An exploratory study on teamwork and team communication in an integrated team for young people in Hong Kong

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An exploratory study on teamwork and team communication in an integrated team for young people in Hong Kong


Author: Ho, Wing-cheong
Title: An exploratory study on teamwork and team communication in an integrated team for young people in Hong Kong
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1997
Subject: Social work with youth -- China -- Hong Kong
Teams in the workplace
Interpersonal communication
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Pages: ix, 99 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This study provides an alternative approach for studying teamwork in local social work context. Other than examining the technology of teamwork process, this study investigates the personal dimension of communication in teamwork using a lifeworld perspective. It focuses on the interpretation of meaning of teamwork and team communication from the perspective of team participants. The quality of team communication in daily practice of teamwork, based on their interpretation of meaning of team communication, are examined. The barriers of team communication are also identified. A qualitative research design of case study is employed to study the team communication in a newly formed integrated team in Hong Kong. It is a naturalistic inquiry which provides a rich description on the research topic. Qualitative data collection methods of indepth interview, participant observation and document review are used to secure indepth analysis into the feeling aspect of team participants. The trustworthiness of this qualitative approach has been discussed. The four criteria for trustworthiness of credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability are assessed. From the findings of this research, it is noted that the rationality on teamwork of the participants is mainly cultivated from their personal experience and the limited training on the technocratic approach of teamwork. Teamwork is perceived as an instrument to achieve the task function of the team. The task dimension of team direction and team structure always overshadows the participants' concern on the sentimental dimension of emotional support. The observations of role crystallization, subject-object relations and fatalistic view on teamwork are noted. The quality of team communication is greatly influenced by the context of teamwork. For instance, the sincerity in team communication is adversely affected by the structural consideration of team structure. It is therefore noted that the power dimension of teamwork is a structural constraint in team communication. Other barriers for team communication such as the personal factors and the perception on the work context are also identified. It is recommended from this research that a paradigm shift for team communication should be considered to contrast the traditional technocratic approach in teamwork. A duality approach which emphasizes the balance consideration on both structural dimensions for the system and interpretation of meaning to people for the lifeworld should be adopted. Empowerment practice in team communication and decentralization of teamwork function are encouraged. Moreover, the importance of self reflection for team communication from all team participants including team leader, team member, supervisor, colleague and subordinate are suggested. Lastly, the application of western concept of teamwork in local context should be further examined, and an indigenous model of teamwork should be developed.

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