To what extent does teamwork lead to empowerment? Introduction Teamwork tasks are increasingly becoming an integral aspect of organizational management. Various types of teams are being formed, ranging from top management teams to multi-functional teams. The extent to which teamwork can lead to empowerment is an issue that is open to debate. There are many intervening factors that need to be assessed before any relationship between teamwork efforts and empowerment can be established. This paper assesses the extent to which teams can be used as a tool of organizational empowerment.
The analysis of the notions of teamwork and the empowerment is carried out from an HRM perspective. Various HRM models and theories are assessed and evidence on policy and practice is presented. The organizational context of HRMEmpowerment is a key element of teamwork. Any time that is empowered possesses authority, skills and information in order to carry out tasks, make the right decisions and improve performance, thereby driving results. The organizational structure of a team also determines largely how well it functions. The structure of any teamwork effort is a clear yardstick of determining how each member should behave towards all the other members.
The main aim of constructing teams is to get the job done. There are many types of teamwork engagements in an organization. Whether one talks of project teams, top executive teams, product-market teams, or cross-functional teams, there is always a HRM issues to be addressed. Although different teamwork efforts are aimed at pursuing different goals, the problems that are encountered are common to them all. HRM practitioners face many challenges in their efforts to make teams successful in all the activities they are set up to undertake.
The task of reconciling the demands, practices and activities of a team with the organizational structure is always a challenging one for HRM practitioners. The professionals have to come up with a clear strategy. Strategy is critical to decision making since it gives all members a sense of purpose in their work. The operational goals that follow from different goals also have to be very clear. A team that does not have a clear strategy may find it difficult engaging in organizational activities successfully at the tactical level.
It can easily become divided, thereby resulting in a situation whereby each team member follows only his own pet initiatives. It is the role of HRM to ensure that the roles and responsibilities are clear and agreed upon among all participants in the teamwork undertaking. Without such consensus, the form of empowerment that is realized becomes devolved, and the participants pass the buck, fix blames and engage in silo behavior. In every business relationship, it is not possible to disentangle teamwork and the HRM.
As long as the organization realizes the need for teamwork efforts to be accorded empowerment, the human resource management has a lot to offer by way of professional assistance, support, and guidance to all team leaders and members. Effective empowerment entails the ability by all team members to confront all the issues that they face. It also entails the inspiration on the part of all members to confront each other and discuss the weaknesses of every member, including the team member. Otherwise, no amount of empowerment can cure a culture that is based on avoidance of conflicts and disagreements.