Margins, Membership, and Mobility

Rebekah Dibble and Cristina B. Gibson

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Margins, Membership, and Mobility

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  • Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology



The focus of this chapter is on membership in team-based collaborative endeavors. Nearly a decade ago, Ancona and her colleagues introduced the concept of X-teams, highlighting membership by both core and peripheral participants in teams within an organization. Today, there is a growing prevalence of teams that are not embedded in any organizational context, which are even more temporary, more fluid, and operate in increasingly dynamic environments. Under these conditions, the margins around the team are permeable. Leaders of such organizationally independent collaborative endeavors may find themselves asking “Who is internal and who is external?” Boundaries may be in flux, and membership may vary over a short time. This variability may result in challenges for team management and effectiveness, but may also be liberating and productive. Here, we focus on the relationships between boundary mobility and identity, commitment, empowerment, and thriving, as well as the impact that boundary mobility has on collaboration effectiveness.

Keywords: Collaboration; positive organizational scholarship; boundaries; mobility; membership

Article.  7451 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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