Through multi-sited ethnographic and practice-based studies (Marcus 1995, Schatzki 2002, Kemmis et al. 2014, Gherardi 2012) this paper sets out to investigate how teamwork is being ‘done’ and practiced in two engineering consultancy companies. We bring together our own ethnographic studies of engineering work practices in two Danish engineering consultancy companies. In these different sites we show how team- and project work mediate relations within organizations and how team members experience the impact of teamwork in relation to their professional backgrounds and outlooks. By paying attention to how teamwork is enacted in these different sites we are addressing two research questions:
• How does team- and project work challenge relations between employees and managers, and how does this affect work quality?
• How is team-based self-management and technology-mediated management reconciled in teamwork and how does it affect the professionals?
In our study collaboration in engineering work practices has been studied as ‘field-sites’ in George Marcus’ multi-sited ethnographic perspective (Marcus 1995) and we have been inspired by Kemmis et al.’s (2014) notion of Practice Architectures in order for us to discern the doings, sayings and relating that constitute the practices within the field-sites. In line with Marcus’ perspective we do not intend to use the different sites to make comparisons, but instead we explore how ‘teamwork’ is taken up, reenacted and practiced in different ways in the sites according and in relation to the specificities of the practice architectures and practice traditions that encapsulates the happenings and history of the practices. This allows us to investigate how cross affiliations and overlaps of cultural-discursive, material-economic and social-political arrangements are weaved together and intertwined, but the approach also helps us make visible differences and contrasts in lending ‘meaning’ to the dominant discourse about teamwork.
Furthermore we adopt Schatzki’s notion of a ‘site’. Here a site is not only delimited by its physical localization. More generally, a ‘site’ is a locality where something – a social phenomenon like team- and project work – is or takes place (Schatzki 2002, 64). The physical location is of importance in the sense that social phenomena always transpires in objective space-time, but in an important sense the site transgresses objective space-time. The teleological location (or ‘timespace’ in Schatzki’s (2010) terms, or ‘project’ in Kemmis et al.’s (2014) terms), i.e. how actors are attuned to and comports with a phenomenon, in significant ways specify how actors relate to the phenomenon and signify a ‘Verweisungsganzheit’ (Heidegger 1927/2010). This helps contextualize social activity.
The production of our empirical material has benefitted from theoretical and methodological framework of Kemmis et al.’s and we use their ‘tabels of invention’ to structure and present our findings. Engineering practices and engineering culture is being (re)produced within sites and through practices that can only be understood properly by reflecting on the doings, sayings and relating of the practitioners. Thus attention must be given to the discursive and historical preconditions of the sites as well as the material arrangements that prefigure the practices. Furthermore it is necessary to reflect on how power-relations and social-political arrangements shapes the way practitioners relate to one another. It is thus the ambition to analyze the sites by using a practice-based lens. This methodology honors the complexity and heterogeneity of the engineering practices under study and lends us practical methods to track and propel our investigations and discern how practices are reproduced to sustain or delimit quality of work.
|Titel||Work2015 : New Meanings of Work - Abstracts|
|Udgivelses sted||Turku, Finland|
|Forlag||Turku School of Economics, University of Turku|
|Publikationsdato||19 aug. 2015|
|Status||Udgivet - 19 aug. 2015|
|Begivenhed||Work 2015: New Meaning of Work - Turku School of Economics, University of Turku. , Turku, Finland|
Varighed: 19 aug. 2015 → 21 aug. 2015
Konferencens nummer: 2
|Lokation||Turku School of Economics, University of Turku.|
|Periode||19/08/2015 → 21/08/2015|
- Quality of work
- team work
Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceeding › Konferenceabstrakt i proceeding › Forskning › peer review
TY - ABST
T1 - Quality of Work and Team- and Project Based Work Practices in Engineering
AU - Buch, Anders
AU - Andersen, Vibeke
PY - 2015/8/19
Y1 - 2015/8/19
N2 - It is the aim of this paper to investigate teamwork amongst professionals in engineering consultancy companies in order to discern how teamwork affects the collaboration and work practices of the professionals and eventually their quality of work. The paper investigates how professional engineering ractices are enacted in two engineering consultancy companies in Denmark where ‘teamwork’ has been or is an ideal for organizing work.
AB - It is the aim of this paper to investigate teamwork amongst professionals in engineering consultancy companies in order to discern how teamwork affects the collaboration and work practices of the professionals and eventually their quality of work. The paper investigates how professional engineering ractices are enacted in two engineering consultancy companies in Denmark where ‘teamwork’ has been or is an ideal for organizing work.
KW - Quality of work
KW - Practice
KW - team work
M3 - Conference abstract in proceeding
VL - 1
SP - 247
EP - 248
BT - Work2015
PB - Turku School of Economics, University of Turku
CY - Turku, Finland