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The incidence and diffusion of teamwork in manufacturing - evidences from a pan-european survey

: Bikfalvi, Andrea; Jäger, Angela; Lay, Gunter


Journal of organizational change management 27 (2014), Nr.2, S.206-231
ISSN: 0953-4814
Fraunhofer ISI ()
diffusion; Europe; European Manufacturing Survey; implementation; self-directed work teams; teamwork

This paper aims to map the incidence of teamwork in European manufacturing industries and describe the process of teamwork diffusion over time. The impact of country, company size, manufacturing sector and other factors on teamwork diffusion is identified. The study is based on data from 3,522 companies gathered by the European Manufacturing Survey covering ten European countries with a common survey tool. Overall, six out of ten manufacturers with more than 20 employees have implemented teamwork in production. Furthermore, the authors show that implementation rates vary significantly by country, firm size and, to a lesser extent, sector of the company's activity. R&D expenditure, product complexity, innovation capability, strategy and to a lesser extent international competition and supply chain position create significant differences between firms opting for teamwork as a work organization practice and companies neglecting it. The main limitations of the paper derive from the concept of EMS as a multi-purpose survey and the lack of adequate representation across European countries. The value of this research is the ability to offer recent, international and relevant figures about teamwork implementation and diffusion. Furthermore the data set makes it possible for the first time to describe the process of teamwork diffusion over time.