"We put teamwork back on the agenda again and again". The role of support systems in autonomous teamwork
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTeam Performance Management. 2013, 19 (5/6), 292-304. 10.1108/TPM-12-2012-0045
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the literature on teamwork by focusing on the influence support systems, like industrial relations, have on teamwork. Teamwork is conceptualized through three dimensions; technical, governmental and normative. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a case study approach in a single company with available data over a long period of time. Findings – Industrial relations conceptualized as local representation and partnership had a strong influence on all three dimensions of teamwork; technical, governmental and normative. Especially important is the union's involvement in the introduction of teamwork, shaping the arrangement and interpretation of it. Research limitations/implications – The paper is based on a single company, describing a particular phenomenon. Also, the contextual environment with a strong partnership culture with cooperative industrial relations is important. Practical implications – The practical implications emphasize the importance for members of an organization to be involved in the introductory part of new organizational development such as teamwork in order to have an influence on arrangement of teams and the interpretation of teamwork. Social implications – The social implications are connected to industrial democracy and high level of involvement, which has consequences for the work environment in a company working along these lines. Originality/value – There are not many available cases of semi‐autonomous teams working over a long period of time, and the paper gives an in‐depth understanding of the strength of this way of working. The main contribution is to highlight how local representation and labor‐management partnership has influenced the dimensions of teamwork.