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Bridging Formal and Informal Roles in Workgroups: Moving Beyond Followership Towards Supportership, A Case Study

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Title:Bridging Formal and Informal Roles in Workgroups: Moving Beyond Followership Towards Supportership, A Case Study
Authors:Wolfgramm, Taunalei
Contributors:Gazan, Rich (advisor)
Communication and Information Science (department)
Keywords:Organizational behavior
Organization theory
Formal Roles
show 4 moreInfluence
Informal Roles
show less
Date Issued:2019
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
The formal structure of an organization outlines its workflow and decision-making hierarchy, who reports to whom, and is embodied in the formal roles of its employees. However, as important as formal roles are there also exists another set of roles that will not be found on any organizational chart but that resides on an alternative informal social structure and can often be just as influential-- informal roles. This paper explores the interconnected nature of formal and informal roles within workgroups by identifying the informal social structure of the workgroup, how group members fit within that structure, and how this dynamic express influence and productivity within the workgroup. This is a 2-part exploratory case study that focuses on workgroups within organizations. Observations and informal interviews took place in 2 different organizations. The Constant Comparative Method was used throughout the entire process. The result is a 4-part framework in which to: 1. Systematically identify individual informal roles within the workgroup context. 2. Explore how those roles correspond to each other within the informal social structure with attention to their influence, alternative flows of information, and leadership. 3. When examined together, how those informal roles contribute or detract from formal workgroup productivity. 4. How to apply the framework. This paper introduces the concept of Supportership as an alternative to followership.
Pages/Duration:265 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Communication and Information Sciences

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