Transition to self-directed work teams: Implications of transition time and self-monitoring for managers' use of influence tactics

Ceasar Douglas, William L. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


In the face of heightened competitive pressures, elevated quality expectations, and calls for worker empowerment, more and more organizations have turned to self-directed work teams (SDWTs). A review of the literature devoted to SDWTs suggests that managers often struggle with the transition to SDWTs because of the required shift in control to SDWT members. To promote the development of work teams, managers must modify their use of influence tactics in direct response to the control shift. In this study, we explore changes in managers' usage of influence tactics during the transition to SDWTs within a large aluminum manufacturing plant. Analyses of longitudinal data show that despite the new team environment, managers' use of influence tactics was focused at the individual level. We also found that transition time accounts for variance in managers' choices of influence tactics. Finally, an exploratory analysis suggests that high as opposed to low self-monitoring managers may be more prone to increase their usage of soft influence tactics and decrease their usage of hard influence tactics over the course of the transition; the influence behavior of low self-monitoring managers remained unchanged. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004


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