A1 Journal article (refereed)
Contents and functions of dramatizations in team decision making (2021)

Horila, T. (2021). Contents and functions of dramatizations in team decision making. International Journal of Business Communication, 58(3), 358-385. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488417743983

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Horila, Tessa

Journal or series: International Journal of Business Communication

ISSN: 2329-4884

eISSN: 2329-4892

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 58

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 358-385

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488417743983

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74274


This study examines the contents and functions of dramatizations in natural team decision making. Theoretically, the study employs symbolic convergence theory to understand decision making as a complex phenomenon constructed in symbolic communication. Observational meeting data and thematic interview data from an autonomous team in Finland were analyzed. A fantasy theme analysis and an inductive, rhetorical discourse analysis revealed three rhetorical visions and seven functions of dramatizations in the team’s decision making. Visions represented social, righteous, and pragmatic master analogues. The functions of dramatizations were legitimizing independent and current decisions, reinforcing past decisions, arguing, leading, embedding decisions, and controlling decision making. Symbolic realities were constructed and refined before, during, and after decision making. The processes of creating and using dramatizations were intertwined and simultaneous. The interview analysis showed the team was aware of many of these processes. The applicability of symbolic convergence theory in team decision-making research and training is discussed, specifically in connection to communication competence.

Keywords: convergence; decision making; teams

Free keywords: symbolic convergence theory; team decision making; fantasy theme analysis; rhetorical discourse analysis; communication competence

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-09-08 at 14:29