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Teams; Group Structure; Group Processes; Boundaries
Mortensen M., Haas M. (2018). Perspective - Rethinking Teams: From Bounded Membership to Dynamic Participation Organization Science, 29(2), pp. 341-355.
Teams have long been defined by boundedness—a clear distinction between members and nonmembers. Yet as the authors argue in this perspective paper, the distinction between members and nonmembers is often blurred in today’s teams, as a result of trends toward increasing team fluidity, overlap, and dispersion.These trends offer potential organizational benefits, but the resulting boundary blurring can undermine team effectiveness. Moreover, boundary blurring calls into question many of the basic assumptions underpinning our theoretical and empirical research on teams. Accordingly, it is time to rethink our fundamental conceptualization of teams and to revisit our approaches to studying them.The authors propose a shift from viewing teams as clearly bounded groups of members toward instead viewing teams as dynamic hubs of participants. Reconceptualizing teams in this way opens up new avenues for theory development and offers important implications for future empirical research on teams.