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Traditional and non‐traditional employees in production teams

Søren Voxted (Department of Leadership and Strategy, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




This paper aims to illustrate how employees in self‐managing teams handle the fact that each self‐managing team includes traditional as well as non‐traditional team members.


This paper, based on two case studies from Post Danmark A/S, the Danish national postal service company, examines the work organization of self‐managing teams as well as the mobility of self‐managing teams' traditional and non‐traditional employees in the teams.


In terms of its contribution to research, this paper illustrates the paradox of an organization using self‐managing teams consisting of traditional and non‐traditional employees. This article argues that two characteristics contribute to this situation. First, self‐managing teams are unique in the sense that they are open to the participation of employees with different qualifications and with varying levels of contribution and, second, the position of “traditional” and “non‐traditional” employees means that non‐static mobility is allowed in both directions, contributing to cohesiveness and conflict reduction, as the empirical study shows.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of the research presented is its focus on only one organization, Post Danmark A/S. Identification of this limitation is based on available indicators in the absence of quantitative evaluations of the team's performance.

Practical implications

This paper provides an example for researchers and practitioners (e.g. managers and HR personnel) on how production teams can handle the challenge of dealing with teams that consist of traditional and non‐traditional employees.


Based on empirical data, this paper describes the positions, internal mobility and relationships between traditional and non‐traditional employees in self‐managing teams comprising skilled and unskilled workers.



Voxted, S. (2011), "Traditional and non‐traditional employees in production teams", Team Performance Management, Vol. 17 No. 5/6, pp. 299-310.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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