Collective decision making in working groups
The research follows a trend in cultural psychology named Workplace Studies (Engeström e Middleton, 1996; Luff et al., 2000; Zucchermaglio, 1996) and aims at extending theories about collective decision making. In particular, the focus is on problem configuration processes during team meetings. Problem configuration processes occur when team members - in order to make decisions in relation to an issue under discussion - make factual reports and elaborate them into descriptions which suggest courses of actions. Problem configuration is the core of every decision making and reaching the ability of collaborating in configuring problems is a critical goal in multi-professional teams (Piccini, 2005; Piccini, Carassa e Colombetti, 2006). Problem configuration is considered as a functional segment in a system of professional activities; such system, in its turn, is constituted by an institutional framework, which defines a set of goals, roles, norms, and operational models. As a consequence, the study of such discursive activity is addressed by using both, ethnographic methods - to describe the activities´ system including the team meetings where problem configuration occurs - and discourse analysis to identify work practices. The study will be conducted in collaboration with a working team in a social service of Canton Ticino. Team meetings will be recorded and analysed, and discursive practices of problem configuration will be identified. At the end of the study, a feedback will be ginven to the team.