Designing Team-Based Organizations: New Forms for Knowledge Work

May 10, 1995

Designing Team-Based Organizations- New Forms for Knowledge WorkSusan Albers Mohrman, Susan G. Cohen and Allan M. Mohrman, Jr., (Jossey-Bass, 1995)

Organizations everywhere have made a major commitment to flattening their structures and creating teams to produce products and deliver services more effectively to customers. Yet making the successful transition to teams has proved to be a challenging and often daunting process. An effective team-based organization requires more than the mere formation of teams. It demands a fundamental change in the design and practice of the organization itself.

Designing Team-Based Organizations breaks new ground in tackling the organizational design issues related to the implementation of teams, with a specific focus on the new designs required to support the knowledge-work components of organizations. The authors offer a field-tested design framework to help managers, consultants. human resource specialists, and students of organization design understand and develop structures and systems necessary to support the strategic deployment of teams. Drawing on over fifteen years of research and consulting with such companies as Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Bell, General Mills, Pratt and Whitney, Pfizer, and Texas Instruments, they present a detailed, five-step design process for creating new organization designs that empower teams so that they make a real difference.

The authors present guidelines for the new leadership roles required of managers in team organizations and process diagrams that describe the learning and transitions that must occur. Throughout the book, numerous sample designs and case examples illustrate different kinds of teams, various integrating mechanisms, and nested hierarchical systems to help ensure that design decisions support the development of team-based organizations that will prosper in the 21st century.

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