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Title: Semi-autonomous work teams : the effects of implementation and team membership change
Author: Charles, Kate Elisabeth
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis focussed on the development of semi-autonomous work teams in a manufacturing production setting. The thesis investigated the impact of both work team implementation and team membership change on work characteristics (eg. role breadth, interdependence), supervisory style, team processes (eg. team task support) and employee outcomes (eg. satisfaction, well-being). In addition, relationships between these variables were addressed. Finally, the role of the supervisor was examined in more detail, through the investigation of supervisors' perceptions of semi-autonomous teamworking These investigations were undertaken using quantitative survey data, collected at three timepoints over a period of nineteen months, and qualitative data gained using the repertory grid technique. The results suggested that the implementation of team working had beneficial effects in terms of work characteristics, supervisory style, team processes and, to some extent, employee outcomes. However, findings suggested that there may be a decline in such benefits over time. Furthermore, there was some suggestion that a management-initiated team membership change event undermined employees' beliefs about teamworking, and may have contributed to this decline. Interestingly, for those employees directly involved in the membership change, these declines were smaller in relation to role breadth and team processes, but larger in relation to employee outcomes. These findings suggest that changing team membership may better enable employees to maintain effective teams, but may be problematic in terms of employee motivation, satisfaction and well-being. Relationships between variables highlighted the key role of the supervisor in developing and maintaining positive team processes and employee outcomes. In addition, it was suggested that supervisory styles were formed, in part, by supervisors' perceptions of teamworking. Conceptual implications arising from this thesis include the integration of temporal issues into team effectiveness models, and greater attention to supervisory style in the study of semi-autonomous teamworking. Practical implications regarding the adoption of team-based working and the development of appropriate work team supervision are also addressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available