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Target-based teamworking: Groups, work and interdependence in the UK civil service

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Procter



In terms of its implications for work and production, studies of teamworking have generally relied on concepts of autonomy and flexibility. An in-depth, qualitative case study of the UK Inland Revenue reveals a form of teamworking in which both autonomy and flexibility play little part. It is argued that teamworking in this case is best conceptualized by giving greater weight to interdependence. In particular, teamworking in the Inland Revenue works through the outcome interdependence engendered by the emphasis on the team’s work targets. This form of teamworking is given the name ‘target-based teamworking’. Certain aspects of the nature of production appear to encourage this form of teamworking. More generally, the case promotes interdependence as a means of understanding teamworking, and suggests that the key to this understanding is an analysis of the relationship between interdependence and autonomy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Procter S, Currie G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Relations

Year: 2004

Volume: 57

Issue: 12

Pages: 1547-1572

Date deposited: 13/12/2007

ISSN (print): 0018-7267

ISSN (electronic): 1741-282X

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0018726704049989


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