Dramas of Teamwork Training: Ironies of Canned and Structured Programs

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Book Chapter

Publication Date



In this chapter we examine the practice of teamwork in a manufacturing company and the introduction of canned and structured teamwork training through an ironic lens. The empirical material, drawn from an ethnographic study, is presented as a narrative with three episodes. The ironic perspective enables us to demonstrate the situational irony of the training program that turned out to be counterproductive to teamwork. We show how the workers in this ironic situation used verbal irony in order to cope with the managerial discourse and their own reality - and how irony helped them get the daily work done. We also claim that irony allows us to critique the consultants' work while remaining sympathetic towards the consultants themselves.


ISBN: 9789147075270; 9788763001311