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Discussion of Self-Managed Teams and Leadership

Provide a concise explanation of the below topics. In the paper, explain how this topic applied to your leadership experience and offer thoughts. Thanks.

The benefits of self-managed teams
The changing role of leadership in self-managed teams
The challenges of implementing self-managed teams

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This response is not going to be a fully formatted APA paper. I will explain each of the areas listed, but completion of the paper including final formatting, source documentation, citations and the application of these principles to your own leadership experience will need to be done by you.

I will however discuss my own thoughts on self-managed teams and leadership from my perspective. I'm stating this at the outset because I've had a number of students who become quite upset with me because they were expecting a 'turnkey' response. This is NOT a 'turnkey' response. You will need to do what is necessary to meet the paper guidelines that your professor/instructor has set for this assignment.
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I think that the most important aspect of this paper is to define what "self-managed teams" means. Otherwise, the reader has to derive the definition on their own and nothing stops them from thinking about a group of people who simply do whatever they want to do (or not do) because they 'manage' themselves. This is surely NOT 'self-managed teams' means, in fact nothing is probably further from the truth. So, what is a 'self managed team?

The following is taken from a PDF article on the subject, found at <http://www.saferpak.com/teamwork_articles/ensuring_success.pdf>

"In 1990, Development Dimensions International, the Association for Quality and Participation, and Industry Week conducted a study on the current practice surrounding self- directed teams. The study defined a self-directed team as "a group of employees who have day-to-day responsibility for managing themselves and the work they do. Members of self-directed teams typically handle job assignments, plan and schedule work, make production-related decisions, and take action on problems. Members of self-directed teams work with a minimum of direct supervision. As such, the teams are not quality circles or cross-functional task groups. ... [T]hese teams are characterized by:

- Face-to-face interaction in natural work groups
- Responsibility for producing a definable product
- Responsibility for a set of interdependent tasks
- Control over managing and executing tasks." (page 4)

The following is taken from a PDF article on the subject, found at <http://www.saferpak.com/teamwork_articles/ensuring_success.pdf>

Self-directed teams assume a number of different roles which are quite different from the limited roles that any one team member in a traditional team may be able to access:

- Uphold organizational and personal values and principles
- Accomplish the team's work
- Organize the team's work environment
- Manage the team's work processes
- Participate in organization-wide systems
- Participate in organization-wide strategies
- Manage Team Processes

From these varied roles, it becomes evident that a successful self managed team is one with a level of personal and corporate maturity in order to maintain efficiency in a 'self-directed' environment.

From this concise, layered definition, the outline of self-managed teams emerges as inherently different from traditional teams. In fact, you might draw parallels between the terminology used to describe database relationships (one-one, one-to many, many to many) and apply these concepts to hierarchical and self managed teams. In hierarchical teams, the supervisor or manager is the focal point, the resource, and the driver and has a one-to-many relationship with the team members. If information is needed, the team members seek that information from the manager. If you watch Law and Order, you can see this in the way the ranking officer always provides the direction - no matter how mundane. Of course, it's television, but I'm using it to illustrate the nature of hierarchical relationships. By definition, self-managed teams ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses self-managed teams, their benefits and how they impact leadership in about 2,300 words with references.

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