The use of teams in manufacturing contexts is increasing. Researchers have responded with a great deal of theoretical and empirical work aimed at identifying factors that influence the performance of these teams. Scholars, however, have tended to focus their research on variables human resource managers can readily control (e.g. the composition of teams relative to members' characteristics, team goals) and little emphasis has been placed on factors inherent to production systems. Identifying factors in the production system that influence team effectiveness is crucial because many of these factors are not changeable in the short term. Accordingly, these production system factors are likely to be a crucial factor when deciding whether or not to organize a production system around teams. In a departure from past research, this article reports a qualitative study aimed at identifying factors in operational systems that influence team effectiveness. Our qualitative results suggest that four characteristics of the operational system influence team effectiveness: work organized around the team's output, opportunities for informal communication, work that includes novel problems to solve, and management trust in teams.
- Human operations interface
- Qualitative research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering