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|The gold mining industry in South Africa stands to benefit much from the implementation of the self-directed work team concept. Its introduction implies flatter hierarchical structures, empowerment of the workforce and increased participation. Research indicates that half of the initiatives to implement self-directed work teams, however, fail, and it is therefore imperative for companies to be aware of the factors impacting on the effectiveness of self-directed work teams in order to focus on these early in the implementation phase. The objective of the study was to qualitatively determine these factors. Semi-structured interviews based on the phenomenological method were carried out. The sample included members of, and individuals involved with, self-directed work teams (N= 26) from a large gold mining company in South Africa. Results show that most respondents rated the availability of resources to do their work as the most important factor affecting their effectiveness.|