A Situational Analysis of Shared Leadership in a Self-Managing Team

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To: Ted Zorn From: Chris Student Date: 1 April 2003 Subject: Research proposal Proposed Research Topic: A situational analysis of shared leadership in a self-managing team [provide a brief description or a descriptive title or a research question] Purposes: Alvesson (1996) claims that a situational approach enables leadership to be viewed and studied as “a practical accomplishment” (p. 476) rather than starting with a conceptualisation of leadership as whatever the appointed leader does. This approach seems particularly well suited to self-managing teams (SMTs), in which leadership is presumably shared. In this project, I will explore how members of a self-managing team enact leadership in their regular team meetings. In…show more content…
The situational approach directs me to choose one or a few specific interactions to explore in depth. Thus, an appropriate means of investigating the topic from this perspective is observation of conversation, plus interviewing the interactants to understand the meanings they have for their symbolic interactions. [Briefly identify and explain the theoretical framework you will use to guide your investigation, how it fits your purpose and its implications for the research methods] Method: 1. Conduct a literature review on leadership and communication in SMTs. 2. Observe the group four hours per week for six weeks, focusing mostly on conversations at team meetings, especially those conversations in which the group addresses changes to their work processes and issues of team relationships and identity(ies). 3. Interview team members to clarify and provide insight into conversations. I will attempt to conduct these interviews shortly after conversations of interest. While the interviews will not be formal or structured, the kinds of questions I will ask include the following. The general strategy for the interviews is to start off with broad questions and follow up on the interviewee’s responses, to capture her or his meanings and to avoid imposing my meanings on the interviewee. a. Tell me about the conversation you just had with X. b. What were you thinking during the conversation? c. What do you

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