Department of Management

How Is Team Membership Change Manifested in Collective Interactions? Using Epistemic Network Analysis to Explore the Challenges of Contemporary Team Composition

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Work settings characterized by regular team membership changes, where employees often join and leave teams during a project, can lead to significant teamwork challenges. Previous research has focused widely on the individual and group level outcomes of this phenomenon. To date, however, little is known about how teams manage such frequent alterations. To address this, I draw on the anthropological notion of liminality, arguing that team membership change is transitional for individuals due to its uncertainty, and focus on the collective interactions during team meetings in a large Danish multinational corporation (MNC). Investigating the case of a virtual team, I applied Epistemic Network Analysis to explore the changes in the socioemotional- and task-related communication patterns between individuals, before and after a team membership change. Results show that the team’s communication has become more complex, as compared to the period before the change, with employees engaging in longer discussions, at the same time being more hesitant to express their opinions. Generally, these findings reflect the team’s adjustment to a new situation, and bring attention to the team practices related to team composition. Methodologically, this study extends the application of the Quantitative Ethnography to an organizational field of study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Quantitative Ethnography : ICQE 2021
EditorsAndrew R. Ruis, Seung B. Lee
Number of pages12
Place of publicationCham
Publication yearJan 2021
ISBN (print)978-3-030-67787-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-67788-6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
EventSecond International Conference in Quantitative Ethnography - Malibu, CA, United States
Duration: 1 Feb 20213 Feb 2021


ConferenceSecond International Conference in Quantitative Ethnography
LandUnited States
ByMalibu, CA
SeriesCommunications in Computer and Information Science

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