Team-based organizations are growing at a rapid pace. Recent research estimates that `40 to 50 percent of the workforce could be in some kind of empowered work team environment by the turn of the century' (Manz et al. 1997, 4). In addition, as global competition forces organizations to become more productive `there is growing consensus that training must be at the forefront of their attempts to do so' (Martocchio and Baldwin 1997, 7).
Training is increasingly being recognized as integral to the effectiveness and performance of teams and to the satisfaction of team members. While the methods of team training vary depending on the developmental stage of the team and the reason for the training, most team training falls within the following types: in-house, off-site, simulation/role playing, peer-to-peer, and multi-team training, as well as self-directed learning.
Faced with global competition and rapid technological change, companies are forced to develop new organizational structures to meet the challenges facing them. One alternative that has gained popularity in recent years is the team-based organization. While there are varying approaches to the designing of a team environment, one common approach is the self-directed work team (SDWT). The SDWT is responsible for a relatively whole task, not just part of a job, and each of the team members possesses a variety of skills relevant to that task.
Although several recent articles have underscored the importance of human resource management, employee involvement, and labour-management cooperation, there has been very little research addressing these topics from the perspective of organized labour. This study is aimed at providing some practical information about labour-management relations across the country.
In this interview, IRC Senior Research Associate Mary Lou Coates talks to Dr. David Weiss about the challenges and opportunities in strategic human resources management. Dr. David Weiss is a Partner in the international organizational change and human resources consulting firm of Geller, Shedletsky & Weiss and a HR Profession.