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To what extent does teamwork lead to empowerment?

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To what extent does team work lead to empowerment?

The term team work is often times viewed by others as a group of persons working towards achieving a common goal. This view is often echoed by employers who view team work as a group of employees working towards achieving organisational goals which would equate to increased revenues for the organisation. Empowerment on the other hand has been viewed as bestowing some level of autonomy on employees in an effort to build their self esteem whilst transferring some level of responsibility towards problem solving or trouble shooting. However, for the purpose of this assignment, team work will be viewed in relation to management control and intensification of work.

Organisations are increasingly becoming technologically driven resulting in the adaptation of new systems. This has given rise to a shift in focus on employees and strategies which can be employed to achieve maximum work output from employees. According to CLMS, 2006:M2:U4:5, team working entails giving small groups of workers a degree of autonomy over the organisation of work, or over elements of day-to-day management , or both.

The assignment will seek to explore the extent to which team work leads to empowerment. An organisation can only achieve its fullest potential if its’ employees are motivated towards doing so. Team work is an excellent s strategy which can be adopted in today’s labour market; however, this strategy can be more effective if its employees are empowered to make decisions. CLMS 2006M1:U4:6 describe empowerment as being associated with some redistribution of power. It can be argued that teamwork leads to autonomy to make decisions (excluding some corporate level decisions). This not only s...

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...ation of workforce expertise (Hyman and Mason, 1995; Walton, 1985) as cited in CLMS, 2006. It can also be argued that Total Quality Management may empower employees by delegating functions that were previously the preserve of more senior organisational members and as a result institutionalise participation on a permanent basis ( Hill 1991, p. 541) cited in CLMS M2:U4:43)

...”there is also a profoundly negative force which has driven the empowerment initiatives. In the 1980s and 1990s rationalisation and downsizing were very much the order of the day. In this context, empowerment became a business necessity as the destaffed and delayered organisation could no longer function as before. In this set of circumstances, empowerment was inevitable as tasks had to be allocated to the survivors in the new organisation” (CLMS 2006 M2:U4:43-44).
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