Narrative reflection as a means to explore team effectiveness

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The aim of this article is to explore how teams make sense of their effectiveness over time by telling their team story. We selected five team stories from health care teams perceived by the organization as effective. We analyzed their stories using three-level narrative analysis, which addresses the temporal, social, and normative complexities of narrating effective teamwork. Two story types were identified: developing effectiveness stories, which represent stories about a transition from ineffective to effective, and continuous improvement stories, which represent relatively consistent high performance. This distinction seems to indicate differences in the way teams engage in and profit from narrative reflection, and how they relate to the organizational context. Our findings showed that narrative reflection provides insights into incongruence between teamwork elements, invites members to exchange perspectives, and reveals lessons learned for future recycling. Future research could explore how composite stories might provide insights for other teams to reflect on.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-437
JournalSmall group research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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