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Concepts of Empowerment - Self-Management and Cross-Functional Teams

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CONCEPTS OF EMPOWERMENT, SELF-MANAGEMENT AND CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAMS

I. Empowerment

Empowerment is when individuals in all levels of the organization have the authority to make decisions and be accountable for the success or failure of their decisions. As a subunit level supervisor in a call center, I have been given the authority to allow my team members to clock out 3 minutes before their shift ends. If my decision results in our company missing a high percentage of calls as due to a low service level towards the end of the work day, I must take responsibility for the results of my decision.

II. Self-Managed Teams

Self-management teams are when individuals are grouped together, with the power to make decisions without supervision, with the mission of making certain that the team accomplishes it goals.

CONCEPTS OF EMPOWERMENT, SELF-MANAGEMENT AND CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAMS

III. Cross-Functional Teams

Cross-functional teams are composed of 3 or more members with expertise in their respective area of work within the organization grouped together to reach an objective goal. If the organization is to maintain or increase its market share, it must have a team capable of working with efficiency and perfection. Cross-functional teams are a necessity for any organization with a goal of having a competitive advantage over its competition.

I believe that team-based workers such as those mentioned above are conducive to both a tall and flat organizational structure because they can benefit from having smaller specialized groups working independently and cut costs. These groups will enable both tall and flat structured organizations to meet the unpredictable challenges the organization may encounter. Decentralization of authority lessens the need for management involvement in terms of direct supervision. According to Gareth R. Jones (2009), managers should use bureaucratic principles to build a mechanistic structure, and they should enhance the organization's ability to act in an organic way by empowering employees and making teams a principle way of increasing the level of integration in an organization.p.142

CONCEPTS OF EMPOWERMENT, SELF-MANAGEMENT AND CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAMS

References

Jones, G.R. (2009). Organizational Theory, Design, and Change (6th Edition), 142

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