Balancing the Boundary: Sustaining Self-Managing Modes of Work Within Hierarchical Organizations

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This paper addresses the question of how self-managing teams can sustain their alternative mode of organizing within a more hierarchical organizational setting. We look at this issue as a phenomenon of intra-organizational boundary work. By drawing on communicative under-standing of boundary work, we specifically examine the communicative practices used to negotiate intra-organizational boundaries. Based on a qualitative case study of a self-managing team within the more hierarchical environment of an international medical technology company, we show how the team uses communicative practices of nurturing, exposing and blending-in their self-managing mode of organizing to negotiate their internal boundaries. Through this communicative boundary negotiation and balancing, the team was able to maintain its mode of organizing in an otherwise largely traditionally organized firm.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
Conference number: 82


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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