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Mergers and Team Building

You have just been part of a merger. You have each been chosen to head up your department and merge the two groups into a self-directed work team. Work with each other to lay out a plan describing how you will develop a new team within your department or departments. It is natural that there will be some confrontations between people. Look at the stages of team development and use that knowledge to work with the team. It is recognized that some employees will refuse to be part of the team. In fact, the new ownership expects that there will be some who lose their jobs due to these issues; however, that is a last resort. Use all your skills to negotiate with employees in an attempt to resolve conflicts and pull your team together.

Since you are working together as a team, it is seen by the ownership that if one is successful, you are all successful. Likewise, if one fails, you all fail. The future success of the company is dependent on your mutual success. You, as a team, must come up with a plan and be in agreement since you have to implement it in your departments.

For each step you take, provide a brief explanation of your reasoning. Use the Library and the Internet to research these issues.

Solution Preview

Interesting scenario! Let's take a closer look through discussion and information from the business literature on creating self-directed teams, which you can consider for your final plan. I also attached an informative article that I refer to in the following response.

RESPONSE:

1. Since you are working together as a team, it is seen by the ownership that if one is successful, you are all successful. Likewise, if one fails, you all fail. The future success of the company is dependent on your mutual success. You, as a team, must come up with a plan and be in agreement since you have to implement it in your departments.

Collecting information about a self-directed work team. According to Chatfield (n.d.), much of the confusion about teams in the workplace has to do with loose definitions of terms. Let's start off on the right foot by specifying what a few key words and phrases mean.

* Work Group - A group of people working together - (Example - the mechanics in a Sears Auto Center)
* Team - A group of people working together toward a common goal - (Example - The Denver Broncos)
* Self-Managed Team - A group of people working together in their own ways toward a common goal which is defined outside the team - (Example - James River Corporation's Kendallville Plant ALPHA team. They manufacture cardboard boxes as defined by executive leadership. Team does their own work scheduling, training, rewards and recognition, etc.)
* Self-Directed Team - A group of people working together in their own ways toward a common goal, which the team defines, - (as above, but team also handles compensation, discipline, and acts as a profit center by defining its own future).

By these definitions, is this assignment perhaps referring to self-managed teams rather than self-directed?

To harness the power of the two groups is no easy task. You will need to include:

- An understanding of group dynamics and,
- An ability to bring about changes in informal group norms that positively reinforces the formal organization's goals (e.g., open communication, promoting team decision-making, ownership and responsibility) (http://www.accel-team.com/work_groups/index.html).

According to Chatfield (n.d.), before anyone would try to implement something as aggressive as a self-managed (and subsequently self-directed) team, you would need to be able to articulate the expected benefits. What benefits will be observed? A mature self-managed and directed team, when compared to typical hierarchical management, would have measured results showing:

More Less
Enthusiasm Individual opinion about what's important
Learning from peers Reliance on individual abilities
Comfort knowing help is there Panic when workload peaks
Camaraderie Backbiting
Shared responsibility Protecting information
Focus on the organization What's in it for me?
Responsibility for the team Stress on the "supervisor"
Simple, visible measurement Feeling unaccomplished
(From http://irism.com/selfteam.htm).

Thus, this list could act as one measure of ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses how to merge the two groups into a self-directed work team and how to develop a plan and be in agreement for successful implementation in the departments. This solution is approximately 1900 words. An article on teams ensuring success is provided for supplemental information.

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