What are the purpose and objectives of self-managed teams in the workplace?

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Self-managed teams work together to define and accomplish their own goals. They produce their own objectives and control their own work process to achieve these goals. They are different than self-directed teams, which work together to achieve goals determined by outside management. 

The purpose of having these types of teams is that they may have greater motivation than other teams, as they determine their own goals and how to achieve them. When people have ownership over their work, they are more motivated. Data show that a sense of ownership is the most powerful way to motivate people at work. Organizations also use self-managed teams to increase productivity because these teams determine schedules and assign tasks. They combine managerial tasks with work-related tasks, thereby eliminating a layer of management and lowering costs. According to research, companies with self-managed teams have increased profits and productivity and decreased turnover (for more information, see "Are We Ready for Self-Management?" in the Harvard Business Journal).