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Introducing a relational approach to the study of emotions in project teams: The case of a public–non-profit partnership programme

Rafiei, Hiva (2018) Introducing a relational approach to the study of emotions in project teams: The case of a public–non-profit partnership programme. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the nature of emotions in the context of a programme team involved in the planning phase of a local partnership initiative in the UK. Positioned in the social constructionist tradition, the study adopts a relational perspective, where primacy shifts from selves to relationships in founding social realities. Accordingly, the thesis frames emotions as intersubjective and dialectical experiences that emerge through dialogue and embodiment. Drawing on ethnographic data collected over a fifteen-month period, this study unravels the ‘actuality’ of programme work at both collective and individual levels. At the collective level, the results from the thematic analysis of data highlight emotions during the ever-changing flux of events as the team ceaselessly engage in sense-making with the hope to establish a level of coherence and stability. At the individual level, the results from the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) reveal the innermost struggles of individuals in giving rise to emotions; individual emotions are found to rise strongly when matters of 1) identity, 2) justice and 3) meaningful work are questioned. By showing the salience of emotions in the actuality of programmes as a form of project-based work, the thesis develops two major contributions. First, it proposes relational leadership as a more pragmatic approach to leading programmes that are commonly characterised by ambiguity, turbulence, and change. Second, the thesis urges the need to cultivate situational (rather than standardised) ethics in teams, specifically suggesting the feminist ethics of care as the moral paradigm that remains sensitive to subtleties of situations and relationships.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Management Science and Entrepreneurship Group
Depositing User: Hiva Rafiei
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 09:38
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2018 09:38
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23485

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