Author

Jay Carroll

Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Leadership Studies

Abstract

In this paper, we researched concepts directly linked with the idea of leadership as it relates to teams. As a result of our initial reactions to leadership in teams at Owens & Minor, we decided to explore the relationship between teams and organizational culture, communication, motivation and empowerment. However, we did not limit ourselves only to these concepts. We selected the above leadership and team concepts based on a review of research that explored issues associated with the use of teams in organizations.With direction provided by our supervisors and other members of the Jepson faculty, we narrowed the plethora of teamwork publications into a core of scholarly material. Based on our review of the literature, we then developed a functional definition of teams for the purposes of this paper.

In our analysis, we applied and tested existing theories of leadership and teamwork to Owens & Minor's corporate teams. Our analysis includes consideration of the Owens & Minor management as well as their use of teams. We employed many different methods to gather data for our investigation. Interviews and observation were our primary tools for gathering information, although we examined company publications, reports, journal articles and newspaper articles that describe how the teamwork concept was implemented at Owens & Minor. We used company literature to guide us in identifying the successes and failures of the teamwork approach, as well as to give us insight into the culture and leadership approach of Owens & Minor.

In sum, we framed our research around three central research questions:

  1. How does the conceptualization and the functioning of teams at Owens & Minor's corporate headquarters compare to how the contemporary theories and research indicate a team should operate?
  2. Do the teams at the corporate headquarters fit both structurally and functionally into Owens & Minor's definition of teams?
  3. Do the teammates' perceptions of how their teams function match how we observed the team operating?

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