In this quickly turning dynamic environment. administrations are contending a changeless conflict to stay competitory ; in such. the use of squads has grown to be a standard for organizational success. Administrations create squads for assorted grounds. Teams give a sense of duty and authorization to members who are executing the undertakings assigned. This. in return. increase efficiency and productiveness. at the same clip let administration to minimise its bureaucratism and surrogate flexibleness. Other types of squads. such as problem-solving squad. practical squad. direction squad and ego directed squad ( SDT ) . are formed within a company. SDTs have progressively emerged as a popular scheme in the executing of undertakings. As discussed by Appelbaum. Abdallah and Shapiro ( 1999. p. 60 ) . ‘lately self directed squads are being used as ways of accomplishing employee engagement every bit good as acquiring closer to the client. ’ This can be seen in assorted companies including ‘Motorola. Xerox. Proctor & A ; Gamble. AT & A ; T. Federal Express. Levi Strauss. and General Electric ( Tata. 2000. p. 187 ) . ’

Self Directed Team

Self directed squad is defined as ‘a cross-functional work group that is organised around work procedures. completes an full piece of work necessitating several mutuality undertakings and has significant liberty over the executing of those undertakings ( McShane. Olekalns and Travaglione. 2010. p. 320 ) . ’ SDT focuses on construct of holding a group of people with assorted functional working capablenesss runing as a squad. from planing to bring forthing a merchandise. with minimal supervising. Members are given the authorization to pull off. do determinations and take ownership on undertakings which used to be that of a managerial function.

This position is farther supported by Attaran and Nguyen ( 1999. p. 553 ) . who addresses the construct of SDT as ‘a autonomous squad. a continuance of quality circles and other quality betterment plans that promote employees’ authorization and promote workers’ engagement. ’

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‘Empowerment is the procedure of enabling workers to put their ain work ends. do determinations and work out jobs within their domain of duty and authorization ( Griffin. 2000. p. 284 ) . ’ This illustrates a high degree of liberty in SDT which harmonizing to McShane et Al ( 2010. p. 218 ) . ‘autonomy is the grade to which a occupation gives employees the freedom. independency and discretion to schedule their work. and to find the process ( s ) used in finishing it. ’ These two distinct features of autonomous squad frequently result in an addition in productiveness. constructive and originative thoughts. and team morale and accomplish competitory advantage.

Deductions for Implementing a Self Directed Team

Careful deductions and planning are important for direction when it comes to implementing SDT. which will lend to the standards of success. Employees must be able to place common ends and visions. and to hold clear indicants of single functions and outlooks within the squad to avoid function ambiguity which. Griffin ( 2000. p. 365 ) provinces ‘it arises when the sent function is ill-defined and single does non cognize what is expected. ’ As mentioned by Garrison and Turner ( 2006. p. 163 ) . ‘employee must understand his or her function in the bigger image. ’ In order to accomplish that. members should travel through preparation to develop new proficient. every bit good as. supervisory accomplishments to cultivate mutuality amongst them.

Simultaneously. members should ever work towards the behavior of the ‘Five Cs’ competences ( refer to Figure 1 in Appendix A ) which are collaborating. organizing. pass oning. comforting and struggle resolution. These competences are critical in a squad in order for members to pass on freely and work together efficaciously. In add-on. squad members possessing these competences are able to intercede any arising struggles and work harmoniously.

Advantages and Disadvantages of SDT


In recent old ages. more and more administrations have been seen following the usage of SDT construct and this can be due to the assorted advantages that SDT brings approximately. Having a cross-functional work groups in an organisation. members come from diverse backgrounds and different life and work experiences. This diverseness increases the sum of cognition sharing and interaction between people from different facets of work. which increases the ability to work out job expeditiously. As supported by Garrison and Turner ( 2006. p. 204 ) . who stated that ‘this is particularly true when squads involve people with diverse backgrounds who bring varied position to bear in turn toing and work outing specific jobs. ’

Furthermore. ‘members take parting in problem-solving would ensue in their ownership of the solution ; they have more at interest to guarantee that the solution works ( Garrison & A ; Turner. 2006. p. 204 ) . ’ This feeling of authorization increases the committedness and morale of employees which brings about the addition in productiveness and quality of service for the administration towards their mark clients. With such great flexibleness. it will flatten the stiff hierarchy degrees as compared to a traditional administration which will pull and retain the best people. As a consequence. operating cost and turnover rate can besides be significantly reduced.


On the contrary. execution of SDT requires organizational every bit good as cultural alterations. More frequently than non. people are immune to alterations. Garrison and Turner ( 2006. p. 205 ) have pointed out that ‘resistance to new thoughts and attacks is a common trait of groups every bit good as full administrations. Besides. sometimes a deficiency of group engagement and coherence exists. ’ Garrison and Turner ( 2006. p. 206 ) has besides highlighted that ‘when this happens. opportunities are that the group will neglect in its effort to develop and to implement feasible solutions to jobs it has been charged with work outing. ’

Groupthink is yet another disadvantage it can hold on SDT when it comes to decision-making and problem-solving procedures. Groupthink. as defined by Griffin ( 2000. p. 110 ) . is ‘a state of affairs that occurs when a group or team’s desire for consensus and coherence overwhelms its desire to make the best possible determination. ’ This can ensue in members non desiring to show different sentiments in order to continue the coherence within the squad.

Challenges of SDT

Administrations that adopt the usage of SDT require workers to travel through changeless preparations to construct up new accomplishments to better enhance work and direction procedures. The demand for these changeless preparations has someway seemed to be clip devouring and to some extent. it may even impede concern operations as employees are required to take a part of their clip off or/and during normal on the job hours to go to preparations. Felts ( 1995. p. 3 ) has farther elaborated that ‘the plan requires so much schooling that concern could lose profitableness during preparation phase. ’

A ego directed squad is typically associated with a high degree of liberty. which in order to accomplish. direction needs to give employees the authorization to do their ain determinations. The degree of authorization additions comparatively with the degree of liberty in a squad ( refer to Figure 2 in Appendix A ) . It will go a challenge when direction is loath to give up the power of control. Felts ( 1995. p. 3 ) added that. ‘the success of SDT is dependent upon how much control direction is willing to release. If administrations try to develop squads where the bing direction construction stands in the manner of giving up bid and control. the plan will be doomed to failure. ’

Despite the advantages where diverseness in SDT can convey frontward. it can enforce its ain jobs excessively. As discussed by McShane et Al ( 2010. p. 312 ) . ‘team members take longer to bond with people who are different from them. peculiarly when others hold different positions and values ( i. e. deep diverseness ) . ’ ‘These differences may do the arising of struggles through misunderstood. misinterpreted or inappropriate interactions between people of different groups ( Griffin. 2000. p. 224 ) . ’ As a consequence of these scopes of sentiments. members within the squad may get down to organize subgroups among themselves ; and this can impact squad morale. coherence and even the ability to map as a squad in a whole.

Key Themes and Issues Emerged

This literature reappraisal has touched on several theories ; however. four major subjects have emerged in the reappraisal and will be focused on. These four subjects are the executions of SDT ; the importance of direction support ; the issues with a diversified squad. and the degree of liberty as a beginning of authorization. Although these subjects are presented in a broad scope of contexts. this study will concentrate on the deduction ( s ) to SDT.


So far. this study has discussed about the features of SDT which is the high degree of autonomy present that gives employees the feeling of authorization. In order for SDT to be successful. several steps need to be implemented. It ranges from employees understanding of single functions and duties. to cultivating positive working attitudes ( in a group ) . to the changeless development of new accomplishments. In order for these steps to be in topographic point. non merely do employees hold a more duties. direction has a important portion to play every bit good. Left without the support from direction. SDT will neglect finally. Without the encouragement and support from direction to prosecute employees in preparations. members will non be able to encompass high degree of liberty without these uninterrupted betterments of proficient and supervisory accomplishments.

In add-on. managements’ willingness in giving up power of control is indispensable in advancing self-autonomous squad. This is of import when pull offing such squad. as the higher the degree of authorization is given. the higher the degree of liberty is achieved. And therefore. this higher degree of independency within the squad is critical. However. employees have the duty to extinguish any possible struggles and intercede any bing struggles which can hold inauspicious consequences on the operation of a squad as a whole. With this authorization. employees take ownership which helps in developing positive attitudes towards their engagement in work which allows employees to cover
with struggle efficaciously. When struggles are dealt efficaciously. members are able to make the following degree of trust amongst them. As trust develops. it allows squad members to pass on and throw in advanced and originative thoughts unreservedly.

Self directed squad may be used in administration scenes when administration is prepared for major organizational and cultural alterations ; and when direction and employees are supportive and non resistant to such alterations. SDT will be formed when company and employees recognises the utility of organizing smaller squads to be in control of the full undertaking assigned and the scope of advantages SDT can convey frontward. Administration holding the outlook that the success of terminal consequences and accomplishments frequently outweighs the cost involved. will be willing to put necessary capital such as money and clip to prosecute employees in changeless developments and preparations. Companies that are in favor of these factors surely will be supportive of utilizing SDT within the administration.

In contrast. traditional companies may be more opposition to alterations and may non be supportive of incurring excess cost. clip and attempt to set up a self-governed squad. Administrations with such civilization and see the disadvantages of SDT as a major ruin will hold a penchant to squads with low liberty such as work groups. problem-solving squads and matrix squads ( refer to Figure 2 in Appendix A ) where direction and supervisors are involved and they possess the authorization and control over decision-makings.

Companies have yet another option of taking a semi-autonomous squad ( refer to Figure 2 in Appendix A ) over squads with utmost degrees of liberty. This squad offers a moderate degree of liberty which allows companies to hold both the employees to take on certain ownership and be are engaged in long term undertakings. at the same clip reserving more important decision-makings to directions and supervisors.


In decision. this study focuses on the application of autonomous squads and how they can better or suppress team public presentation in an administration ; it has besides displayed how autonomous squads can be used to promote squad liberty and employees’ ownership within the administration. Despite the increasing popularity of SDT. it can enforce its restrictions and disadvantages. With that. administration will turn to the options of organizing either low liberty groups or semi-autonomous groups. Finally. the picks depend mostly on administration mission and values and whether the administration is willing to take on alterations.


1. Appelbaum. S. H. Abdallah. C. & A ; Shapiro B. T. 1999. ‘The autonomous squad: a struggle declaration analysis’ . Team Performance Management. vol. 5. no. 2. pp. 60-77. ( on-line Emerald ) . 2. Attaran. M & A ; Nguyen. T. T. 1999. ‘Design and execution of autonomous procedure teams’ . Management Decision. vol. 37. no. 7. pp. 553-560. ( on-line Emerald ) . 3. Felts. C. 1995. ‘Taking the enigma out of autonomous work teams’ . Information Management. viewed 9 August 2010. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. allbusiness. com/management/business-process-analysis/511731-1. hypertext markup language 4. Garrison. M & A ; Turner. M. B. 2006. Advanced organizational direction. Pearson Education. Inc. U. S. A. 5. Griffin. R. W. 2000. Fundamentalss of direction. 2nd edn. Houghton Mifflin Company. U. S. A. 6. McShane. S. Olekalns. M. & A ; Travaglione. T. 2010. Organisational behavior on the Pacific rim. 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd. Australia. 7. Tata. J. 2000. ‘Autonomous work squads: an scrutiny of cultural and structural constraints’ . Work Study. vol. 49. no. 5. pp. 187-193. ( on-line Emerald ) .


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