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Backstage – the play within a play: Utilising a dramaturgical metaphor to consider the rapid development of team culture in short-term stage crews


  • Sealy-O’Donnell, Sue


This research project asks the question of how short-term theatre production teams (stage-crew), are able to rapidly develop a strong team culture within an environment which does not allow the luxury of time for the standard stages of team culture formation. Utilising a dramaturgical metaphor as a methodological framework, allowed consideration of how these groups create trust, shared rituals and behaviours and establish self-governing tools that may benefit both the individual and the group. The research results showed evidence of four key practices which are critical to their ability to rapidly develop team culture; specific context, individual strategies, techniques that aid self-governance and emotional management. This research is beneficial not only to those studying the formation of team culture, but also the study of temporary, project and mobile teams. In addition practitioners will benefit from this research within a number of areas including, those within the creative industry, (particularly those with similar extreme time limitations), those interested in roles where physical safety necessitates the rapid development of trust and those interested in the collective nature of team development and group efficacy.

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  • Sealy-O’Donnell, Sue, 2015. "Backstage – the play within a play: Utilising a dramaturgical metaphor to consider the rapid development of team culture in short-term stage crews," MBA Research Papers 4935, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwmba:4935

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy Clark & Iain Mangham, 2004. "From Dramaturgy to Theatre as Technology: The Case of Corporate Theatre," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-59, January.
    2. Heather Höpfl, 2002. "Playing the Part: Reflections on Aspects of Mere Performance in the Customer–Client Relationship," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 255-267, March.
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    More about this item


    Dramaturgical metaphor; Team culture; Rapid team culture development; Group efficacy; Invisible workforce; Self-governance; Rituals; Emotional management; Creative industries; Theatre;
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