The making and unmaking of teams

Katja Einola, Mats Alvesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary expert organizations rely heavily on cross-border, often temporary
teams typically working through virtual means of communication. While static aspects of teams are well researched, there have been considerably fewer studies on team dynamics and team processes. Existing process studies tend to take a cautious, entitybased approach, emphasizing team structure as much as (or even more than) processual aspects. This article represents a shift from studying teams as entities and structures changing over time to studying teams as an on-going process. Participants engage in teaming and thus in the continued making and sometimes unmaking of teams. We report on a study of three anatomically similar, self-managed teams performing the same set of complex tasks with radically different teaming processes. With more or less successful shared sensemaking, the team members collectively create (or fail to create) not only
team task outputs but also the team itself.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalHuman Relations
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1891-1919
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 05.02.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • process study
  • sensemaking
  • team effectiveness
  • team processes
  • teams

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


Dive into the research topics of 'The making and unmaking of teams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this