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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Beyond community: Understanding the experience of communitas among Information Technology Road Warriors
by Napier, Gayla S., Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2016, 251; 10244284
Abstract (Summary)

Community, or the sense of being connected to others, represents an enduring conversation throughout organizational literature. Communitas , on the other hand, has not been well researched in this context. Communitas refers to an unstructured community in which people have a sense of sharing and intimacy that develops among persons who experience liminality as a group. Building on the anthropological work of Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner, and Edith Turner, this study explores the experience of communitas among Information Technology Road Warriors , those consulting professionals that spend much of their work life away from home and within the liminal environment of their project-based work. It also elucidates the supporting nature of strong social relationships among Road Warriors. The study employs a qualitative approach and draws on in-depth interviews of 21 Road Warriors from five professional services firms. Findings were captured in an integrative model of communitas, that includes both structural and behavioral elements that together represent the symbolic construction of communitas as experienced by the participants. The data indicate that participants sharing this liminal space enjoy a particular sense of community that allows what might be seen as a disparate group to find a sense of belonging and communitas. Practical implications for professional services firms, managers, employees, and organizations that employ liminal work groups are presented, along with recommendations for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Steier, Frederick
Commitee: Agger-Gupta, Dorothy E., Davis, Valerie J., Oswick, Clifford, Willis, David B.
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: The School of Human and Organization Development
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sociology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Communitas, Community, Constructivism, Consultants, Information technology, Liminality, Road warriors
Publication Number: 10244284
ISBN: 978-1-369-37824-5
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