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A Little Play Goes a Long Way: The Limitations of Managing Play in a Knowledge Intensive Firm

Smáradóttir, Áslaug Theodóra LU and Pedak, Karla LU (2017) BUSN49 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
The activities work and play were seen as antithesis in the literature since the early 20th century. However, during the past four decades, play has been argued to produce beneficial outcomes within organisations. Since then play has become an increasingly popular management tool, inspiring managers to implement elements of play into work in order to influence employees, morale and work itself in a positive way. The purpose of this study is to interpret if and how play can be utilized by managers to have an impact on employees, the organisational culture and the workplace, more specifically why managers experiment with play and what their objective was to implement it. Moreover, we aim to gather insight if play is manageable altogether.
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The activities work and play were seen as antithesis in the literature since the early 20th century. However, during the past four decades, play has been argued to produce beneficial outcomes within organisations. Since then play has become an increasingly popular management tool, inspiring managers to implement elements of play into work in order to influence employees, morale and work itself in a positive way. The purpose of this study is to interpret if and how play can be utilized by managers to have an impact on employees, the organisational culture and the workplace, more specifically why managers experiment with play and what their objective was to implement it. Moreover, we aim to gather insight if play is manageable altogether.
We conducted a qualitative single case study within an organisation in a Nordic county. Ten individuals were interviewed, five managers and five employees, in order to gather in-depth knowledge on how managers implement play elements into the company, what is its purpose, how do employees experience it and what are its outcomes. The managers within the organisation had outlined several different elements of play, investing time and resources into events with moderately beneficial outcomes. However, an aspect dismissed as marginal, a pool table, proved to have a large impact on workers, atmosphere and organisational culture. We found that managing play within a company is largely limited to introducing and implementing play. (Less)
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author
Smáradóttir, Áslaug Theodóra LU and Pedak, Karla LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN49 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Knowledge Intensive Firm, Leadership, Management, Serious Play, Play, Organisations.
language
English
id
8907728
date added to LUP
2017-06-13 16:07:31
date last changed
2017-06-13 16:07:31
@misc{8907728,
  abstract     = {The activities work and play were seen as antithesis in the literature since the early 20th century. However, during the past four decades, play has been argued to produce beneficial outcomes within organisations. Since then play has become an increasingly popular management tool, inspiring managers to implement elements of play into work in order to influence employees, morale and work itself in a positive way. The purpose of this study is to interpret if and how play can be utilized by managers to have an impact on employees, the organisational culture and the workplace, more specifically why managers experiment with play and what their objective was to implement it. Moreover, we aim to gather insight if play is manageable altogether.
We conducted a qualitative single case study within an organisation in a Nordic county. Ten individuals were interviewed, five managers and five employees, in order to gather in-depth knowledge on how managers implement play elements into the company, what is its purpose, how do employees experience it and what are its outcomes. The managers within the organisation had outlined several different elements of play, investing time and resources into events with moderately beneficial outcomes. However, an aspect dismissed as marginal, a pool table, proved to have a large impact on workers, atmosphere and organisational culture. We found that managing play within a company is largely limited to introducing and implementing play.},
  author       = {Smáradóttir, Áslaug Theodóra and Pedak, Karla},
  keyword      = {Knowledge Intensive Firm,Leadership,Management,Serious Play,Play,Organisations.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Little Play Goes a Long Way: The Limitations of Managing Play in a Knowledge Intensive Firm},
  year         = {2017},
}