Team 1 is led by a licensed professional engineer who is ultimately responsible for the design as well as any project deliverables. This engineer has the authority to build or trim the team by bringing on or terminating employees as that engineer deems necessary to complete a given project.
Team 2 is led by a licensed professional engineer who is ultimately responsible for the design as well as any project deliverables. This engineer has no authority over the team structure, the team can be changed at any time by managerial staff and there is no way to remove harmful elements.
Generally speaking, team 1 appears to be more favorable for the lead engineer and less favorable for the support staff, and team 2 seems appears to be more favorable for the support staff and less favorable for the lead engineer, but I intend to demonstrate, by an analysis of the failure recovery modes of the two teams, that the team 1 system is always more favorable if properly administered.
For both team 1 and team 2, a failure is any time that a project is left incomplete or a deliverable deadline is missed. In both teams, these failures may be caused by any combination of the lead engineer, the support staff, or outside influences. Let’s ignore the failures by outside influences, because those failures by nature cannot be prevented by changes in team structure.
In team 1 if some sort of failure occurs, then management will, by definition, blame the lead engineer. That is inherent to the role. Assuming the failure isn’t sufficient to fire that lead engineer, the lead engineer will then take steps to prevent future failures with changes to that engineer’s own behavior, new instructions to support staff, or support staff changes. That all makes perfect sense, but what if the lead engineer acts unethically? The support staff could be fired and blamed unjustly, the instructions that come down could be inherently abusive, and other such outrages may befall the support staff. How can this be mitigated? A simple method using some type of HR could be implemented in which, if any credible complaints are submitted, or if a pattern of behavior is detected, then the support staff is assigned recording devices to monitor how the lead engineer interacts with them. This would require pre-agreement from employees to provide blanket consent for the recordings in states which regulate such things. Then, if any problem behavior is detected from the lead engineer, it can be dealt with with certainty and jurisprudence.
In team 2 if some sort of failure occurs, then management will, by definition, blame the lead engineer. That is still inherent to the role. Assuming the failure isn’t sufficient to fire that lead engineer, the lead engineer may then attempt to provide new instructions to the team, but since that engineer has no authority, the lead engineer will either mostly have to focus on changing their own behavior or attempting to “win over” or “coerce” the support staff in some way. That might make sense to some people, but what if the support staff or lead engineer acts unethically? Since there is no ultimate authority, the team will, by nature, select someone to blame rather than allow blame to fall where it belongs (with or without Lord of the Flies-like chanting). This means that the person that ultimately gets blamed is whichever person gets selected by the team, rather than the person that did something wrong. In the long term, by selection, this always leads to a criminal organization of some sort and there is no effective mitigation technique, because even if wrongdoing or abuse is detected the company probably will not be able to discipline or terminate the entire team.
Therefore, it seems clear that the only way to even allow for any form of justice or honesty, a team 1 type structure must be employed. Team 2 structures always evolve into something representing a meat grinder for any non-criminals. Note that, when I say “criminal” what I mean is: A person that puts their own well-being ahead of the truth, by participating in or otherwise allowing the team to select a scapegoat without positive proof.