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Teamwork as an activity

This project embraces a shift from studying teams as entities and structures to studying teams as an on-going process. The idea is that team participants continuously engage in teamwork as an activity, and thus in the continued making and sometimes unmaking of teams. Often, what matters most are not the big, visible decisions taken by team leaders or managers, but how the team members handle small incidents and deal with what may first look like trivial actions by any team member

Contemporary organizations rely heavily on project teams and virtual working environments. 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, entity- based approach, emphasizing team structure as much as (or even more than) processual aspects.

This project seeks to better understand how and why various teams become functional or dysfunctional – putting aside the performance criteria the team success is usually formally measured by (knowing how these numbers or KPIs can be misleading or even gamed by team members, leaders and managers).


Mats Alvesson & Katja Einola


Degbey, W. Y., & Einola, K. (2020). Resilience in virtual teams: Developing the capacity to bounce back. Applied Psychology, 69(4), 1301-1337.

Einola, K. (2017). Making sense of successful global teams. Doctoral dissertation. University of Turku.

Einola, K., & Alvesson, M. (2019). The making and unmaking of teams. Human Relations, 72(12), 1891-1919.