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Team Up to Fail or Fail to Team Up?

Summary: A team approach is not always the best approach in the business world, making it necessary to evaluate the relative merits of a team approach versus an individual contributor approach to problem solving and decision-making. A team approach works best when the problem at hand is complex, a socio-technical approach is needed, customers participation is part of the solution, the physical requirements of the task are great, the focus of change is broad, or the financial impact is significant. The principle limitation to the team approach is that it is time consuming and costly. Individual contributions are valuable to an organization when specific domain knowledge is needed, or simple decisions are needed quickly. One of the risks of assigning an individual contributor to be a problem solver is that other employees may feel excluded, resulting in a lack of cooperation. By selecting the most appropriate approach for a given situation, organizations can get the best results in an optimal manner.

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  • Topics: Problem Solving, Process Management, Teams
  • Keywords: Organizational improvement initiatives,Problem solving,Decision making,Business process,Team effectiveness
  • Author: Parthasarathy, Raj
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation