encouraged to participate in making decisions which affect their work.").
There is fairly convincing evidence that teams can be used effectively in a wide variety of organizations and work contexts. Research using the National Establishment Survey finds that teams are more prevalent in manufacturing, even controlling for size of establishment, although self-managed teams that take over much of the day-to-day supervision of the work appear more common in services (Osterman, 1996). Other research also finds them used most often in manufacturing firms, somewhat less in service firms, and least in the government/public sector. Industry-specific studies find that the use of teams is still uncommon in industries such as retail banking or services (e.g., Hunter, 1998a; Batt, 1998b).
The business press suggests that teams became common during the 1990s and that their influence was increasing. For example, a 1993 article in Personnel Journal (Caudron, 1993) reported the results of a survey conducted by Development Dimensions International that showed that 27 percent of corporate respondents reported that their organizations use self-directed teams, and that 50 percent of the respondents predicted that the majority of their workforce would be organized in teams within the next five years. Likewise, a report prepared by the Towers Perrin consulting firm (in conjunction with IBM) in 1993 (cited in Tannenbaum et al., 1996) indicated that, in a study of 3,000 managers and executives from 12 different countries, respondents viewed the use of teams as an important competitive advantage in coming years and rated teamwork as one of the highest business priorities for the year 2000.
The best real evidence of the incidence of teams in the work-place comes from national surveys conducted in conjunction with the General Accounting Office (GAO), by the Bureau of the Census (the National Employer Survey [NES] from the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workplace), the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and by independent researchers (the National Establishment Survey). These surveys tend to corroborate the business press conclusions, suggesting rapid increase in the use of teams in the workplace into the early 1990s (Cappelli et al., 1997; Gittleman et al., 1998).