Provides theoretical background for examining the development of self‐managed work teams as a total quality management (TQM) intervention at the employee level. Briefly summarizes the current knowledge regarding self‐managed work teams within the context of sociotechnical system design. Discusses the origins of the self‐managed work team, design features, conditions for successful implementation, and barriers to effectiveness. Presents one organization′s experience with self‐managed work teams to demonstrate the fundamental nature of the change required in implementing this TQM strategy.
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