Team-Based Organizational Structures

Organizations favor the use of team-based structures for many reasons. Such approaches to the organization of the working process help companies to ensure the achievement of their core goals as they include leadership, collaboration, and collective work. However, team-based structures have

Team-Based Organizational Structures

Organizations favor the use of team-based structures for many reasons. Such approaches to the organization of the working process help companies to ensure the achievement of their core goals as they include leadership, collaboration, and collective work. However, team-based structures have not only significant advantages but also some disadvantages, and it is critical to pay attention to both for organizations to be able to make their teams more effective.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Team-Based Structures

Team-based organization is one of the most recent business structures. Such approach can be described as an organizational chart that divides employees into groups that correspond to their employment level, which in its turn enables teams to perform some particular job functions that match their area of expertise (Duggan, n.d.a). Team-based lateral organizations possess numerous benefits. First and foremost, such arrangement presumes less aloft management (Duggan, n.d.a). Therefore, there is less suspension in decision-making since there is no need to go over all managerial levels in order to proceed with new ideas or implement the best practices. Such structure allows the business to respond to changes more quickly, which is a great plus in the present-day digital economy.

Next, this structure enables effective teamwork; thus, all responsibilities are divided among members of the team, and decisions are reached based on the consensus of opinions rather than by one individual. Again, the speed of decision-making is improved as some members of the group can work on necessary areas, while others continue to address ongoing business situations (Duggan, n.d.a). Decisions made by the team are usually more effectively implemented as every participant understands the importance of his or her contribution.

Furthermore, the team-based organizational structure is very beneficial for the organization as it does not rely on the traditional chain of commands (Duggan, n.d.a). Consequently, workers have more independence and experience less frustration due to inefficient communication lines. The discussed approach makes teams more effective as they get an opportunity to raise concerns to their managers as a group (Duggan, n.d.a). Besides, this can make employees feel more comfortable as they drive attention of headquarters to problems in the workplace.

Still, there are some important disadvantages in the work of team-based organizational structures. Even though teams tend to make better decisions, they often require more time to come to conclusions (Duggan, n.d.b). Groups have to meet regularly, distribute roles among project participants, and to discuss ongoing issues. In comparison with one person making all decisions, this takes significantly more time.

Next, effective teamwork requires training and support from the management because good teams do not connect by accident. Every employee is a personality with his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and it is not enough to simply gather the staff in one room and ask them to bring the best results as soon as possible. The company must help workers in the transition process, which can be done through ongoing coaching and professional support (Duggan, n.d.b). In addition, the organization must provide access to communication technologies in case a face-to-face meeting is not possible.

Since tension and conflicts are inevitable in teamwork, the organization should also be prepared for it. Sometimes, conflicts at the workplace become personal, and cooperation in the team can be undermined without appropriate conflict resolution skills. When employees get into personal conflict, they become unable to work through ideas objectively (Duggan, n.d.b). Consequently, the entire group lags behind in achieving objectives of teamwork. Finally, the assessment of team performance is a serious challenge for HR managers (Duggan, n.d.b). To overcome it, they must determine the most objective criteria of evaluation and come up with a suitable motivation method for every individual employee. Companies that do not have a good assessment procedure often fail to achieve corporate goals.

Steps to Make Teams More Effective

It is very important to understand that the disadvantages of the team-based organization structure are avoidable. According to Robbins and Judge (2014), the management should pay attention to six important factors that determine the design of organization’s structure, which are centralization and decentralization, work specialization, chain of command, formalization, departmentalization, and span of control. If the management approaches teamwork wisely, it can overcome the discussed challenges and create an environment beneficial for effective cooperation. The implementation of appropriate team-building efforts and activities usually enables teams to get the best out of their work (Aldag Kuzuhara, 2015). Naturally, each particular group will have its own issues, and the task of the management is to find the best solutions for every separate case. Some of the steps that can potentially make teams more effective are the following.

 The company can develop a training program that will correspond to needs of the team and help understand the importance of the contribution of every team member to achieving project aims (Aldag Kuzuhara, 2015).

 A responsible manager should demonstrate that one is a good leader. It can be done by finding the right motivation for the team and resolving conflict situations. Also, the leader can improve cooperation within the group by reminding its members of the importance of their personal contributions and by showing appreciation for each employee (Aldag Kuzuhara, 2015). Relationships built on appreciation, respect, loyalty, and trust are crucial for creating a positive environment and foster cooperation.

 The organization should facilitate effective communication within teams. The manager can achieve such a result by acting correspondingly; namely, one should be open to new ideas and suggestions, as well as be sensitive to feelings of every team member (Aldag Kuzuhara, 2015). Likewise, communication within the team must be clear, and there must be no ambiguities in regard to instructions and expectations. Thus, the leader should encourage active listening and open sharing of information, as well as should practice such techniques as brainstorming in the process of decision making.

 Next, the team can implement ground rules, set of values and objectives, as well as a single framework for performance measurement. Such efforts will minimize misunderstanding and simplify the resolving of potential problems that may arise during the working process (Aldag Kuzuhara, 2015). It is also very important as agreement on the aforementioned areas helps the leader to ensure that the whole group is on the same page and that everyone has a similar understanding of the project.

 In addition, the manager must create a positive climate in the group and make sure that all members are free to express their opinions and that they feel appreciated and valued. Hence, individual accomplishments must be recognized and celebrated with the same dedication as achievements of the group (Aldag Kuzuhara, 2015). One of the ways to arrange it is to share achievements in company’s publications.


All in all, the team-based organizational structure is an effective means of collaborative work in the company. Such an approach has many advantages, but there are also some disadvantages. Teams usually develop better solutions to ongoing problems and tend to come up with more interesting ideas. Still, the organization of the working process in groups requires a lot of resources, and the management should provide support and assistance for its employees. However, an effective leader can overcome challenges by addressing the corresponding needs of the team. This article was written by Tim Kalkin . More my works you can see here

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