Self-Directed Teams at Chrysler Chrysler CEO Tom La Sorda is pushing the automaker into an era of “smart manufacturing” which relies more on selfdirected work teams (SDWTs). This photo shows La Sorda meeting employees at the company’s plant in Saltillo, Mexico, which has already introduced SDWTs.
SDWTs at Standard Motor Products Standard Motor Products successfully introduced selfdirected work teams (SDWTs) at its Kansas plant, but some supervisors had difficulty changing from a commandand-control to mentor/facilitator management style.
PricewaterhouseCooper’s Virtual Teams Peter Nicolas (shown in photo) and many employees at PricewaterhouseCoopers spend much of their time working in virtual teams. “Virtual teaming is the norm for us,” says Nicolas, a Learning Solutions manager at the accounting firm’s offices in New Jersey.
Propensity to Trust • Some people are inherently more willing to trust others • Propensity to trust influenced by personality, values, and socialization experiences • Also varies with emotions at the moment
Swift Trust in Teams • People typically join a virtual or conventional team with a moderate or high level of trust • Explanations for this swift trust: – people usually believe their team-mates are reasonably competent (knowledge-based trust) – people tend to develop some degree of social identify with the team
Team Constraints: Groupthink • Tendency in highly cohesive teams to value consensus at the price of decision quality • More common when the: – Team is highly cohesive – Team is isolated from outsiders – Team leader is opinionated – Team faces external threats – Team has recent failures – Team lacks clear guidance
Team Constraints: Group Polarization • Tendency for teams to make more extreme decisions than individuals alone • Riskier options usually taken because of prospect theory effect fallacy -- dislike losing more than they like winning
General Guidelines for Team Decisions • Team norms should encourage critical thinking • Sufficient team diversity • Ensure neither leader nor any member dominates • Maintain optimal team size • Introduce effective team structures
NASA replaced the assigned seating rectangular table at the Johnson Space Center with a C-shaped arrangement where people sit wherever they want (shown in photo). The table is intended to avoid hierarchy so NASA managers can have more constructive debate.
• Occurs when team members debate their different perceptions about an issue in a way that keeps the conflict focused on the task rather than people. • Problem: constructive conflict easily slides into personal attacks McShane/Von Glinow OB4e