To Get the Most Out of Teams, Empower Them Read the Point and Counterpoint arguments and answer the question listed below: Which argument do you

To Get the Most Out of Teams, Empower Them Read the Point and Counterpoint arguments and answer the question listed below: Which argument do you

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To Get the Most Out of Teams, Empower Them

Read the Point and Counterpoint arguments and answer the question listed below:

Which argument do you agree with (point or counterpoint)? Explain your reasoning. one page


If you want high-performing teams with members who like each other and their jobs, I have a simple solution. Remove the leash tied to them by management and let them make their own decisions. In other word, empower them. This trend started a long time ago, when organizations realized that creating layers upon layers of bureaucracy thwarts innovation, slows progress to a trickle, and merely provides hoops for people to jump through in order to get any-thing done.

You can empower teams in two ways. One way is structurally, by transferring decision making from managers to team members and giving teams the official power to develop their own strategies. The other way is psychologically, by enhancing team members’ beliefs that they have more authority, even though legitimate authority still rests with the organization’s leaders. However, structural empowerment leads to heightened feelings of psychological empowerment, giving teams (and organizations) the best of both worlds.

Research suggests empowered teams benefit in a number of ways. Members are more motivated. They exhibit higher levels of commitment to the team and to the organization. And they perform much better too. Empowerment sends a signal to the team that it is trusted and doesn’t have to be constantly micro-managed by upper leadership. And when teams get the freedom to make their own choices, they accept more responsibility for and take owner-ship of both the good and the bad.

Granted, that responsibility also means empowered teams must take the initiative to foster their ongoing learning and development, but teams entrusted with the authority to guide their own destiny do just that. So do yourself (and your company) a favor and make sure that teams, rather than needless layers of middle managers, are the ones making the decisions that count.


Empowerment advocates cite the benefits yet neglect the harm that can be done when too much decision making power is given to teams. They think that, to create effective teams, all you have to do as a leader is nothing, since because, by empowering teams, you’ve effectively stepped away as a leader and have lost your authority. Empowerment can do some good in certain circumstances, but it’s certainly not a cure-all.

Yes, organizations have become flatter over the past several decades, paving the way for decision making authority to seep into the lower levels of the organization. But consider that many teams are “empowered” simply because the management ranks have been so thinned that there is no one left to make the key calls. Empowerment is then just an excuse to ask teams to take on more responsibility without an accompanying increase in tangible benefits like pay.

In addition, the organization’s leadership already has a good idea of what it would like its teams (and individual employees) to accomplish. If managers leave teams to their own devices, how likely is it that those teams will always choose what the manager wanted? Even if the manager offers suggestions about how the team might proceed, empowered teams can easily ignore that advice. Instead, they need direction on what goals to pursue and how to pursue them. That’s what effective leadership is all about.

Consider what happens when decision making authority is distributed between among team members. The clarity of each team member’s role becomes fuzzy, and members lack a leader to whom they can go for advice. And finally, when teams are self-managed, they become like silos, disconnected from the rest of the organization and its mission. Simply handing people authority is no guarantee they will use it effectively. So, leave the power to make decisions in the hands of those who have worked their way up the organization. After all, they got to be leaders for a reason.

Source: S. I. Tannenbaum, J. Mathieu, E. Salas, and D. Cohen, “Teams Aare Changing: Are Research and Practice Evolving Fast Enough,” Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 5 (2012), pp. 2–24; and R. Ashkenas, “How tTo Empower Your Team for Non-Negotiable Results,” Forbes (April 24, 2013), downloaded on June 10, 2013, from