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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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel B. Cornfield, 2005. "Professions and inter-disciplinary teamwork in socially embedded bureaucracies: Synthesis and hypotheses on the impact of informal and formal organization," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 1(1), pages 27-36, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ieu:journl:v:1:y:2005:i:1:p:27-36
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    File URL: http://run.unl.pt/handle/10362/1689
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Krings, Bettina, 2007. "Wandel der Arbeit: Die Krise der Arbeitsgesellschaft
      [Change on Work: the crisis of the labour economy]
      ," MPRA Paper 7130, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2007.
    2. António Brandão Moniz, 2008. "Assessing scenarios on the future of work," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 4(4), pages 91-106, November.
    3. Bettina-Johanna Krings, 2006. "The sociological perspective on the knowledge-based society: assumptions, facts and visions," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 2(2), pages 9-19, November.
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