ERIC Number: ED445264
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Learning from Cross-Functional Teamwork. IES Report 356.
Kettley, P.; Hirsh, W.
A study was conducted to determine what knowledge and learning is developed through teamwork in business. Ten cross-functional teams selected from six major United Kingdom employers were surveyed, with structured interviews completed with 72 team members and team leaders and a short questionnaire completed by 50 of the interviewees. The study found that teams learn in these four ways: by direct transfer of knowledge or skills from other experts, by observation of others in action, by collective problem-solving and experimentation, and by consolidating prior experience and re-framing new insights. Team members learned about themselves, about the organization, and about other specialties within the organization. Impacts on the learning of a cross-functional team include explicit consideration of learning for the individual and the organization; the positive attitude of an individual member's home function and the level of interaction across boundaries with the rest of the organization; diversity within the team; the degree of close working and interaction; and using team processes for learning and honest discussion of difficulties. The study concluded that cross-functional team learning can be enhanced by moving people and their talents into and out of teams and back into the mainstream organization; coaching and learning to support individual members; facilitating relevant team development and training; realigning human resource systems; and developing the team as a learning community and transferring the team's skills to the rest of the organization. (Contains 27 references.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Developed Nations, Educational Needs, Employment Practices, Foreign Countries, Interdisciplinary Approach, Learning Experience, Learning Processes, Management Teams, On the Job Training, Organizational Development, Quality of Working Life, Team Training, Teamwork, Work Experience
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sussex Univ., Brighton (England). Inst. for Employment Studies.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom