Empowerment, Self-Managed Teams, & Cross-Functional Teams

Explain the concepts of empowerment, self-managed teams, and cross-functional teams, and argue for their inclusion in either a tall or flat organizational structure. How would you feel managing empowered employees?

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Empowerment is having the information, resources, and authority to make meaningful choices. A corporate head who delegates authority provides empowerment to division and department heads. It is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behave, take action, and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. It is the state of feeling self-empowered to take control of one’s own destiny.

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Empowerment is the process of an individual enabling himself to take action and control work and decision making in autonomous ways. The organization has the responsibility to create a work environment which helps nurture the ability and desire of employees to act in empowered ways. The work organization has the responsibility to remove barriers that limit the ability of staff to act in empowered ways.

A self-managed team is a self-organized, semiautonomous small group of employees whose members determine, plan, and manage their day-to-day activities and duties under reduced or no supervision.

Self managed teams are closely related to the concept of employee empowerment which entails the employee to have the requisite authority and resources he/she needs to fulfill work responsibilities. A self managed team differs from a normal work team or group in one essential way that the processes or the way to achieve the team goal are planned and determined by the team itself.

Self managed teams have been described as “groups of employees who have the responsibility and authority to manage the work they do.” The typical responsibilities of a self managed team are planning, scheduling, assigning responsibilities among members, ensuring product quality, ordering material, making decisions and problem solving.

The teams are also responsible for handling their interpersonal conflicts within themselves and work without any direct supervision. Self managed teams are responsible for a finished product. Knowledge sharing and extensive communication between members is needed for members of self managed teams. Members also would need to have a multitude of skills.

Cross-functional teams (or CFTs) are teams that consist of people from different functional areas within a company?marketing, engineering, sales, and human resources, for example. These teams take many forms, but they are most often set up as working groups that are designed to make decisions at a lower level than is routine in a specific …

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