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Managers of small teams who regularly rely on this technique are focused on the long-term effects of this strategy, looking to unify autonomy, mastery and purpose into a solid foundation for long-term motivation and long-term learning (Klein, Ziegert, Knight, Xiao, 2006). This triad of factors is crucial for team members to have a strong sense of purpose and stay motivated over the long-term, while also seeing value in staying committed to the team's long-term goals. All of these factors must also be orchestrated on an ongoing basis between a teams' managers and subordinates with a very clear sense of purpose and accountability for results.
Another best practice with regard to delegation and responsibility is the need for creating clarity and consistency of ongoing team results as well. The most effective team leaders provide a high degree of transparency and visibility into overall team performance on an ongoing basis (Ivancevich, Konopaske, Matteson, 2010). This visibility into team performance is critical for ensuring a high degree of trust is created, setting the foundation for decentralized leadership as well (Klein, Ziegert, Knight, Xiao, 2006). The greater the time pressure and urgency to meet deadlines the greater the need for transparency and the trust it creates in small teams (Zhang, Tremaine, Milewski, Fjermestad, Osullivan, 2012).
Studies of team-based effectiveness also indicate that the greater the level of communication that occurs within and between team members, the higher the overall performance as well. Great small team leaders have the ability to nurture and foster a high level of interdepartmental and intradepartmental trust over time. This is accomplished through the use of leadership techniques that concentrate on bringing everyone into the role of team contributor (Vroom, 2003).
The essence of managing delegation also begins with the pace and depth of expertise shown by the small group or team leader. Pure delegation, merely to drive the completion of tasks without meaning, is limited in effectiveness. Small team leaders who have the ability to create a higher level of ownership in the overarching mission and vision of the group's goals are exceptionally more effective in gaining buy-in for delegation (Horton, 1992). The delegation of responsibilities is also best aligned to the main responsibilities and roles within a small team; that is how the highest performance is attained with this management practice (Klein, Ziegert, Knight, Xiao, 2006). Delegation within the core roles and responsibilities of each team member will also translate to much more effective sharing of information and knowledge over the long-term as well. Combining the other elements of decision-making and cooperation within small groups with delegation and responsibility best practices over time leads to a unified workforce and greater results being achieved. Only by combining these elements can progress be made.
The role of leaders in micro-organizations is to create an environment where individualized productivity and effort quickly multiply across the many areas of activity and programs that these smaller, more agile teams are capable of (Zhang, Tremaine, Milewski, Fjermestad, Osullivan, 2012). For any small team to excel, the leader must have a very high level of credibility and trust. There also must be a high level of decision-making, cooperation and delegation of responsibility to ensure each team member has a very strong sense of ownership for tasks. An exceptional team leader will be able to orchestrate all of these factors and deliver consistently high results over time.
Horton, T.R. (1992). Delegation and team building: No solo acts please. Management Review, 81(9), 58-58.
Ivancevich, J.M., Konopaske, R., & Matteson, M.T. (2010). Organizational behavior and management. (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Johnson, R.S. (1993). TQM: Leadership for the quality transformation (part 3). Quality Progress, 26(3), 91-91.
Klein, K.J., Ziegert, J.C., Knight, a.P., & Xiao, Y. (2006). Dynamic delegation: Shared, hierarchical, and deindividualized leadership in extreme action teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51(4), 590-621.
Muczyk, J.P., & Reimann, B.C. (1987). The case for directive leadership. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 1(4), 301-301.
Vickers, J. (1985). Delegation and the theory of the firm. The Economic Journal, 95, 138-138.
Vroom, V.H. (2003). Educating managers for decision making and leadership.…[continue]
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