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Teamwork, productive potential and employee welfare

Gallie, Duncan, Zhou, Ying, Felstead, Alan and Green, Francis 2009. Teamwork, productive potential and employee welfare. [Working Paper]. SKOPE Research Paper, vol. 84. Oxford: ESRC Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance. Available at:

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There has been a sharp divergenc e in the literature about the benefits of the growth of teamwork, with some claiming that it is solely in the interests of management, others that it is beneficial for employees and yet others that it makes little difference to either productivity or well-being. A feature of this debate is the lack of high quality representative data on employee experiences. This paper draws upon the British Skills Survey Series which provides a particularly rich source of evidence. It shows that, while teamwork did expand between the early 1990s and 2006, this was due primarily to the growth of the type of teamwork that allowed employees little in the way of decisionmaking power. Indeed there was a decrease in the prevalence of self-directive teamwork. At the same time our evidence shows that the benefits of teamwork, in terms of both productive potential and employee welfare, are confined to self-directive teams, while non-self directive teams suppress the use of personal initiative and discretion at work.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: ESRC Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance
ISBN: 1466-1535
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:41

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