Balancing personalities and perspectives among cross-functional project teams : a narrative analysis of interactions and work handoffs from the viewpoints of different activity cycles
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This dissertation examines a collection of stories describing interactions and work handoffs between co-workers who are working to complete a project. The majority of the narratives focus on development projects occurring in the tech sector. The selected narratives include a description of the storyteller’s role, and the role of others who were also working on the same project but in a different capacity. This dissertation provides an overview of the concept of activity cycles (Ballard, 2009) and the traditional project cycle in order to provide grounding and context for the narratives and analysis that follows. The interactants in each narrative are identified as primarily operating in one of four different activity cycles. This 2x2 matrix is derived from two axes, which are time windows and task variability. This dissertation provides four chapters that focus, in turn, on each of the four activity cycles. The analysis that follows each narrative identifies the prominent characteristics of the interactions and handoffs with actors operating in that activity cycle. These characteristics are then grouped into themes, and those themes are compared to the definitional descriptions of each activity cycle. This analysis results in the identification of 16 themes distributed across the quadrants. Nine of the 16 themes go beyond the initial descriptions of the activity cycles and have the potential to expand understanding of these activity cycles.