The Economics of Teams Among Technicians
This paper examines the economic logic of organising field technicians into self-managed teams, an approach to work organisation that shifts the division of labour from a hierarchical to horizontal one. Economic efficiencies arise through the integration of direct and indirect labour tasks and the alignment of the organisational structure with the occupational logic of communities of practice among technicians. Self-managed teams absorb the monitoring and coordination tasks of supervisors, substantially reducing indirect labour costs but without adversely affecting objective measures of quality and labour productivity. For technicians, team membership means longer work hours, but higher wages through overtime pay.
human resources; teams; organizations; self-management
Required Publisher Statement: Reprinted with permission of Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Final version published as Batt, R. (2001). The economics of teams among technicians. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 39(1), 1-24.