Images of good work and the politics of teamwork

Richard Badham, Ulrich Jürgens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary empirical studies of teamwork take much of their inspiration from long-standing conflicting images of 'good' work in modern societies. In particular, the 'machine', 'anomie' and 'alienation' images have had a strong influence on theoretical development and empirical research. Rather than criticizing the dominance of this imagery, this article argues for a more self-conscious and comprehensive exploitation of its richness and diversity. Contemporary studies of teamwork are more often than not held back by a reduction of fundamental theoretical issues and tensions to matters of simple empirical tests and a 'forced' choice between perspectives and a general decline in attention to the 'alienation' image. The argument herein is made through a reanalysis of the classic and exemplary debate between Adler and Cole and Berggren over teamwork in NUMMI and Uddevalla.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-58
Number of pages26
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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