Teaming As a Strategic and Tactical Tool: An Analysis with Recommendations

International Journal of ManagementVol. 26 Nbr. 2, August 2009

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Summary


This paper addresses teaming as a strategic and tactical tool which, when properly implemented, will achieve positive performance results. When strategic plans are developed, teams and teaming should be included as a strategy, and the reason for the strategy should be explained (e.g., using teams to improve processes or as a way to empower people). Once teaming becomes a strategy, the strategy must be executed in order to accomplish the mission, vision, goals and objectives of the organization. Also, the organizational structure may have to change to support the strategy. If team leaders and other team members do not understand team requirements, they may not do their jobs properly. Therefore, team leaders and members must be taught the theories, concepts, and tools that are necessary for their teams to be successful. In this paper, we analyze reasons for team failure and offer strategic and tactical approaches to achieve team success. In addition, we provide university and business examples to demonstrate how leaders can integrate teams and teaming into their organization's strategic and tactical plans.

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Teaming As a Strategic and Tactical Tool: An Analysis with Recommendations

Introduction

The application of team concepts is not a new phenomenon in international or U.S. work environments. Beginning in the early 1900's, articles and books about group (team) concepts were readily available. Some of the earlier publications included Lewin, Lippitt and White (1939) and Lewin (1947, 1951, and 1958). Kurt Lewin is respected as the psychologist who invented the concept of group (team) dynamics. Some of the more recent authors of publications in the area of effective, high performance teams are Rico, Sánchez-Manzanares, Gil, and Gibson (2008), Harrison and Tarter (2007), Adobor (2004). Munro and Laiken (2003), Ammeter and Dukerich (2002), Romig (1996), Ray and Bronstein (1995), Zenger, et al (1994), Katzenbach and Smith (1994), Ehin (1993), Pryor (1993, 1998, 2007), Osbum, et. al. (1990), and Shonk (1992).

Longenecker (2001) noted that between 70% and 80% of all U.S. manufacturing companies use some type of teams. He indicated that teams are generally used to "improve productivity, quality, efficiency and overall operating performance" (Longenecker, 2001:21), and he gave several examples of organizational success using teams. Becaus...

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