Thursday, 30 October 2014

Is teamwork the problem or the solution?: Other forms of co‐operation may be more effective – and save precious management time

an article by Kevan Hall (affiliation(s) unknown) published in Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 21 Issue 6


This paper aims to advance the view that complex organisations rely too much on teamwork, resulting in lower productivity.

It observes that many organisations are moving away from the hierarchical, command‐and‐control style of working, in favour of greater collaboration across departments, territories and different organizations. This is known as a matrix organisation. The reasons for developing a matrix structure are commendable. However, if implemented poorly, a matrix structure will slow down decision‐making, increase the number of meetings, increase costs and create mistrust and resentment in the workplace.

This paper highlights research by training and consultancy firm Global Integration which shows that people in large and complex organisations spend, on average, two days a week on meetings, calls and web meetings, and 50 percent of that time is wasted.

Practical implications
It examines what is really meant by “a team”, and identifies which structures are suitable for maximum efficiency.

The paper targets senior leaders and HR directors with a responsibility for organisational structure and team leadership. It provides thought‐leadership and best‐practice for virtual teams.

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