Team Leaders of Self-Managed Work Groups: A Contradiction?
22 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2001
Date Written: September 2001
This study presents nine Italian cases of SMWT adoption. The powerful role of trade unions in Italy has made it difficult to use this practice for increasing pressure on the workers. In only three cases the introduction of SMWT took place simply as a means of broadening, rotating and partially enriching working tasks with the aim of reducing the number of hierarchical levels (without changing the hierarchical character of leadership). The breadth of the objective underlying the introduction of self-managed teams, the breadth of the training provided and the results achieved are inter-related: only a clear organisational strategy accompanied by adequate training could allow significant results. Degree of production variability, objectives of autonomy and their partial achievement, and breadth of training provided were interrelated: firms with the greatest need for flexibility were those that are more actively interested in pursuing the idea of self-management and supporting it with broadly based training.
Keywords: SMWT, Italy, Production Teams
JEL Classification: M11, M12, L23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation