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Module Introduction
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Team Use
Decision Making
Team Types
Human Error
Error Management
CRM Effectiveness
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Team Performance Module > Team Use - 6 of 6

Team Advantages & Disadvantages

The advantages and disadvantages of teams also need to be considered before deciding to transition to teams. The following table of team advantages and disadvantages is an adaptation of work by Medsker and Campion (1992).* This list can also be used by existing teams to self-evaluate their efficacy.

  • Team members have the opportunity to learn from each other.
  • Some individuals are not compatible with team work.
  • Potential exists for greater work force flexibility with cross-training.
  • Workers must be selected to fit the team as well as requisite job skills.
  • Opportunity provided for synergistic combinations of ideas and abilities.
  • Some members may experience less motivating jobs as part of a team.
  • New approaches to tasks may be discovered.
  • Organization may resist change.
  • Teams membership can provide social facilitation and support for difficult tasks and situations.
  • Conflict may develop between team members or other teams.
  • Communication and information exchange may be facilitated and increased.
  • Teams may be time-consuming due to need for coordination and consensus.
  • Teams can foster greater cooperation among team members.
  • Teams can stymie creativity and inhibit good decision-making if "group think" becomes prevalent.
  • Interdependent work flow can be enhanced.
  • Evaluation and rewards may be perceived as less powerful;
  • Potential exists for greater acceptance and understanding of team-made decisions.
  • "Free-riding" within the team may occur.
  • Greater autonomy, variety, identity, significance, and feedback for workers can occur.
  • Less flexibility may be experienced in personnel replacement or transfer.
  • Team commitment may stimulate performance and attendance.

* adapted from Medsker, G.J., Campion, M.A., "Job and Team Design," in Salvendy, G., Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics, pp. 450 - 489, Interscience, 18 Apr 1997.



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