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Teaming in action: Knowledge creation and sharing in project teams.

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Project-based organising is increasingly described in organisational literature as the flexible way to meet current organisational requirements for fast production and service development. Project teams have become therefore the focus of much research attention. Most of this research however describes the team mainly as a ‘device’ useful to increase the organisational performance if the knowledge and capabilities team members are meant to ‘possess’ are managed adequately. This perspective takes for granted that a team ‘has’ knowledge that can be translated into action when necessary. However, such assumption does not account for the ongoing and emergent nature of teaming and knowing and underestimates the often volatile conditions under which project teams operate. In this paper, we consider teaming and knowing as recursively constituted and grounded in collective practice. We explore those processes through the case study of an ‘inter-organisational’ ICT project team from a Big 5 management consulting firm in the UK. The multiple stories of knowledge creation and sharing enacted by team members over the duration of the project are reconstructed as the team’s co-authored narrative. The paper aims to shift the focus of project team research from how the team ‘should be’ to ‘how it could become’ in a locally grounded and complex web of relationships. The objective is to contribute to a better understanding of project team life in drifting organisational environments. The paper also suggests several implications for team learning and knowing beyond the specific project boundaries.

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