Are "Teams" a meaningful unit of learning? LO13443

Stever Robbins (
Fri, 02 May 1997 15:06:22 -0400

Replying to LO13409 --

At 08:18 am 4/28/97 PDT, you wrote:
>On Wednesday, April 23, Stever wrote
>Even in so-called "learning organizations," projects that self-directed
>teams come up with must
>be approved by upper management

>I'm not sure if you're distinguishing "team learning" from "team building"

Sorry I was unclear. I'm interested in "team learning."

>Similarly, can you help me understand the reasoning behind your assumption
>that "upper management will completely make or break the learning?" While
>this may often be the way things are practiced, that doesn't convince me
>that this is desireable or necessary. In fact, I would assume that this
>was the opposite of good organizational learning.

Me, too. I wasn't advocating upper management involvement in
self-directed teams. I was observing that I've never heard of a case
where a self-directed team was delegated the budgetary and resource
allocation authority to follow through on their suggestions without at
least running it by top management first. (Unless the self-directed team
itself is comprised of people with budgets.) Thus, in practice, top
management can squelch attempts to learn by withholding resources that the
team deems necessary.

- Stever

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