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Working in teams : the influence of rhetoric-from sensemaking to sadness

Parris, Melissa A. and Vickers, Margaret H. 2005, Working in teams : the influence of rhetoric-from sensemaking to sadness, Administrative theory and praxis, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 277-299.

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Title Working in teams : the influence of rhetoric-from sensemaking to sadness
Author(s) Parris, Melissa A.
Vickers, Margaret H.
Journal name Administrative theory and praxis
Volume number 27
Issue number 2
Start page 277
End page 299
Publisher Public Administration Theory Network
Place of publication Hayward, Calif.
Publication date 2005-06
ISSN 1084-1806
Keyword(s) teams
public administration
effectiveness
productivity
organizational structure
rhetoric
Summary At a time when teams are increasingly and routinely being used in Public Administration (PA) organizations, the prevailing wisdom about teams continues to confirm that teams axiomatically bring increases and improvements in effectiveness, productivity and communication. There has been relatively little critical address of whether these benefits actually accrue, nor what the experience of team members actually is. The PA literature, in particular, remains silent on this important issue. This paper shares findings from an exploratory phenomenological study. Members of teams in organizations were interviewed and asked about their experiences of working in teams. In contrast to the current wisdom, not only did team members not report the anticipated improvements and benefits, their stories tended to highlight the negative influence that the rhetoric surrounding teams might have on individuals. This paper shares the responses of team members to that rhetoric, revealing themes of "Teams, Rhetoric and Sensemaking," a challenge to the notion of "Teams as One Big Happy Family?" while identifying "Teams as Crucibles of Resignation and Sadness." These findings indicate the continuing need for further research into understanding the experience of individuals within various team and organizational structures, especially as they operate in PA organizations.
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Language eng
Field of Research 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, University of Nebraska
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30004096

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.