Comparative Study of Teamwork at Toyota Manufacturing Company and Microsoft Company

2491 Words Oct 24th, 2007 10 Pages
A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TEAMWORK AT TOYOTA MANUFACTURING COMPANY (TMC) AND MICROSOFT COMPANY (MSC)

1. Introduction

Modern and prudent organizations realize that the best way to achieving business goals, effectively and efficiently, is to organize work in definable units by pulling together various talents and skills. In fact, Ian Brook (2003) confirms that no one can be the best at everything, however when all of us combine our talents, we can be the best at virtually everything. Palmer, A. (2004) adds that such benefits, like improved customer service, increased staff motivation, low turnover, low absenteeism, improved and increased quality of output cannot be gained if organizations stick to traditional ways of production and
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TMC uses team work and immediate problem solving style every day in its plants claims Chalice, R. (2005). Demirors E. et al (1997) echoed that MSC keeps its structure that consist small teams. Cusumano, M.A and Sulby, R.W. (1995) added that MSC refers to its teams as Feature Teams while TMC teams are referred to as Work Teams (Chalice, R. 2005).However, having a team is very easy but having an effective team is both difficult and costly. The important point remains that both companies have realized the benefits of operating through teams.

c) Size of Teams and Effectiveness

Mc Shane, S. L. (2003) states that the optimal team size depends on several factors, such as the number of people required to complete the work and the amount of coordination needed to work together. He further argues that large teams are typically less effective because members consume more time and effort coordinating their roles and resolving differences. Team size seems to have been taken seriously at both companies. Team composition ranges from 3 to 8 members as stated by Mc Cathy, J. (1995) and Johnson, R. A. (2005). However, the concept of small team effectiveness has not worked positively at MSC compared to TMC. Developers at MSC are only 16% productive compared to their peers. (Microsoft Blogger Blames Culture for Vista Delay,2006). This proves that it is not only the size of the