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The Economics of Teams among Technicians


  • Rosemary Batt


This paper examines the economic logic of organizing field technicians into self-managed teams, an approach to work organization that shifts the division of labour from a hierarchical to horizontal one. Economic efficiencies arise through the integration of direct and indirect labour tasks and the alignment of'the organizational structure with the occupational logic of communities of practice among technicians. Self-managed teams absorb the monitoring and co-ordination tasks of supervisors, substantially reducing indirect labour costs but without adversely affecting objective measures of quality and labour productivity. For technicians, team membership means longer work hours, but higher wages through overtime pay. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd/London School of Economics 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosemary Batt, 2001. "The Economics of Teams among Technicians," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 1-24, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:39:y:2001:i:1:p:1-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1994. "British Unions in Decline: An Examination of the 1980s Fall in Trade Union Recognition," NBER Working Papers 4733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Disney, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen, 1996. "What Has Happened to Union Recognition in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(249), pages 1-18, February.
    3. Towers, Brian, 1997. "The Representation Gap: Change and Reform in the British and American Workplace," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289463, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jed Devaro & Fidan Ana Kurtulus, 2011. "What types of organizations benefit from teams, and how do they benefit?," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-16, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    2. Daniel Arce M. & L. Gunn, 2005. "Working Well with Others: The Evolution of Teamwork and Ethics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 115-131, April.

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