Teamwork and Working in Teams

In the early 1980s, American industry became acutely aware of the need to better compete in the global marketplace. The shocking slippage of market share by American automobile makers focused national attention on the need to improve product quality and organizational performance.


Beyond Ford and General Motors, global competition gave incentive to companies such as 3M, Motorola and Hewlett Packard to focus on improved performance through teamwork. General Motors capitalized on team design and productivity to create the Saturn Division in the mid-1980s.


Motorola uses product development teams distributed throughout the world to reduce time-to-market of new products, moving the work around the globe to a different team every eight hours. Christopher Galvin, Chief Executive and Chairman of Motorola, Inc., states that there is no longer a place in Motorola for an engineer that cannot work in a team.


The broad acceptance of teams as an effective approach to improve performance has fundamentally changed the work environment for engineers; today's engineers must master teamwork and communication skills as never before.