Teams and teamwork are important elements in the facilitation of organizational integration. Different organizations have used teams to achieve higher organizational integration, which has improved both performance and returns to the organization (Roberts 184). Given the global nature of many organizations, the need for teamwork has made teams to evolve into what today is referred to as virtual teams, comprising of teams working from different locations across the globe (Child 75). Although other organizational structures, such as promotion of individual work may work to infuse competition, hard work and performance among individuals in an organization, teamwork far achieves more in job satisfaction, organizational integration and ultimately organizational returns.
The current state of organizational configurations continually breaks the customary hierarchical structures in organizations. Teams are in a large part, responsible for this change in organizational structure, and in doing so facilitating more integration within organizations. One of the ways in which teams facilitate organizational integration is by bringing members of different units in an organization together (Child 75). By doing this, members of different units do not only get to interact, but also the organization achieves greater inter-departmental integration and understanding. A feature called lateral coordination, teamwork therefore fosters direct contact and mutual adjustments across different hierarchies and units for the purpose of making decisions and achieving the common purpose for which the team exists (Child 98)
Aside from bringing together members of different units, teams in their very essence also include members of different hierarchies in the organization (Child 75). Thus, managers and junior staff are all bundled together in a project where only the expertise that each member brings to the table for the success of the project matters. Bundling the different hierarchies together therefore creates a deeper understanding among the members of the team and different organizational levels. Additionally, by collapsing the hierarchies present within organizational structures, teams simplify the organizational structure and makes activities more focused. The fact that members of different hierarchical levels and expertise come together and united in achieving similar objectives is in itself a uniting factor (Roberts 124).
An inimitable characteristic of a team is the complementary nature of the expertise that each member brings to the team. Indeed, the complementary skills, common purpose and interdependence among team members are what distinguish teams from workgroups (Sayers n.p.). Southwest Airlines is one such organization where teamwork is at the core of everything the company does. The complementary skills of different members of the team within the organization is one of the selling points of the company ranging from the plane captains’ assistance in cleaning the cabin as well as aiding in bringing on board customers with disabilities.
a team, individual aspirations and concerns usually take a back seat in
preference of the better good of the team and the purpose for which the team
was created. Teamwork therefore means cooperation among the different members
of the team, with all members working in concert towards achieving a common
purpose (Roberts 154). This is a reflection of Southwest Airlines, where each
member of a plane crew works for the satisfaction of the customers. Not only do
cabin crews and the captain ensure the comfort of the customers, but are also
all ready to cater for the concerns of the customers including explaining any
delays and apologizing for such eventualities. All these are actions trained at
ensuring the total satisfaction of the customers onboard the plane.
Child, John. Organization: Contemporary Principles and Practice. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. Print
Roberts, John. The Modern Firm. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print
Sayers, Hilary. How can organizations ensure their people work productively in teams? HC Mag, 2010. Web. 24 July 2014