The power of teams: Do self-managing work teams influence managers' perceptions of potency? Page: 1
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For more than thirty years the concept of work teams has been evolving. (Cohen &
Bailey, 1997). Lawler, Mohrman, and Ledford's (as cited in Sundstrom, McIntyre, Halfhill, &
Richards, 2000) series of reports of the Fortune 1000 companies revealed that in 1987, 70% of
companies surveyed had incorporated at least some type of group participation and 27% had self-
managing groups. By 1996, self-management participation jumped to 78%. During the course of
this evolution, researchers have focused extensively on central themes such as type of team,
design and implementation, and predictors of effectiveness. These investigations have proved
integral to organizations wishing to incorporate work teams. For instance, past attempts by
organizations to implement quality circles provided little if any organizational innovation- a
direct result of the restricted scope of authority and limited employee power and influence
(Lawler & Mohrman, 1987). Researchers examined this phenomenon and revealed a classic
example of dashed expectations: after recurring cycles of lack of organizational support and
reluctancy to implement ideas, initial employee enthusiasm faded to disillusionment (Steel,
Mento, Dilla, & Lloyd, 1985). Subsequent analyses showed that in order for organizations to
experience real growth and innovation, teams would require real authority (Campion, Medsker &
Higgs, 1993). A push toward understanding the effects of this involvement and authority
A less studied yet important theme within the teams' literature relates to stage of team
development. Organizations that understand the various phases of team development, and
recognize the patterns of change, encourage the survival and success rate of self-managing work
teams. It has been documented that clear, social and behavioral differences exist between a
newly forming group of individuals when compared to a well-established team unit. (Avolio,
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Hass, Nicolette P. The power of teams: Do self-managing work teams influence managers' perceptions of potency?, thesis, December 2005; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4961/m1/7/: accessed May 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .