Why do employees resist teams? Examining the "resistance barrier" to work team effectiveness
Conflict and resistance on the part of employees assigned to teams have accompanied the recent increase in the use of work teams in organizations. Previous empirical research identified several sources of employee resistance including violations of fairness, increased workload concerns, uncertain manager support, unclear role definitions, and lack of team member social support. From a literature review, we identified additional sources of employee resistance including trust, cultural values, and low tolerance for change. Empirically, we conducted a content analysis of 1,060 open-ended comments of employees in two Fortune 50 organizations who were newly assigned to self-managing work teams (SMWTs). The results suggest that employees' concerns did reflect issues of trust and low tolerance for change, but not cultural values. We discuss the implications of our findings for conflict management scholars as well as managers who are charged with handling increased conflict due to employee resistance to teams.
Kirkman, Bradley L., Robert G. Jones, and Debra L. Shapiro. "Why do employees resist teams? Examining the “resistance barrier” to work team effectiveness." International Journal of Conflict Management (2000).
International Journal of Conflict Management