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Understanding perspective taking and its role in relation to teamworking and diversity

Calvard, Thomas Stephen (2010) Understanding perspective taking and its role in relation to teamworking and diversity. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

In the current thesis I focus on perspective taking as a fundamental social process guiding productive and cooperative interactions within and between work teams. I define perspective taking as the effortful and effective understanding of diverse cognitions, emotions, and identities tied to particular targets in particular situations. Little attention has been given to perspective taking as a situational or state concept that can vary across groups, time, and contexts. Previous research has typically treated it as a stable personality difference or a temporary mindset induced in laboratory settings. In this thesis, I conduct three studies with data collected from Masters of Business Administration (MBA) study teams and one final study with military teams to examine how perspective taking supports effective teamwork interactions. In the first study, I use data collected from MBA team members to develop and validate three self-report, state indicator measures of active perspective taking: effort, empathic concern, and positive attributions. In the second study, I demonstrate positive reciprocal relationships over time between the three perspective taking indicators and cooperative team member outcomes. In the third study, I show that entire MBA teams can exhibit shared perspective taking at the team level of analysis. The results also confirm that team perspective taking indicators mediate between team diversity and team states of potency and reflexivity. In the final study, I develop a self-report measure of team perspective taking effectiveness or understanding and show that it is positively related to perceived performance, helping, and morale in military teams. I show that team perspective taking effectiveness is supported by elaboration of task perspectives and effective perspective taking for the external targets of other teams. The practical and research implications of the studies for understanding situational perspective taking, team effectiveness, and finding value in team diversity are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Thomas Stephen Calvard
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2011 09:20
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1167

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