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Professions and inter-disciplinary teamwork in socially embedded bureaucracies: Synthesis and hypotheses on the impact of informal and formal organization

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  • Daniel B. Cornfield

    ()
    (Vanderbilt University)

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    Abstract

    In order to maximize their productivity, inter-disciplinary multi-occupation teams of professionals need to maximize inter-occupational cooperation in team decision making. Cooperation, however, is challenged by status anxiety over organizational careers and identity politics among team members who differ by ethnicity-race, gender, religion, nativity, citizenship status, etc. The purpose of this paper is to develop hypotheses about how informal and formal features of bureaucracy influence the level of inter-occupation cooperation achieved by socially diverse, multi-occupation work teams of professionals in bureaucratic work organizations. The 18 hypotheses, which are developed with the heuristic empirical case of National Science Foundation-sponsored university school partnerships in math and science curriculum innovation in the United States, culminate in the argument that cooperation can be realized as a synthesis of tensions between informal and formal features of bureaucracy in the form of participatory, high performance work systems.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CESNOVA-Research on Enterprise and Work Innovation, Faculty of Science and Technology in its journal Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 (November)
    Pages: 27-36

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    Handle: RePEc:ieu:journl:v:1:y:2005:i:1:p:27-36

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    Keywords: working teams; productivity; cooperation; United States;

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