Abstract

It is a well known fact that team work is the
foundation for enhancing the overall results of organizational performance.
Currently, organizations worldwide are striving to improve the effectiveness
their teams so as to be globally competitive. For teams to perform optimally  managers have to align with the organizational
structural change to further enhance performance.  The basic purpose of this review article is to
visit extensive literature and research studies that have been studied earlier
in order to examine the effects of teamwork on organizational performance.
Hence, the result shows that working in team has positive influence on
enhancing organizational performance. It also reveals team based organizational
structure has significant effect on organizational performance. The article
recommends organizations should adopt team work activities so as to further
improve their performance, Finally, the review concludes by indicating research
gaps that prospective studies could address.  

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Key
words: Teamwork, effects, organization performance. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Team work has emerged in recent years as one of  the important ways in which work is being
reorganized. Human relation management, modern sociotechnical theory, business
process re-engineering and lean production all embraced the core principles of
team working( Benders and hootegem, 1999). It also has an important link with
organizational performance. In line with this, many claims have been made by
scholars, management consultants and journalists about the positive benefits of
working in teams in organization more specially teams said to contribute to
better outcomes for business organization as it improves performance of
employees, productivity or organizational responsiveness and flexibility
(Greenberg,2008). To this end, organizations continue to rely on teams within
the  work place to achieve through task
performance. In the new business world managers are assigning more team
projects to employees with the opportunities to strengthen  their knowledge and develop skills (
Hertenien,2003).

Team work enhances organizational cohesion or
integration consequently giving rise to harmonization of efforts among the
employed resulting in higher performance. In a similar way ( Heggs,1996)
asserts that higher integration among employees institutional objective results
in better organizational health. Recent studies shows that employees working
with the team can produce more outputs as compared to the individuals. Working
in team empowers people and helps them to develop autonomy, which is a source
of profound job satisfaction and reduce stress (Hayes, 2005). Research done by
psychologists have affirmed that team can expand the outputs of individuals
through collaboration and that employees who are working in teams become
standard for organization performance( Flick, 2006). It also the most
appropriate means of improving manpower utilization and potentially raising
performance of individuals within the organization.

 The essence
of team work is that work load is reduced and break in to pieces of work for
everyone to take part. It is a fuel that allows people to attain common goals.
A collective action is widely recognized as a positive force for team work in
any organization to succeed. Getting to gather with others also can allow
individuals to better understand the importance of team work and how the
organizations operate as well as promote the culture of team work success. This
review concentrated on the effect of team work on organizational performance so
as understand how team work can contribute to the  accomplishment organizational goals.

2.  Research Method   

The objective of the study is to examine the effects
of team work on organizational performance. This study is purely qualitative
literature review on the issue of team work and its effects on organizational
effectiveness. To realize this previous studies pertaining to team work and
organizational performance are reviewed from different journals, books and
conference proceedings. In the proceeding part literatures and relevant studies
to the issue under review will be discussed in detail and then conclusion about
the overall review will be given at the end.  
  

3. 
Discussion

3.1  Team Work  in Organization 

Team works are viewed as an essential features of
modern management theory and practices        (Dhurup & et al, 2015). Most organizational activities of today become complex due to
advancement in technology therefore teamwork is a major focus of many organizations.
Several authors agree on a team is being a group of people that have
complementary skills and who share responsibilities for the outcomes ( Moura
and et al 2014). In line with this, Jones and et al             ( 2007). Team’s enables people to
cooperate, enhances individual skill and provide constructive feedback without
any conflict between individuals. In similar way, organizations which emphasize
more on teams have results in increased employees, greater productivity and
better problem solving at work. Research study concluded that team work is
necessary for all types of organizations including non- profit organizations (Pfaff
and Huddleston,2003).

Team work is defined as collection of small number
of  individuals with complementary skills
who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which
they hold themselves mutually accountable( Greenberg and Barron, 2003). Three
aspects of this definition are important: 
interaction among individuals, group efforts and interdependence. Team
work results in individuals working jointly in a supportive environment to
achieve common team goals through  the
sharing of knowledge and skills. Successful 
team relies on the synergy between team members in relating an
environment, where all members contribute and participate in order to promote
and develop a positive effective outcome. In line with this, study concluded
that it is possible to design a system of building within  every organization for employees so as
promote and distribute best practices and maximum outputs.    

A number of 
theoretical arguments have been developed to explain why team working
might lead to improved organizational performance. Some theories focus on the
effort and motivation of individual workers and claim that they work harder.
Strategic human resources management theory suggests that an appropriately
designed human resources system, which typically includes team work will have
positive effect on an employee’s job satisfaction, commitment and motivation leading
to behavioral changes that result in improved organizational performance        ( Becker and et al, 1997). Similarly,
self leadership theory focuses on participatory decision making, individuals
distribution and team work as important motivating factors and suggests these
will lead to more committed employees who strives for greater efficiency and
effectiveness ( Sims and Mans,1996). Work design theory, however tends to
emphasizes intra group process such as job design, task variety and
interdependence ( Wall and Marten,1997), While socio technical  theory high lights changes in the structure
of an organization and its process as the main mechanism by which performance
is enhanced ( Van Hootegem,2000).    

According to Ingram (2000) team work is a strategy
that has potential to improve the performance of  individuals and organizations, but it needs
to be nurtured overtime. organizations need to look at strategies for improving
performance in the light of increasing competitive environment. Top managers need
to have  the vision to introduce teamwork
activities within the organizations, the sensitivity  to nourish it and the courage to permit teams
to play an important part in decision making. Conti and Kleiner,2000) reported
that teams offer greater participation, challenges and feelings of
accomplishment. Organizations with teams will attract and retain the best
people. This in turn will create a high performance organization that is
flexible efficient and most importantly, profitable. Profitability is the key
factor that will allow organizations to continue to compete in a tough
competitive and global business arena.

3.2
Team Effectiveness

Teams in organization vary widely in their
effectiveness in carrying out team missions and meeting objectives defined by
the team itself and by the organizations( Sikora and et al, 2008). As to
Meglino and et al (2002) found that team member beliefs in team effectiveness
were related to higher level of motivation and satisfaction. Nzewi and et
al,2015 quoting Belbin supports strongly the view that team roles are very
crucial to the success of any team and Batemen and Snell (2007) state on the
contrary that team performance doesn’t so much depend on role but on three
critical criteria.

·        
The productive output of the team
exceeding or meeting the standard quantity and quality as well as the
acceptability of team outputs by customer who uses the team products or service

·        
The realization and satisfaction of
personal needs by team member

·        
The retention of the willingness and
commitment to working again without the team burning out after a grueling
projects

Hackman
quoted in Judeh(2011) observes that the effectiveness of the team depends on
the degree to which a team outputs meet organizational requirements in terms of
quality, quantity and timeliness ( performance) ; the extent to which the  team experiences contributes to individual satisfaction
(attitude). Delarue and et al (2008) suggests that a team could be considered
effective, if it satisfies divers aspects of working condition such as job
autonomy, job satisfaction, work intensity, team members commitment and
learning environment. In general then, research support the ideal that  employees who believes they are members of
teams that perform at high levels of effectiveness are more positive about
organizations that provide opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishments and
to be a part of group that is respected by other employees, supervisors and top
management.

 

On
the other hand, Tarricone (2002) successful teamwork relies up on synergy
existing between all team members creating an environment where they are all
willing to contribute and participate in order to promote  and nurture a positive, effective team
environment. Team members must flexible enough to adopt to cooperative working
environments where goals are achieved through collaboration  and social interdependence rather than
individualized competitive goals( Luca and Tarricone, 2001). Research has
provided a number of attributes have been consistently identified in
literature. Summary of literature on the successful attributes needed for
effective team work as follows

 

     
Interdependence- team members need to create
environment where together they can contribute for more than as individuals. A
positive interdependent  team environment
brings out the best in each person enabling the team to achieve their goals at
a far superior level.

     
Interpersonal skills- included the
ability to discuss issues openly with team members, be honest trustworthy,
supportive and show respects and commitment to the team and to its individuals.
Fostering a carrying work environment as important including the ability to
work effectively with other team members. 

     
Open Communication and positive feedback
– actively listening to the concerns and needs of team members and valuing
their contribution and expressing this helps to create an effective work
environment.

     
Appropriate team composition- is
essential in the creation of successful team. Team members need to be fully
aware of their specific team role and understand what is expected of them in
terms of  their contribution to the team
and the project.

     
Commitment to team process, leadership
and accountability- team members need to be accounted for their contribution to
the team and the project. They need to be aware of team process, best practice
and new ideas. Effective leadership is essential for team success including
shared decision making and problem solving.

According
to Agwu ( 2015) there must be implicit agreement on the degree of closeness
within teams concerning the personal feelings of the members of the group. It
was, therefore, deemed important to match personality types and balanced level
of skill, knowledge and expertise so that conflict can be minimized.

3.3. Team Members’ Commitment

Team
commitment describes a psychological state which binds an individual to the
party of interest (Van Vuuren et al., 2007).  Akintayo (2010) defines employee
commitment as the degree to which an employee feels to his or her organization.
In this sense, employee commitment reflects the attitude of an employee towards
an organization (Zhen, 2010). Team members commitment generally described as a
working condition that if achieved can sustained team effectiveness and
contribute to high organizational performance. Team commitment consists out of
three basic dimensions; normative, continuance and affective commitment (Allen
& Meyer, 1990), which makes team commitment a multidimensional construct.
Team commitment is associated with beneficial outcomes like extra role behavior
and team performance (Becker & Billings, 1993). Besides this, research
proved that commitment within teams influences organizational behavior and job
performance (Bishop et al., 2000).  A
number of variables associated with commitment are: attachment to team,
eagerness to make positive changes, reluctance to quit team, likeness for the
team, willingness to remain with team, team pride, positive perception of team
and keeping to time.

3.4 Team Structure

Organizations can be structured in
various ways, and the structure of an organization can determine the modes in
which it operates and performs. The team structure is a newer type of
organizational structure, often seen as less hierarchical, in which individuals
are grouped into teams (Williams, 2000). According to Takuya (2009), there is
nothing like one size fits all type of concept at play when handling different
types of team structures for specific goals in mind. Deep thought and
consideration is required to identify, assemble and also convince the team
members to work together on a variety of assignments (Boakye, 2015).

Team structures organize each
function into an objective-based group. Members from each of the departments
work together to solve problems and find opportunities. Employees might be
involved with product development teams or a diversity task force. The team
structure can help remove barriers between departments and foster effective
problem-solving relationships. It can also motivate employees and increase
decision-making times.

According
to Tara Duggan (2013) using
a team-based approach to solving business problems enables to capitalize
employees’ strengths and minimize their weaknesses. A team-based organizational
structure groups employees who perform specific duties into project teams that
perform specific functions. This type of organizational structure allows
organizations to ensure the best coverage for activities such as product
development, customer support and process-improvement initiatives. With
low-overhead and minimal management, this allows  to maximize successful opportunities and
avoid threats. Furthermore, team structure reduce management by eliminating
layers of management, employees get to make decisions without getting multiple
approvals. This streamlines processes and lowers administrative costs.
Additionally, employees feel empowered and morale increases. It also improves
the relationships when people work on teams, they share the responsibility for
completing work on schedule. If one employee can’t complete the task, another
team member can fulfill the obligation; increases productivity when people work
in teams, creativity and innovation increase through brainstorming and process
improvement discussions. Further, by adopting a team-based structure enables
organizations to staff  projects with
resources that complement each other. According Meredith Belbin, successful
teams require action-oriented members, people-oriented members and
thought-oriented members. Action-oriented team members challenge the team to
improve processes, encourage other team members to get things done and ensure work
get done on time. People-oriented roles guide the team, provide support and get
resources for the project. Thought-oriented team members come up with ideas,
evaluation options and provide specialized knowledge. This balance ensures that
the team considers all angles to complex problems and solves them efficiently.

3.5  Organization Performance

There is a general consensus that the concept of
organizational performance is frequent in the empirical literature. There is no
universally accepted explanation of the concept as it is not easy to stipulate
what exactly is meant by organizational performance. Daft (2000) defines
organizational performance as the organizations ability to accomplish its aims
through the use of resources in a properly structured manner. Rechardo (2001)
also sees organizational performance is the ability to achieve organizational
goals and objectives. Hafferman and Flood (2000) asserted that organizational
performance has suffered from not only definition problem but also from
conceptual problem. The term performance was occasionally confused with
productivity. Rechardo ( 2000) confirmed that there was a difference between
performance and productivity. He said that productivity is the ratio indicating
the volume of tasks’ performed in a given amount of time. While performance is
a broader indicator that could include productivity as well as quality,
consistency and other factors. However, productivity measures were often
considered in a result oriented evaluation performance as the ability to
achieve organizational goals and objectives.

As to Robertson & Bartram (2002) state a performance organization is
generally understood to be one with higher operational and financial
effectiveness, as well as higher level of satisfaction among employees. It is
an organization that can respond rapidly to its customers’ demands, offer good
quality services and products, and continue to improve its competitive ability.
Moreover,  Denison and Fey (2003), organizational
performance can be measured by such subjective criteria as overall performance,
market share, sales growth, profitability, and employee satisfaction, quality
of products and services, and new product development.

The claims of
companies that have reorganized their workforce into teams is that teamwork
promotes competitiveness by improving productivity, improving quality and
encouraging innovation, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by
technological advances and improving employee motivation and commitment.
A sum-up of these is that teamwork is capable of bringing about a substantial
improvement in employees morale, job satisfaction and productivity. It is
believe that teamwork can make effective and efficient use of labor thereby
improving productivity and consequently increment in revenue, the quality of the product or
service, innovation and customer satisfaction; the latter, value-added per
employee and return on capital employed. To complicate matters, many of these
indicators can be recorded at different levels within an organization. In
addition, when one begins to consider the team-based literature, another set of
‘performance’ outcomes come to the fore (Cohen and Bailey 1997). A number of
these studies are designed to show the outcomes for individual team members or
the team itself.

3.6  The Effect of 
team work on organization performance

 

 

 

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