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Using negotiated joining to construct and fill open-ended roles in elite culinary groups

Tan, VYH; (2015) Using negotiated joining to construct and fill open-ended roles in elite culinary groups. Administrative Science Quarterly , 60 (1) pp. 103-132. 10.1177/0001839214557638. Green open access

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Abstract

This qualitative study examines membership processes in groups operating in an uncertain environment that prevents them from fully predefining new members’ roles. I describe how nine elite high-end, cutting-edge culinary groups in the U.S. and Europe, ranging from innovative restaurants to culinary R&D groups, use negotiated joining—a previously undocumented process—to systematically construct and fill these emergent, open-ended roles. I show that negotiated joining is a consistently patterned, iterative process that begins with a role that both aspirant and target group explicitly understand to be provisional. This provisional role is then jointly modified and constructed by the aspirant and target group through repeated iterations of proposition, validation through trial and evaluation, and selective integration of validated role components. The initially provisional role stabilizes and the aspirant achieves membership if enough role components are validated; otherwise the negotiated joining process is abandoned. Negotiated joining allows the aspirant and target group to learn if a mutually desirable role is likely and, if so, to construct such a role. In addition, the provisional roles in negotiated joining can support absorptive capacity by allowing novel role components to enter target groups through aspirants’ efforts to construct stable roles for themselves, while the internal adjustment involved in integrating newly validated role components can have the unintended side effect of supporting adaptation by providing opportunities for the groups to use these novel role components to modify their role structure and goals to suit a changing and uncertain environment. Negotiated joining thus reveals role ambiguity’s hitherto unexamined beneficial consequences and provides a foundation for a contingency theory of new-member acquisition.

Type: Article
Title: Using negotiated joining to construct and fill open-ended roles in elite culinary groups
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0001839214557638
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0001839214557638
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2014. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: adaptation, membership processes, negotiated joining, role ambiguity, absorptive capacity, innovation, elite groups, culinary groups, uncertainty, contingency theory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1455543
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