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Self-directed work teams: application to a drug information center

, : Self-directed work teams: application to a drug information center. Annals of PharmacoTherapy 31(3): 357-362

To describe the transition of a drug information center from a traditionally managed center to a self-directed work team responsible for service, education, research, and drug use policy development. To adapt to economic, educational, and technologic changes, traditional management structures in healthcare organizations are being reassessed. In some instances, a team approach (using self-directed work teams [SDWTs]) is being implemented. SDWTs have the potential to provide a number of benefits to an organization, including reduced costs and greater employee motivation. The University of Illinois at Chicago Drug Information Center had functioned under a traditional management structure. For economic and professional reasons, the management structure of the center was changed to an SDWT, prompting a reevaluation of the mission and activities of the center. Although still in transition, the center's change to a team structure has proven to be positive. The nature of the SDWT requires greater involvement by team members in all aspects of the center's operation, adding to the experience of team members. The team structure also allows for greater freedom to pursue projects of personal interest to individual team members. A number of issues still need to be resolved, such as performance-based compensation and peer- and self-evaluations. SDWTs can provide many benefits. The successful implementation of an SDWT, however, has a number of requirements, the most important of which are a commitment from management and effective communication among team members and with management.


PMID: 9066945

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