Working in teams: the influence of rhetoric-from sensemaking to sadness
Parris, Melissa Anne and Vickers, Margaret H. 2004, Working in teams: the influence of rhetoric-from sensemaking to sadness, in Management in a world of diversity and change: SAM/IFSAM VIIth world congress 2004, Scandinavian Academy of Management and International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management, Goteborg, Sweden, pp. 3-12.
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The prevailing wisdom tells us that teams axiomatically bring increases and improvements in effectiveness, productivity and communication. There has been too little critical address of whether these benefits actually accrue, nor what the experience of team members actually is. This paper shares findings from a Heideggerian phenomenological study, where members of teams in organizations were interviewed and asked about their experiences of working in teams. Astonishingly, not only did team members not report these anticipated improvements, 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?", and "Teams as Crucibles of Resignation and Sadness". These findings indicate the need for future research into understanding the experience of individuals within various team and organizational structures.
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