employee Benefits: Teams always provide the sense of self-control, human dignity,
identification with work, and sense of self-worth and self-fulfillment for which current workers
seem to strive.
_ Reduced Costs: Through empowered teams, an organization can reduce scrap, make fewer
errors, file fewer worker compensation claims, and reduce absenteeism and turnover. They
resulting in significant cost reductions.
_ Organizational Enhancements: Teams improvements in team results a move from a
hierarchically based, directive culture to a team-based culture include increased innovation,
creativity, and flexibility in the organization.
Research indicates team-based organizations generally outperform more hierarchically organized
structures in terms of product and service output, less absenteeism, fewer industrial accidents, more
worker flexibility, quality improvements, and overall employee job satisfaction.

Benefits of Team-based Organization:
Profitability and long term viability organization is increased due to its working as team based
organization. Other benefits of team based organizations are listed bellow.
o Efficient Process
o Flexible Response to change
o Improve Effectiveness
o Reduce Cost
o Increase Innovation
o Customer Involvement
o Employee commitment
o Skill utilization

Checklist for Team Based Working/ Organization Implementation Plan:
o To what extent does the senior management team agree with the team based working
o To what extent does the organization need team based working to achieve its goals?
o Are team based working practices already in place in some parts of the organization? If so,
o Where should we start? (Whole organization, one area, with well functioning teams?)
o How do we move on from where we are now?
o What major changes need to take place?
o What resources do we need?

Possible Pitfalls in the Introduction of Team Based Organization (TBO)
o Introducing teams regardless of need
o Introducing teams without changing systems
o Failing to train for TBO
o Not providing expert support
o Failure of communication within, with and between teams
o Failure to establish and support TBO objectives

Roles of a Leader in the Team-Based Organization
o Defining the team’s mission
o Building trust and inspiring teamwork
o Coaching team members and group members toward higher levels of performance
o Serving as a model of teamwork, including power sharing
o Facilitating and supporting team’s decisions
o Expanding the team’s capabilities
o Creating a team identity
o Emphasizing pride in being outstanding
o Anticipating and influencing change
o Inspiring the team toward higher levels of performance
o Enabling and empowering group members to accomplish their work
o Selecting team-oriented members
o Using technology that facilitates teamwork

Fostering Teamwork Through Organization Structure or Policy:
o Designing physical structures that facilitate communication
o Emphasizing Team recognition and rewards
o Initiating ritual and ceremony

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