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From listening to team commitment : individual and group level processes and outcomes shaped by active empathic listening behavior within self-managing work teams

Steuter, S.B. (2015) From listening to team commitment : individual and group level processes and outcomes shaped by active empathic listening behavior within self-managing work teams.

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Abstract:The aim of this study was to show how listening plays a role in creating team commitment. Previous researchers already demonstrated that there is a relation between listening and team commitment. The current study adds relevant insights to previous listening literature as (1) it investigates a team based listening context rather than a dyadic one, and (2) it examines qualitatively the processes which arise based on perceived listening in teams rather than measuring the effects quantitatively. Based on qualitative interviews (n=26) and observations within 3 self-managing work teams of the health care sector, five positive (pleasant feelings, positive regard, trust, mutuality and team spirit) as well as five negative (unmet expectations, unpleasant feelings, angry feelings, resistance and distance) individual level outcomes and processes related to perceived listening are described. The Rose of Leary was used to describe and categorize interaction processes. Most interesting are the outcomes mutuality and resistance as this ‘states’ are very dynamic and shape group processes positively or negatively. (Inter-) Relationships between these processes and outcomes are presented. A trust giving listening environment is fundamental to mutuality, based on which teams are able to come up with more than the sum of their individual ideas. In this state teams improve quality, learn from each other, describe productive team work and a shared responsibility. This positive team work can result in a feeling of connectedness. Resistance on the other hand influences the concerned interaction partners as well as the indirect involved team members in a negative way. A lack of listening, can create a distance between team members. In the end this study demonstrates that a team based listening context is more complex than a dyadic one. Besides that it gets clear that listening does not influence team commitment directly, first teams have to create trust to create an open communication atmosphere. However, improving listening within teams will pay off when it comes to mutuality and team spirit.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68842
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