A Productivity Evaluation of Teamwork at an Aluminum Manufacturing Plant

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Department or Administrative Unit


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This study examined the relation between problem-solving teams and productivity in an aluminum plant. In a reversal design, changes in five productivity measures were examined throughout four time periods: No Teams Period 1 (1982-1986), Teams Period 2 (1988-1993), No Teams Period 3 (1993-1994), and Teams Period 4 (1993-1997). Significant improvements were found comparing No Teams Period 1 to Teams Period 2, and to Teams Period 4 on all measures. Nonsignificant changes between No Teams Period 1 and No Teams Period 3, and Teams Period 2 and Teams Period 4 occurred. The results were evaluated against three likely confounds: technology improvements, changes in the price of finished aluminum, and changes in the number of employees across the periods of the study. The confounds were unlikely to have systematically influenced the results of this study, providing support for the existence of a positive relation between problem-solving teams and productivity.


This article was originally published in Group & Organization Management. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Group & Organization Management


© 1999 Sage Publications, Inc.