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Theorizing Teamwork under Contemporary Capitalism

Worker Participation: Current Research and Future Trends

ISBN: 978-0-76231-202-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-341-9

Publication date: 11 April 2005


Despite two decades of discussion and debate, key issues regarding the transformation of work have remained highly uncertain, largely because of the limitations in the theoretical frameworks with which team systems have been approached. In this paper, I draw loosely on my own fieldwork to articulate a series of propositions regarding features of the new managerial regimes that have remained only poorly explored. These center on the structural tensions and contradictions that team systems elicit, the contested and negotiated nature of the new regimes, and the complex interplay between the new work-systems and the identities that workers import from the old-managerial regimes. The paper suggests that the overarching concern with rates of diffusion and the performance effects of team systems should give way to more culturally nuanced approaches that can bring to light the divergent and often inherently contradictory forms the new regimes assume in an era marked by increasing demands for labor market flexibility.


Vallas, S.P. (2005), "Theorizing Teamwork under Contemporary Capitalism", Smith, V. (Ed.) Worker Participation: Current Research and Future Trends (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-24.



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