Team based Structure

Team based structure: An organization that consists entirely of work groups or teams.

In a team based structure, the entire organization consists of work groups or teams that perform the organization’s work. In such a structure, it goes without saying that team members have the authority to make the decisions that affect them, because no rigid chain of command governs these work arrangements. How can team structures benefit the organization? For example, at NIIT’s e-learning division, managers realized that their functional structure was slowing their delivery time to customers. As a result, they restructured the division into teams representing specific market segments, such as corporate, higher education, high-tech and so on depending on special learning needs of each segment. In doing so, NIIT witnessed significant reduction in content development as well as delivery time, in addition to an increase in customer satisfaction. And at HPCL the management team has launched an organization wide change effort focusing on empowerment and team working in order to improve customer satisfaction and employees involvement.

Although team structures have been positive, simply arranging employees into teams is not enough. Employees must be trained to work on teams, receive cross functional skills training, and he be compensated accordingly. Without a properly implemented team based pay plan many of the benefits of a team structure may be lost.

BMW Group operates as a boundary less organization in the development and production of its BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini cars. The company uses virtual tools such as computer aided design programs and a flexible production network of 14 plants in 12 countries to respond quickly and flexibility to fluctuations in the market and individual customer.

Why is there movement toward a boundary less organization?

Boundary less organization: An organization that is not defined or limited by boundaries or categories imposed by traditional structures. It blurs the historical boundaries surrounding an organization by increasing its interdependence with its environment. Sometimes called network organizations, learning organizations, barrier free, modular or virtual corporations, boundary less structure cut across all aspects of the organizations. Rather than having functional specialties located in departments working on distinctive tasks, these internally boundary less organizations group employees to accomplish some core competency. For instance, eBay has become the world’s market leader in online trading – in part through its virtual corporation. That is e-Bay has no inventory, no warehouses, no sales force – yet trades nearly $10 billion worth of goods each year.

Boundary less organizations are not merely organizations, however they attempt to eliminate vertical, horizontal and inter-organizational barriers. Such a goal frequently requires an internal revolution. That is, managers must break down the traditional hierarchies that have existed for many decades. Horizontal organizations require multidisciplinary work teams who have the authority to make the necessary decisions and be held accountable for measurable outcomes. What factors have contributed to the rise of boundary less designs in today’s organizations? Undoubtedly, many of the issues were covered have had an effect. Specifically globalization of markets and competitors has played a major role. An organization’s need to respond and adapt to the complex and dynamic environment is best served by boundary less organizations. Changes in technology have also contributed to this movement. Advances in computer power, intelligent software and telecommunication enable boundary less e-commerce organizations to exist. Each of these supports the information network that makes the virtual workplace possible.

The concept of learning organization doesn’t involve a specific organizational design per se, but instead describes an organizational mind set or philosophy that has significant design implications. What is a learning organization? It’s an organization that has developed the capacity to continuously adapt and change. Some organizational design theorists even go so far as to say that an organization’s ability to learn and to apply that learning as they perform the organization’s work may be the only sustainable source of competitive advantages.

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