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The text below is a translation from a newspaper article, translated by Anne Penttilä.
Living in constant uncertainty teaches us to go back to the source of the old truths: work communities can develop and be productive if they allow humanity, initiativity, creativity, learning new things, responsibility and freedom, cooperation and working to one's heart's content. Changing over from the hierarchical formality to cooperational teamwork is not the philosopher's stone of management that would solve and fix all the organization's problems. Very often the organization's and its members' insufficient ability to learn new operations and thinking models retards teaming. Good discussions within the work community are important for learning new operations models. The communication itself clarifies and improves the thoughts of every individual and those of the whole team too. The article series Leadership and Teamwork by the Vaasa University Continuing Education Center and the newspaper Pohjalainen studied in a new and a fresh way the dimensions of today's managment and leadership. The writers of these articles were the professors, researchers and teachers of the Department of management and organization, Faculty of Business Administration: professor Vesa Routamaa, researcher Virpi Asikainen and assistant Tiina Gallén, assistant professor Jukka Peltoniemi and researcher Taru Hautala, researcher Riitta Strömmer, professor Jukka Vesalainen and chief assistant Kai Stenman. Journalist Sirpa Sainio attended to the editing and the journalistic layout of the articles. The Vaasa University Continuing Education Center thanks all the writers and cooperators of the Newspaper University Forum for the creditable contribution in the current theme. This publication offers another possibility for the utilization of the information conveyed by the Newspaper University Forum and we hope that it will arouse discussions.
Newspaper University Forum Develops Leadership and Teamwork
By journalist Sirpa Sainio
The traditional management and organization will be replaced by a new one
The development of leadership and teamwork are the themes of the spring's Newspaper University Forum organized by Pohjalainen and the University of Vaasa. The Faculty of Business Administration under the guidance of professor Vesa Routamaa will answer for the teaching of this course. According to Routamaa a team and a group are still new as everyday work forms even though the words themselves are already worn. The traditional organization is disappearing and people have to develop new kind of participating management instead, which includes creativity and learning. -We are talking about human relationships, issues that were invented in the beginning of this century. The education manager of the Continuing Education Center says that this spring's lecture series is the 13th that has been arranged by the open university. A year ago Newspaper University Forum expanded its operations into Internet and now one can also find last fall's Newspaper University Forum lectures on language immersion. - Over 200 students have taken the examinations based on the Newspaper University Forum's lectures, says Auli Kinnunen. The series of five lectures was published every Sunday starting from 13 April 1997. This entity was counted as two credits. In addition to these lectures published in Pohjalainen there was a two-day seminar dealing with the same subject on 16 and 17 May in Tervahovi at the University of Vaasa. The first twenty students that had registered for the course was taken in. The participation in the seminar was obligatory if one wanted to get the mentioned study weeks. In addition to the articles published in the newspaper the students were expected to master also the book The wisdom of teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization, written by Katzenbach, J.R. & Smith, D.K. and published by Harward Business School Press (1997). During the seminar the students were given another collection of articles they were supposed to read for the examination also. This course costed 150 FIM, which covered supervision on the studies, informing, examinations and the certificate writing expenses. The education itself was free of charge.
Is the Time Ripe for Releasing Enthusiasm, Creativity and Cooperation Abilities?
By Vesa Routamaa
Ideas of leadership and teamwork which were invented already decades ago are now coming true
The recession in the beginning of this decade released several currents of change that were greater than usual in the labor market. The depression both forced and enabled the intensifying of the organizations' functions. Profitability and survival required checking of the organization and expense structures and also enhancing the productivity. Under the cover of recession it was possible to make necessary decisions, which in better times might have fallen down because of the resistance of the personnel and the organizations representing it. Very often the companies are developed rather because of the forcing circumstances or with the help of scattered and fashionable tricks sold by consultants, than because of the internalized knowledge and proactive planning of the management. In the public sector the organization development often focuses on essential basic problems because of barely sufficient appropriations. It even seems that after the recession the public sector organizations have seized on the development of the organizations more eagerly than enterprises.
Earlier alone - now with others' help
Earlier it was usual that enterprises took care of the duties required by the business by themselves as far as possible, whether they concerned personnel, machinery or room. The majority of the enterprise's employees consisted of permanent full-time personnel. Today, mainly because of the economical and productional reasons the traditional subcontracting, netting and the privatization of such services, as transport, maintenance, ADP and sanitation are becoming more general and more often outsourced. This tendency is getting stronger all the time. Bigger productivity with smaller personnel than before has become possible with the help of team-type operations, such as production cells, teams and self-directing work groups. They have increased versatility, motivation and self-directing, reduced hierarchies and developed teleinformatics.
Netting. team organizations.move on to new duties The future jobs will be altered by several kinds of factors Bureaucratization and the difficulties in management caused by it. etc. even though it delivers products to the customers. the corporationing of the units of big organizations. suppliers. The rest consists of part-time employees. Company may not have a concrete location The real time information technology enables so called virtual organizations. such as marketing. When the job is completed the temporary project organizations are dismissed. are becoming more general. contractors or other such associates and professionals who employ themselves and are not tied to a certain place. the operations model based on the organizations internal and external hierarchy independent operations. which have maybe only about twenty per cent of employees as full-time workers. The project related working which has traditionally been typical for building industry is now increasing on several other fields. administration.The enterprises have been able to reduce permanent personnel without jeopardizing increase in productivity. Beside the traditional line organizations the projects. it is a fact that now during the upspring there is pressure to increase work force. areas and different functions. and the enterprises that have sprout from the mother-company. With the . The virtual organization differs from the traditional concept of an enterprise because it is not necessarily a concrete visible entity in a certain place. for example. have increased along the growth of the organizations and caused a trend towards small units: small and medium-sized companies. accounting. product development. However. external employees. is getting more common. Finish the job . and the matrice organizations in bigger companies based on. One example of this is the Finnish Nokia in Asia and in both Northand South America. the cross control of products. In the public sector the recruitation ban (prohibition to hire new personnel) and the diminishing salary appropriations have same kind of effect. After this the personnel moves on to other projects either in the base organization or enter the employment of another employer. In a project both the organization's permanent and also temporary personnel work in project organizations that are set up for certain purpose for a fixed period. such as the spin-offs of big enterprises. but the unreasonable extra expenses of the salaries and strict employment conditions delay the hiring of new personnel especially in small and medium-sized companies.
which were first written about already in the 50's. Team has to exceed the level of its best member After the starting difficulties teaming seems to develop rapidly during the next few years. decentralization of authority and increase in self-directing lead to the diminishing need for managers. Nevertheless this kind of work organizations could still be greatly extended. In Japan it has been used very effectively and on a large scale in supplying-type compositions. Remote work keeps villages inhabited The social needs that are very important for most people have decelerated increase in remote work. As a matter of fact. My transparencies concerning teamwork and production cells which I wrote during the 70's have not actually met with response in the enterprise and organization practice until this decade. on taxation practice and trade unions. and now almost as such. People who have formerly worked as the employees of a company are now selling their services to one or several employers as solitary entrepreneurs. What comes to the information technology remote work would have been possible for some time already. The employees start to act like entrepreneurs even though they would work for the company as freelancers or part-time employees.help of teleinformatics maybe even true system organizations. only externally polished with a word processor. Need for managers diminishes The rising level of education. employees and experts . For example the self-directing teams on the employee level enable the revaluation of the management. The management and different personnel and interest groups need to change their attitude in order to enable the officials. remote work probably is one of the few ways to keep the most outlying districts inhabited. for instance. Solitary entrepreneur sells to one and to another The development will also lead to the generalization of a new employee-type. This means that the roles of the employee and the entrepreneur will unite. and it is not unknown idea to the small and medium-sized South Ostrobothnian enterprises in Finland either. will be born. more efficient use of information technology. This kind of development creates pressure. However remote work is not limited merely to information occupations. The development towards team-based work forms has started off slowly because of the resisting superiors.
also the role of the inflexible pay systems is getting smaller. change and increase in many ability requirements. according to traditional thinking. So much time has been wasted on inefficient teamwork.performing different duties to cooperate in the problem centered work. The salaries are more often based on achieved performance. At the dawn of better times these work groups disappeared. However teamwork is something else. which resembled modern day teams. In teamwork the best individuals can show their real abilities. in addition to social talents. not so much on the time spent at work which has. One Estonian warned us Finns of excess enthusiasm for teamwork by saying:" You are crazy if you go into that socialism we have just got rid of! " The interesting point is how to manage to combine the requirements of individualism. Sense of community is emphasized at work The change in organization and work forms means. This kind of approach has been experimented decades ago when piecework groups. also capability to take collective responsibility for many administrative issues. At the same time as individualism is rising in the society. Work forms are changing. initiative. . the reality is often a bad compromise on the level of the most average abilities. Work groups and teamwork are both old and established work forms. Versatility and the independent decision making of a team demands. While the results of teamwork should beat the capacity of its best member. The requirement for versatility in teams and projects is becoming general. also for an individual. been the name for working. Being at work is said to be working Beside the pressure from the team also the higher salary makes versatility tempting. As teamwork is becoming more real it requires new kind of responsibility from the individual. the organizations and the work forms require greater sense of community than we are used to. As the result management is getting more common and the work forms changing. The result based salary is becoming usual as the former stiff salary and duty classes are losing their importance. entrepreneurship and the cooperation which teamwork calls for. Interest groups started to collect acquired benefits and there was no need for the spirit of entrepreneurship anymore. built countless houses after the World War II in Finland.
work experience and courses now and then carried all the way till retirement. It would be worth learning from the Church which has been able to captivate people and rulers by its vision. The losses and defeats of the organization have to be told openly in order to achieve real commitment. Versatility becomes easier when a specialist is educated to a general expert. Competition for the lessening and the more and more demanding jobs. Aimed dream in sight In addition to individual and situational leadership the superiors are required to posses the facilities of a change manager.Education makes a specialist a specialisted generalist The renewing working life needs new kind of learning and know-how. A hint of charisma would not hurt the credibility of a manager. But how are the Finns who are used to the excessive social security and to the "ready made settings" going to adjust to the new system? New work forms require a lot from the learning of cooperation abilities. a trainer and also a person than an issue manager leaning on the traditional power that is granted by his position. Getting a job and also keeping it demands ability to sell oneself. The appropriation cuts could seem acceptable if something positive might follow in time. the aimed dream of the positive future of his unit. Earlier some basic degree. The change manager is able to convey the employees a vision. demands people to take responsibility of their own learning. not only on the team level but also in the whole organization. In the future a successful manager is rather a leader of people. The Finnish politicians have failed completely in this. at least for those who are able to keep up with the development of information society. For most this means re-education. In the future the information superhighway of working life also offers new tools for learning. . the truth of which nobody can absolutely prove in this time. The decentralization of authority and responsibility requires also open information policy. Today it is not necessarily the employer who guides and takes care of the know-how of every employee. constant learning. This means that all the employees have to have sufficient understanding on economy and trading which sets demands for the education also.
the new role of the manager and emphasizing the leading of people do not mean that the managing should become loose. production teams. is a lot of research on such areas as the forming of efficient groups and teams as well as on the successful leadership. and many other such things. For example the advantages of flat structure. small amount of hierarchy levels. and the group based activities were noticed in so called Hawthorne research begun in the late 1920's and also in the principles of the school of human relations largely based on this research. Things and organizations need to be in order. or one did not have to carry out these theories. cells and professional teams will most concretely change the positions of management and certain superiors. The time was not ripe." It is essential to know how leadership effects The reformations carried out at the moment have been found both in research and in theory already decades ago. with the help of a superior or a coach named by the organization. In most recruiting situations people do not have adequate knowledge. or in some cases. account executive. "It is easier to start something than to get rid of it. Organizer. but they are answered for by the capable units and self-directing teams more than before. but the development takes its time. However. In front of new challenges the knowledge and the methods of the organizations and of the people assisting in the recruiting are inadequate. . In several cases managing has become the duty of a team organizer. Failed nominations are a big problem The changes both in work forms and leadership set remarkable demands for recruiting. Insufficient recruiting and failed staff nominations are the worst Achilles' heels of the Finnish organizations. coach Increase in team-type work forms. The forming of active and creative teams by internal or external recruiting requires special expertise on personality structures and on other qualifications required for cooperation. The leadership of a team itself can be taken care of collectively or by a circulating superior. Employees are hired without properly knowing the group in which they are going to work. a liaison role.This is how things should already be. a coach or a team coordinator. Present recruiting policies are mainly concentrated on finding at least the best suitable. if not the best possible person for the open job. a permanent conductor chosen by the team. What is needed also.
creativity and cooperation by developing leadership and teamwork. .Later on the management of the organizations has not had enough knowledge to be able to make good use of these theoretical possibilities. team structures and learning organization. Now the time seems to be ripe for arousing enthusiasm. this requires knowledge and experience in the effects of leadership on creativity. However.
Organizational innovation can be seen as a successful realization of the creative ideas in the organization. The different qualities of a creative person have been tried to define: every one is creative somehow and in some situations. The internal changes are new values. It is essential for the survival of the organizations that the messages conveyed by the environment are recognized and answered if necessary. Innovations. styles of organization and new courses of action and communication whereas the external changes originate from social changes. the outlook for the future is rather bleak. for their part. If the owner can not create teams and count on his subordinates at that point. In the 1990's the necessity of creativity and innovativeness for the success of enterprises has been understood better than never before.Creativity Promoting Managers Are Able to Rejoice at the Solutions Others Have Invented By Virpi Asikainen and Tiina Gallén The success of an enterprise is rarely a one man's show The careful refining of productivity became the hit of the 1970's. economical fluctuations or technological development. The 1980's can be called the breakthrough period of quality thinking. are based on creative ideas. attitudes. The difficulties of most enterprises are due to years of avoiding or arise from the inability to encounter internal and external changes. . Seppo Säynäjäkangas from polar Electro stated in an interview by Economica magazine that in his opinion an authoritarian one man's show works fine until the turnover of the enterprise is at the level of 10 million Finnish marks. The disappearing of creativity and innovations is the same as the death of the whole business. Creativity is usually defined in terms of the new and useful ideas produced by individuals or small cooperating groups. It is more and more rare in the future that an enterprise will be counting on a heroic one man's show. Nowadays it is essential to claim creativity holistically and throughout the whole organization.
Great inventions . rewarded and fairly noticed.everyday ideas At the one end of the creativity continuum are the greatest scientific inventions and the most stunning achievements. At the other end are the every day creative and clever solutions. such as how to get through a locked door without keys. The literature dealing with creativity and innovation tries to present things with the help of various models and figures. To promote innovations the executive level has to influence organization's atmosphere in such a way that creativity and innovation are emphasized. the technical expertise and the social skills affect person's creativity. if the organization is striving for creativity and innovativity. There are no breaking points between the levels of creativity. such as Einstein's theory of relativity or the compositions of Mozart. Its power is based on the convincing . if the uniformity of the group is its most important value. the managers of a project and a team. Common vision awakes enthusiasm A common prospect for the future can clearly be seen on the level of vision. talents. support creativity by maintaining connections. motivation. interests and circumstances. Also the experiences of the colleagues. giving feedback and by taking care of the balance between freedom and limitations. The phase model presented in this article describes one kind of idealistic order between different phases. Closest colleague may be the first to reject The middle management. The executive level decides also when allocating its resources whether it supports creative or maintaining projects. setting goals and timetables clearly. The closest colleagues may be the first and only ones to torpedo a new plan. The structure and the culture of an organization may turn out to be fatal. Individuals and organizations create together In order to arouse creativity in an organization both individualistic creativity and a creativity promoting organization are needed. It also tries to analyze the birth of creativity and innovation by acknowledging different phases connected to the process. The managers from the executive level to the level of foremen have a great influence as the creators of the right kind of atmosphere. The vision involves all the members of the organization. The differences are born out of people's different abilities.
The factors of individual creativity. in enthusiasm and in experiencing the work challenging. supervision. independence and social skills are crucial. it is essential to evaluate also the possibilities offered by external environment. Motivation can. to some extent. new ways of thinking and a new style of working. Persistence is needed too The skills connected to creativity give the technically good or sufficient achievement the specialty that is characteristic to creativity. even though it would be well presented. as tools of control. function as the basis of ideation. creative skills and motivation. replace the missing field related skills or the abilities connected to creativity. competition or the discarding of the options. An individual may easily see the external limitations that are not directly linked with the job. The positive internal motivation shows in self managing. Some may become depressed because of the external critique . In addition to personal characteristics such things as risk orientation. a good project manager is technically proficient in both expertise and social skills.commitment of the management which can be seen in practice also. Man's creative skills include seeing the problem from new perspectives. A mere clever word mongering about an imposing future is not enough to motivate others. For the success of innovation. Making good use of the torrent flow of ideas requires also persistence and unyielding combined with convincing communication skills. The projects are given goals that support the vision and the rules are agreed. They function as the raw material of the creative process. The skills connected to expertise and creativity depend on education and experience. In addition to this. Good manager protects his group A good project manager is able to acknowledge from the environment the information that is essential for the organization and can use it when creating and realizing new possibilities. Talking about the favoring of risk taking is something else than understanding the human mistakes as an inevitable part of experimenting and creative activities. in the interest towards the work itself. Motivation is also affected by person's ability to get around the limitations and turn them into internal challenges. reward. The way of managing either promotes and tends creativity or suffocates it. Expertise is connected to the know-how and attitudes characteristic to the field. such as the expertise of the field. such as evaluation. is able to find the right person for the right job and projects the group from external disturbances.
when the ideas are tested and carried out. People have a tendency to avoid taking risks and trying new ideas. If people feel threatened because of the annual unfavorable and error seeking evaluation. the better are the chances to achieve creativity. At this stage the process is still very exposed to external critique. good and creativity promoting organization atmosphere is characterized by cooperation between different sectors. Sufficient resources and time support creativity. All these factors are needed for creative solutions. The resources of the organization affect the expertise of an individual and the possibilities to develop it. The higher level each skill and motivation has reached. Competing gives the activity positive excitement connected with the challenge which has a favorable effect on creativity. pay hikes. whereas the lack of them prevents it. A missing project schedule may give a feeling that the work is not important. Especially important tool for the management is the reward system. because experimenting always brings a possible failure along with it. which should pay enough attention to creative work. In general. . for example within a group. Nevertheless.and evaluation. whereas others are either able to put them aside or experience even greater enthusiasm knowing that they really get feedback. Competition that is found threatening. Guards against irrelevant critique Abilities to administrate innovation are emphasized again. But in a situation where the group is competing against another external group or enterprise the threat pulls the members of the team closer to each other and connects them tightly. their will to take risks diminishes and creativity weakens. Pressure and competing can have both supporting and weakening effect on creativity. weakens creativity. Therefore both the nature of feedback and the timing of it are significant. All action must not be connected to bonuses. the ideation of individuals and groups depends on the characteristics of the organization too. evaluation should be continuous and constructive change of information between the management and the members of the team. On the other hand a tight schedule may force people to settle for the simplest and the most uninventive solutions. Generally speaking. and other such concrete measures. it is essential to keep the balance between diverse concrete rewards and other forms of encouragement. Everything must not be connected to money However.
The superior's true faith in people's abilities and skills form the basis for this. However. Success of some degree is likely to lead into a situation where the group still tries to solve the problem after it has reconsidered and reformed its aims. Well functioning communication is an essential tool for success. The trust must be conveyed to the people too. . Both success and a total failure will always lead to the ending of the process. the vision. Learning is more important than knowing Nobody is able to tenably forecast the future. which emphasizes the significance of the organization's general resources. Achievements should always be evaluated in order to make the creative aims motivating and significant.The stage of evaluation and testing usually requires most personnel. Even though the performing of the job has been the responsibility of a single team or a project. not only concrete bonuses. The prospect for the future. is at its best every employee's personal and inspiring goal. Realizing it by just one man's or woman's efforts seems to require a miracleworker. the testing and the realizing of the ideas has usually been carried out by the whole organization. Instead of knowing it is learning which is more essential. reality demands action that is quite the opposite: instead of a one man's show the biggest challenge for the management and the superiors is to be able to release the resources of the personnel and call forth its latent talents. money and material. However it is important for the organization to be able to grab the signals conveyed by the environment and by the changes in it. More important than the realizing of decisions may be the participation in the decision making. but also other kind of recognition and encouragement. Latent talents must be called forth The challenges of managing are still growing as creativity is expected from more and more organization members. as also the possible new tendencies and requirements. to the superior as well as to the employee and to the team as well as to the whole organization on the basis of both personal experience and other policies. and the personal commitment and motivation achieved through it. People find fair rewarding very important. The characteristics of creativity required from a promoting management and a manager may easily end up being a massive list of top-ten.
The atmosphere has to show encouragement to creativity and innovations. expertise and motivation of individuals. is the organization's ability to manage and support individual creativity. What is needed. The organization has to have resources.The creative skills. . are crucial when creativity is being prompted.
The forming of teams is. The use of teamwork as an intensifier was first experimented in some Norwegian and Swedish factories in the 1960's and the 1970's. by the group in which the person was working. whereas another part of them may have permanent effects on the organizations' way of thinking. the intensifying followed the principles of so called "spade science" which was an aspiration to improve the productivity of an individual worker through rationalization: the bigger the man the bigger the spade and the bigger the heaps of coal. Team organizations seem to belong to the latter group. one development stage in the organizations' constant aspiration to improve productivity and profitability. In addition to this. among other things. The norms of the group and the unofficial leadership within the group became important work regulating mechanisms." . hierarchical organizations and the behavior unifying rules and directions were supposed to improve anticipation and diminish errors caused by the dissimilarity of people. have in time become as important as the hierarchical structures and the rationalization of the work. The challenge of these experiments on so called autonomous work groups was to create "a community which is based on trust and the common interests of both the company and the employees.Team Members Can Do Almost All the Job Requires By assistant professor Jukka Peltoniemi and researcher Taru Hautala Earlier work was intensified by the means of "spade science": the bigger the man the bigger the spade The traditional operations model of the organizations seems to be a very threatened species nowadays. and in which an individual member feels safe and comfortable. in fact. A part of the period's tendencies consists of short time isms. When industrial enterprising was still rather new. The leadership and people's work motivation as the improvers of not only efficiency but also of the job satisfaction. whose work was affected. This way of thinking is probably familiar to the modern organizations too. Employee is not a machine but a human being after all It may be paradoxical but about 70 years ago it was found out in a series of research aiming towards the rationalization of work that a worker was not a machine but a human being.
but increased in others. The results have been various. firms have tried to bring forth a lighter and more flexible organization and to release the latent human resources to the use of the organization. Global enterprises started to use matrices as their structural forms. . The model for quality management was sought from Japan. Hence the social side of the work was emphasized at the cost of productivity. The customer orientation as a goal. as the intensifying of organization's activities proceeded in many other ways at the same time. Strategic management was hoped to provide competitive advantage. now called teams. One solution has been the low process organizations and once again the groups. the problems in productivity have been significant. rose the question how to get more efficiency and productivity. One reason for this may be the fact that autonomous work groups were considered as loose motivation techniques. Additional value to the customer At the turn of the 1990's. The following paragraphs describe the change in the way of thinking (figures 1 and 2). The organization's structure and the internal functional mechanism are important in hierarchies. The managers are expected to posess all the skill and wisdom in the organisation. However. time was not mature for the further development of team work. The profit center structures were supposed to answer the needs of various customer groups. In some cases for example the absence and the turnover of the employees have decreased. However.Work groups were too loose The groups were given responsibility of their work and they emphasized the competence of all the members and their responsibility for the group's management. and management by objectives was expected to lead to good financial performance. along with the increasing competition. At the worst it could be only 15 % of the productivity of the corresponding assembly line factories in the United States. At the same time it is thought that the individuals' possibilities to learn new things and then to use the learned are improving.
consider the needs of a customer as the basis of their action. etc. logistics. management.g. Therefore all the members of the work community are expected to posses adequate knowledge and skills. production.) that produce additional value to customers and in which the central units of the work are not the hierarchical levels nor the separate departments. The model of lean organization Team or a work group? A work group and a team are partly overlapping concepts. on their behalf. The organization is described as processes (e. .The modern lean organizations. The organization does not have intrinsic value. the control of the customers. Figure 1. The model of traditional hierarchial organization Figure 2. but the teams with complementary skills which have as straight connections to the customers as possible.
horizontal or vertical teams. such as product development. control and authorization (figure 3). The amount of autonomy grows and the amount of control diminishes when a traditional work group is gradually changed into an self-directing team or even an self-leading team. Operational team represents versatility. as far as possible. The names of the classes are partly overlapping too. It can for example decide on work planning. An example of such team is an assembling team. either. . but the team leader still answers for the goal setting. The employees do not have managerial responsibility or control. such as top management teams. A team consists of skilled and versatile employees or experts. which in other words performs all the stages of the work process by itself. Therefore there is not just one and only way of classification. Responsibility for the scheduling of work and for the results are alsodifferent as well as the pay systems. Teams can be various The concepts of the team are not quite established. Amount of autonomy varies The teams can be classified according to the amount of autonomy. Inter functional teams. Teams that promote information flow and coordination can be. for example. All the team members can do almost everything the whole of the job requires. and the quantity of direct control is smaller than in the traditional work groups. In a big company the teams formed of employees and middle management may convey and collect information quickly from the top to the bottom and vice versa. production and marketing. for example teams developing new products. operate between the organization's different departments.Compared to the traditional work groups teams have some differentiating features. Decision making teams are the teams of the executive level. Operational teams consist of the employee level members and they perform "floor level" duties. The most common classification criteria is the task of the team. The traditional work group is an externally managed team in which a superior tells the employees what to do. They can also replace each other. The team's principle is that the work is done in the same place where the decisions are made.
execution. Pseudo teams do not want to commit themselves All groups that call themselves teams are still not teams. The team can also decide whether it wants to have a teamleader or not. action model or shared responsibility. In the best case the self-piloting team realizes the principle of "holistic work" including the goal setting. The amount of autonomy and authorization in different team types Self-directing team experiments A self-directing team is a relatively independent work group. such as quality control. However. and the evaluation of the whole operation A self-directing team tries to experiment varying jobs and emphasizes the success of the whole group. These kinds of seemingly functioning. Figure 3. planning. so called pseudo teams realize the traditional course of action and do not want to commit themselves to the common goals: work result. However. it is possible that these kinds of teams are more illusion than reality. other groups or teams perform supporting activities.Semiautonomous work group is suitable for manufacturing industry in which employees are allowed to decide on production activities. in which jobs and responsibilities are sought from a carefully defined work segment. . A well advanced self-directing team can interact directly with the customers and suppliers.
It is essential to increase work's efficiency. Team members have roles The construction of the team's activities is essentially influenced by the roles of the members. customer service and the informing of the stakeholders. The roles can be attached to the person's occupation. an adviser or an internal developer but they may also be unofficial and connected to human interaction. Keeping to the schedule is essential because certain work processes have to be completed within the agreed schedule. by people seeking recognition and by those who just have a principle to disagree. like the roles of a foreman. This structure forms the context in which the team's member is working. an evaluator and also the role of an encouraging and tension relieving member. . if the members know what is expected from them and what is the right way to work with others. The structure of the team includes the tasks of the team. The whole team's ability to produce value for the customer is essential. The role describes the behavior which is characteristic to each member in their social community. The tasks may include the recruiting of new members too. Examples of the latter are the roles of a team supporting initiator. personnel relations and cooperation. flexibility and competitiveness. and also see to the education. budget and the quality of the work. expenses. Team avoids appreciation differences It is important in a team organization to avoid power hierarchies and rolerelated appreciation differences. In addition to that the teams take care of the development of new work methods. The team supporting roles will develop more easily. they still have a cohesive structure. productivity. an informer. In those organizations that successfully use teamwork the team members control their own productivity. The criticism coming from these people is not aimed at helping the group's work. Team members may have authorities to make big changes in the work processes without asking permission from others. In a team.Even though teams are often described as loose and flexible organizations. Team work is disturbed by self-centered dominators who require attention from others. in which the members are capable of doing different jobs. The basic task of every team is to set clear and understandable goals for their work. the roles and the statuses of the members and also the norms of the team. all official roles are of equal value. but also its meaningfulness.
The norms express the tolerance limit and the accepted form of behavior. They have not been written down and they pass on to the new members as an "oral tradition".g. Norms express the limit of tolerance Norms are the behavioral rules of the team. harmful rivalry may follow. but certainly not the least precondition is that the realization is supported by the management. a weak work performance may not be tolerated. The teams have to know what they can decide and the superiors have to obey agreed rules. The members of higher status are often so called unofficial leaders whose opinion affects the whole team. It would be important for the organizations that the unofficial norms and the goals of the team were not conflicting. the forming of teams is waste of time. In addition to this. if the leader with his assistants and yes-men forms an inner circle. These can be learned in team training. but if necessary they are the ones who are made the scapegoats and black sheep. Another status hierarchy problem appears. The third.However. If the management does not believe in the idea. as the teaming will most certainly stop halfway if the management and the superiors little by little take over the reins again. the norms that encourage open expression of different thoughts and the acceptance of the members' uniqueness would be essential for the result of the team and for the motivation of the members. . A status hierarchy means a social rank within the team. In these cases it is a question of the role's status. For example. The transfer of authorities must be real and genuine too. Official norms are. in issues important to the team exceptional behavior e. The outsiders are not informed nor do they participate in decision making. instructions or goals given to the team. The compliance with the norms is based on people's expectations and experiences on what kind of behavior may be rewarded and what punished. different kind of social appreciation may be attached to the unofficial roles of the team. It must also be accepted that people's jobs may change and some department boundaries disappear from the organization. which aim to maintain order in the team's activity. A mere decision to start teaming is not enough. If the team is not unanimous in status hierarchy. Unofficial norms develop as the result of the team's actions and are often latent. for example. Teaming must be genuine Before starting to use team work it is important to carefully consider what problems the teams are supposed to solve in the organization.
This has happened to the theoretical ideas behind the team organizations which were found already decades ago. Now it seems that the introduction of teams is becoming more common especially in such organizations in which the changed situations demand new work forms. .It is not rare that even good ideas may have to wait for a long time before they are introduced in an organization.
If the enterprise wants to develop its abilities. public institutions and offices as well as schools. It has been noticed that the ability to quickly and constantly develop new coping methods is the key to survival. success promoting or deteriorating. The concept of efficiency is now seen in a new light. but also on the rapidity of learning. Its perspective suits all organizations.Old Customs in a New Situation Confuse and Oppress By Riitta Strömmer Creative learning enables bold leaps and takeoffs The examination of learning has got a new welcome dimension during the past few years. In addition to individual learning people have started to talk about the learning of groups. This article surveys the learning of organizations. not only on the resources of the enterprise. The fast technological development creates both possibilities and pressure: flexibility and rapidity have become the lifeblood of the organizations. inspiring or banal. . The changes in the environment may quickly take the sting out of the old weapons. Change takes the sting out of the old weapons The big. Success in the new environment depends. The holistic developing of the learning abilities is supposed to give new and more comprehensive solutions to the demands of the constant change. as "an organization which has been tuned to constant change and to develop its processes and the contents of its action in the more and more dynamic environment". The learning organization has been defined. communities and organizations. for example. succeeded enterprises around the world have been forced to notice that they can not ride on their earlier success anymore. such as enterprises. the encouraging work environment which enables that development. In all these learning can be either effective or ineffective. and the effective work processes. it has to be able to combine the constant development of its know-how. Learning is not easy either The learning of an organization has typically been examined as a two level process consisting of survival learning and creative learning.
became possible. Inability to give up obstructs learning Learning new operations and thinking models always requires ability to give up old habits. On people's level it meant thorough change in the ways of thinking. The problems are solved on the basis of the old courses of action. However. It was not until after this that successful learning. but for a long time this was done within the hierarchical structure. Finland can be mentioned as an example of two level learning. which forms the nuclear of the daily routines. In Piikkiö the company succeeded in in-depth learning. Very often this becomes possible through a crisis only. . Then it finally gave up the hierarchy and the job descriptions and changed over to teaming. The company did not dare to abandon the old systems before it was ruined by bankruptcy. But also the number of personnel was cut down. and on the level of the organization the radical reforming of the operations model. As a result follow exhaustion and frustration caused by the fruitlessness of the efforts. Therefore it also enables bold leaps and takeoffs. which could be seen in the results too. creative learning is not easy either. This is called unlearning. The increasing competition forced the company to seek efficiency. The confusion and oppression connected to changes are often results of the effort to cope with the radically changing circumstances only with the help of survival learning. The creative learning widens one's creative abilities and enables qualitative and structural changes in the work practices. at least not in the beginning. Meeting memorandums were abolished and formalities discarded. People have to question all their earlier courses of action and maybe even completely change their way of thinking. strictly defined job descriptions and salary classes.The survival learning is connected to experience. The old courses of action are too stiff to enable the finding of effective solutions to new problems. In addition to profit earning capacity also job satisfaction improved. Formalities must be discarded The Masa Yard cabin factory in Piikkiö.
According to Nonaka. experiences of the organization's or its management's activities (e. Unwillingness to unlearning has also been called change resistance. categorized and combined into new entities together. Learning from experiences can happen on different levels connected to each other: 1. Difficulties in giving up dear old photographs. strategy. The silent knowledge is individuals' knowledge developed through experience and profound acquaintance. issues. the environment. which then directs the action of every individual in practical situations. is the fact that the earlier experience will not necessarily be useful at every turn. such as special know-how in customer service. procedures. policies. . customers. experiences of the environment (e. Sometimes it is hard to clothe this knowledge in words. The earlier experiences give ideas for the basis of future activities and for the evaluation of possibilities. experiences with the customers. it becomes clearly expressible explicit knowledge. however. the personal experiences of every individual working in the organization. What makes the situation difficult. mistakes that have been made and also about wild new ideas in order to develop things. Sometimes also the feelings.g. cause bankruptcy. management practices. discussion is the most effective way to turn silent knowledge into the common knowledge of the whole organization.Difficulties in giving up the old courses of action usually are the biggest obstacles for learning new things. Experience is the basis for learning Most organizations draw conclusions based on the past. Through different kinds of experiments and experiences the explicit knowledge becomes silent knowledge again. etc) and 3. When issues are analyzed. are worth discussing. at the worst. smoking or the earlier learned things belong to the same category. that is common to the whole organization. Of course it is important to talk about activities. the earlier latent information is brought out and formed into common knowledge. At the best. hopes and fears. in other words the things that may jeopardize the concrete solutions and results of the work community. etc) 2. In enterprises this human feature may. Silent knowledge out through talking! Japanese Nonaka has analyzed the processes which convert the so called silent knowledge of the employees into knowledge which is valuable to the whole organization and which strengthens its opportunities to succeed. In practice this means that the work communities need to start a good discussion.g. competitors.
as there are individuals. as a result of interaction. aims and the effects of the action. The evaluation may lead from the way of thinking. to another extreme. If every employee aims to different directions like a bevy of . another influential person or a group. interpreting of the situations. The results of the action based on these ideas are evaluated which will affect the actions in the future. The generally approved ideas of the purpose and the way of action in progress are the combining "glue" in this kind of learning. Combining the views is vital We start from the assumption that in every organization there are as many individual interpretations and patterns of thought they are based on. However. The organization's prevailing view and the way of thinking affect the individual's way of orientation. an enterprise genuinely appreciates the customer it will most certainly have an effect on the actions and the conclusions of every employee. It is essential to understand and to be able to define and handle the gap between the organization's present abilities and future possibilities on the level of actions. Very often the inspirer of the "glue's" regeneration is a strong-willed and a brave leader. Individual performances become the general courses of action based on the common knowledge. As a result develops organization's collective and action directing thinking model. but it is possible to develop the capability of moving with the help of it in order to find the agility needed at the points of change.A feature coming more and more common is the very short interval between the estimation of the situation and the action itself. discussion and concrete cooperation. for example. gives learning a new value adding dimension. Interaction gives more value to learning Organizations try to attain ability to notice the signals that come from the surroundings involving the organization's action. The majority of the members have to agree on them. the group's aim is to integrate these individual patterns of thought and to build common views based on the common experiences of the group's members. If. concerning the sharp tuning of the courses of action. The combining of the individual views is vital to the success of the organization. creative learning. instincts and intuitive abilities. and learning. At this point it is important to pay attention also to people's evaluations. Therefore experience is not to be relied on like a walking stick. There is a collective element in the organizations' learning which.
structure and the ways of action. is effectively achieved through work Flexible organization in which as much power and responsibility has been given to the teams as possible. This includes a group of factors. Wide participation. Therefore the learning of an individual is most essential. also the money and the per cents that may change the result. it is not very realistic to hope that the goals set for the organization would be effectively achieved. Individual's learning is the essence The success of the organization's attempts and. which all sensitize everybody to think from the perspective of learning. the characteristics of a learning supporting organization capable of quick learning are as follows: • • • • • • • • • • A common vision: everybody in the organization knows what kind of future the organization is heading for The constant developing of the employees' know-how which. Indicators of development which help everybody to develop their own work and the operations models of the organization. At the worst. Most organizations adjust and gradually develop their activities within the existing products. which shape the unique character of the organization. services and technology. experimenting and risk taking. at its best. managing. the goals have been understood in various ways too. This prevents diversity of opinions. . However. markets. depend on people. which especially concentrates on the supporting of learning. A committed and an inspiring management. and therefore even the vigorous attempts pull the entity to different directions. Open and effective flow of information which includes both open discussion and effective systems.sparrows. learning from mistakes. The earlier success directs their development. learning from others and team learning. if necessary. Effective learning orientation. Bonus schemes that stimulate learning. trying and ideation. such as culture. the organization plays very important role in directing the individual's learning. at the end. in other words a culture which inspires everybody to add their mite to the pile. everybody in the organization understands its systematic entity and the interaction between the matters. The survival abilities of these organizations can not endure big changes in the markets. either by encouraging or discouraging it. They react mechanically and in a routine like manner to the changes in the environment and try to avoid risks. According to specialists. and to redirect their activities too. System thinking. in other words.
answer for it. A network based and team structured organization reforms itself through constant evaluation. The fourth step is about starting to apply the new operations model into practice. A netting process with other companies may be an inspiration for learning. Sincerity. Ideas are sought from the best practices of other organizations and the limits are bravely broken. The third step means that a new operations model is developed and it functions as a foundation for the activities. In the organization the learning of new operations models usually proceeds in stages. Never-ending journey of learning It is a general thought that organizations' development is a slow cumulation of incidents with sudden turns occurring once in a while. At this stage it is impossible to avoid the handling of the conflicts between the conventional policies and the new model. The development projects that produce versatility add organization's capabilities. for example with necessary rules. and the evaluation of the results. Demands coming from different directions nullify each other and cause pressure which may require a completely new operations model. and all superiors and teams. What is learned from it can then be applied more widely. It may be stimulated by cooperation with a client or a supplier. At the best it has been preceded by the handling of diverse visions and the finding of a common solution to which everybody can commit themselves. still unclear and different interest groups far away from each other. . The first step is a situation where different disturbances are noticed and tried to fix with the traditional means. The reward systems pay attention not only to the performances and responsibility but also to the increase in abilities. The fifth step means the strengthening of the new operations model. This phase often includes a crisis. The second step often means unavoidable conflicts and chaos. Special care has been taken of learning. Versatility adds ability At its best the organization has managed to combine work and learning. Through the learning process the operations model enriches and takes its form.In creative organizations the change is seen as the engine of development. and of course the individuals too. Very often this happens first as a limited experiment. at this point. creativity and system thinking characterize the actions of the organization. The course and the contents of the change are.
It pays attention to both short and long term needs. The most important precondition is the creation of development supporting activity culture and the developing of learning supporting systems. every one of us has one point from which the change and conscious learning can be started right away without any obstacles.According to the modern idea. That point is in us ourselves! . and often found ineffective. which means that tensions and developmental challenges are an inseparable part of everyday activities. Development starts from realization The organization can control change only after the situation has been recognized and the public discussion started. the development is seen as a constant qualitative change. On-the-job learning has become a part of the company's competition strategy. Development always starts from realizing and deciding. in the work. Luckily. After that the organization's learning requires conscious directing. It is useless to hope that this change would suddenly end and we would get back to the peace of the good old days. It will not happen! The challenge of today's work communities is to make the biggest part of learning to take place in its natural environment. as the organized teaching is expensive and slow.
. Therefore the business economics do not usually try to make strict explaining models in a way the natural sciences. The variables we have used are the commitment and the job satisfaction of the employees. There are several influencing factors Behind the business economic research lies the profitability of an enterprise. In return mail we got 244 appropriately filled forms. However.Real Teams Increase Employees' Commitment. and therefore these research results are definitely fresh. Job Satisfaction and Initiativity By Jukka Vesalainen and Kai Stenman The Finnish work communities still do not make enough developing suggestions The professionals teaching and lecturing on teamwork are unanimous in the usefulness of their product. try to moderate this lack by studying the experiences in the teamwork among the Finnish men and women working in metal industry. In this research the study does not reach the level of the enterprises' profitability. It is rather a question of what kind of roles different background phenomena play in the development of profitability and other explaining factors. The actual research report has not been published yet. there are so many influencing factors that it is impossible to build an explaining model which would be universally applicable and take all situations into consideration. whose decision making and actions are not always so rational that they could be absolutely trustworthily modelled. We. Matters are always affected by a human being. The results presented here are based on that material. for our part. do. In the spring of 1996 we sent a questionnaire to one thousand members of the Metalworkers Union. However most of them can not present any supporting research reports on how the benefits of teamwork show in the organizations. like physics.
but were not members of a team themselves. satisfied We assume on the basis of the earlier knowledge that the high commitment and good job satisfaction of the employees have a positive effect on the profitability of the enterprise. 2. In these teams the above described features of real teams were not fulfilled. In the study this group is referred to as a usual organization. Majority (56. In our research material there are 37 people who work in such real teams as described above. The manufacturing of machines and equipment: 65 % in one-off production. In addition to this the material includes 126 people who do not work in teams. What we called real teams were groups in which the superior has adapted more the role of a coach than that of a hierarchical superior. Correspondingly 64 people work in work groups classified as so called false teams. 3. The teams have far reaching rights to make decisions connected to their work and their activities include also the measuring of productivity and the result-based wages. The manufacturing of metal products was clearly the biggest user of process production (70 %). The manufacturing of metal products: 70 % produced in series. The electric products and instruments: 60 % produced in series. Real and false teams A mere new name does not make a group a team. The fourth group consists of those 62 people who work in a company which does not use teamwork at all. not personally in a team. Correspondingly the biggest individual sectors and their mainly used production forms were as follows: 1. .Committed.1 %) of the people who filled and returned our research questionnaires work in enterprises that employ 25˜100 people. People working in teams should therefore be more committed and satisfied with their job than people in more traditional employment. This group is called team organization. One central aim of this study was to separate the real teams from so called false teams. To the third group we put those 64 people who worked in a company which used teamwork. One of the teamwork's basic ideas is that when people are given more responsibility and freedom they voluntarily release both quantitative and qualitative energy to their work.
The results of this research are very clear. This result has to be taken with slight reservations as most people probably do not have experience in teams. Active and positive relationship evolves Commitment to work is normally understood merely as a minor turnover and rare absences. who had filled in the questionnaire. The group of average commitment consists of people who had some very strong feature. the acceptance of them and will to strive hard for the organization. for example strong will to stay in the job. belonged to a team or not. in other words as a somehow passive phenomenon. not depending on the quality of the team or whether the person. . while other features were rather weak or then they all represented average level.Team is felt important Teamwork was clearly seen very important in those groups that were using it. 75 % of the people working in real teams are highly committed. average and high commitment in different groups. However. unless there are some kind of obstacles for moving. Therefore the answers could be seen as reflecting some kind of image of teamwork or a general interest in it. in this research commitment means the positive and active relationship between an organization and its personnel. False teams lower commitment The people who fulfilled all requirements of commitment were put into the group of high commitment. This probably works fine as a general interpretation. People in this group change their jobs quite easily. In addition to stability commitment includes also strong fate in the targets and the goals of the organization. The features of the people who belonged to the group of low commitment were all comparably weak. For the analysis that is presented here they were combined into one variable which enabled the classifying of the people into groups describing the strength of commitment. while the corresponding rate in other groups is only a little over 30 %. Table 1 presents the proportions of low. Commitment was measured by several different questions that helped to study its different features. The surprise was that even in the usual organizations most of the people (57 %) found teamwork necessary.
the certainty of the job. As a phenomenon job satisfaction is more shortsighted than commitment. we measure the employees' attitudes towards: colleagues. the feedback on work. superiors. Because of the multiplicity of the phenomenon job satisfaction was measured with several questions which were then combined into one reading that described satisfaction in general. the possibility to use one's skills and abilities in the work. the meaningful entity of the work. Actually the situation is quite the opposite: nominal teams seem to lower commitment. Noteworthy is also the fact that in the group C commitment is not any higher than in the groups B or D. This result shuts out the possibility that such enterprises which practice teamwork would somehow be better than others and their personnel more committed than that of other enterprises. Table 1: Employee's commitment in different teams (% of people / group) People working in teams are more satisfied When studying job satisfaction. It reflects more the attitude towards the work itself. work environment and work community. etc. .Especially interesting is the fact that the people working in so called false teams are not any more committed than those who do not belong to teams at all.
Making initiatives. Initiativity can be seen as one external characteristic of internal entrepreneurship. . Correspondingly a little over 20 % of the employees in other groups are not satisfied.Table 2 describes the division of job satisfaction which follows the same lines as the division of commitment. One of them was initiativity. developing suggestions. mental contribution to his work. or other such things is much more rare in the Finnish work communities than in the corresponding work communities abroad. People in the group A are clearly more satisfied than others. The traditional and especially hierarchical managing system usually can not affect people's initiativity. is the employee's qualitative. If the circumstances support independent and even self-piloting activities. Especially notable is the fact that only 2. What is basically involved. This is clearly a problem bothering several Finnish work communities. because it is something the employee can rule personally.7 % of people working in real teams are not satisfied with their job. the result may be an increase in initiatives. Table 2: Job satisfaction in different groups (% of people / group) Real teams are more initiative than others In addition to commitment and job satisfaction we asked the metal workers some other things connected to teamwork. Teamwork is one way to do this.
2.2.4 and 2. In the real teams the average initiativity was 3. the researches are often doubting Thomases.chicken situation keeps the mind occupied The research results presented above clearly speak for an orthodox teamwork. in spite of teamwork. Even when looked like this the real teams stand out from the others. influence the commitment and the job satisfaction of the employees. It can be asked whether the already more committed and satisfied employees particularly end up into the orthodox teams? Presenting doubts is a part of researchers' work. . for example the image of the enterprise. We can draw a conclusion that the orthodox teamwork is a tool of management which increases the commitment of personnel and improves job satisfaction and initiative. Behind these doubts always lies the possible interfering variable: the research result may have some other explanation than the one that was discovered. which would. This may be because teamwork means working in a group. After a certain period (in this case the time needed would be a couple of years) the final survey is performed and the results are compared with those from the initial survey. However. In these cases the doubt is cast on two issues. Egg . where 1 means low initiativity and 5 high initiativity. after which the organization starts to drive in the orthodox teamwork. but in the Finnish culture an initiative is considered rather a personal than a group performance. They do not want to announce even the clear seeming results to be truths before careful and extended analyses. What is needed is a chance in attitude before group level initiative is possible. The affects of teamwork could best be estimated by a classical experimental arrangement. Another possible error factor has to do with people. Firstly do those companies that practice orthodox teamwork have something. the difference is not very clear. This kind of research is a longitudinal study. However.5 and in the two other groups 2. Nevertheless it seems that the research results of the usefulness of the orthodox teams can be relied on. in false teams 2. in which first comes the initial survey.We need more group initiative We measured initiative on the scale of 1-5. In the control organization nothing is changed.
Team is not the philosopher's stone of management When evaluating the results of this research and especially when thinking about the realization possibilities in your own enterprise or department. Along with these they may have got organization-related experiences which some managers and superior have been able to use apparently successfully when switching over to teamwork. The successful realization of teamwork is not easy. Another noteworthy issue is that in spite of clear advantages teamwork is not a philosopher's stone which would fix all matters and problems in the organization. Many productional enterprises have tried to apply different ways of group work. . and the imperfectly functioning teams will not give as good results. it is good to notice that this research concerned productional enterprises.
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