چگونگی ایجاد اعتماد در پروژه های بین سازمانی: تاثیر نیروی انسانی پروژه و پاداش های پروژه در شکل گیری اعتماد، کسب دانش و نوآوری محصول
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|27289||2010||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||4800 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 28, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 629–637
The importance of trust in projects that involve multiple project partners is widely acknowledged. This research analyzes both outcomes and antecedents of trust in inter-organizational projects. On the outcome side, the findings show that trust between project team members working on an inter-organizational project positively impacts the acquisition of external knowledge which, in turn, promotes product innovation. With respect to the antecedents of trust data reveal that a stable pool of project team members and objective project reward criteria facilitate the formation of inter-organizational trust.
This paper addresses the benefits of trust in inter-organizational projects and the factors that contribute to the formation of trust. Project work today very often necessitates the involvement of outside project partners (Gann and Salter, 2003 and Jones and Lichtenstein, 2008). In many industries such as engineering (Shenhar and Dvir, 1996), construction (Barlow, 2000), biotechnology (Powell et al., 1996) or film making (Bechky, 2006) firms form inter-organizational projects; they share risk and pool their resources to jointly develop and deliver products and services which none of them could do on its own. Inter-organizational projects typically consist of a focal project team from the lead organization or general contractor and various outside project teams from specialized partner firms or subcontractors. It is widely acknowledged that for inter-organizational projects to succeed trust between the project team members of the focal firm and its outside project partners is of great importance ( Kadefors, 2004 and Wong and Cheung, 2004). In a general sense, trust can help to strengthen and improve the relationship between project partners which, in turn, entails a variety of benefits for the project as a whole (Wong et al., 2008). Trust may, for example, facilitate the alignment of partner interests (Atkinson et al., 2006), enhance stakeholder satisfaction (Bresnen and Marshall, 2000) and support the achievement of project goals. In addition, research argues and shows that trust facilitates exploitation of opportunities that arise from the joint work with project partners. Outside project partners present a source of new knowledge about technological developments, customer needs and market trends. One desirable (even if unintended) side-effect of inter-organizational project work, then, is the acquisition of new knowledge and its exploitation into new products and enhanced business opportunities (White and Fortune, 2002). Trust improves access to such knowledge by increasing project partners’ motivation to share knowledge (Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). While emphasizing the various benefits of trust, research is well aware of the difficulties in establishing trust in inter-organizational projects. Trust rests on expectations and predictions of a collaboration partner’s good intent and behaviour (Mayer et al., 1995 and Rousseau et al., 1998). However, in a project setting, project partners often lack prior collaboration experience on which they could ground their expectations and predictions (Gulati, 1995). At the same time, they have limited time and regularly suffer from time pressure throughout the time span of the project (Nordqvist et al., 2004). The lack of time and continuity makes it difficult for project partners to develop familiarity and to prove each others goodwill and competence. Moreover, in inter-organizational projects, partners are likely to face high levels of conflict and suspicion (Hawke, 1994). As a consequence, the formation of trust is an important but challenging task which has received only little attention within the discipline of project management so far. This study will address the benefits of trust for acquiring and exploiting knowledge from outside project partners as well as the impact of project staffing and project rewards on the formation of trust. (The full theoretical model is presented in Fig. 1 below.) Data from 218 inter-organizational engineering projects will show that trust indeed promotes knowledge acquisition from outside project partners. Additionally, the findings reveal that firms can facilitate the formation of trust by establishing objective and measurable project rewards and by choosing a staffing approach that allows for already acquainted team members, stable team composition and full-time team membership. Thus, the study follows a recent call by Pinto et al. (2009) for empirically exploring both outcomes and antecedents of trust between project partners.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper investigates the effects of trust in inter-organizational projects and the factors that foster the development of trust. The results of this research show that trust is in fact advantageous in inter-organizational projects. Trust grants access to valuable knowledge of outside project partners. It facilitates the acquisition of novel ideas and insights which lay the ground for further product innovation. Thus, trust helps to exploit the opportunities that arise due to the collaboration with knowledgeable project partners. At the same time, the study reveals that project staffing and project rewards present factors that may contribute to the formation of trust in inter-organizational projects. Even in the challenging context of project work, where time is limited and rare, project staffing can create stability and a long-term basis in team member interaction. Data show that project team members who know each other from prior collaboration, join the project throughout its duration and work full-time on the project have greater opportunities to interact. As a consequence, they develop expectations of each other’s behaviour which lay the ground for mutual trust. Similarly, objective and measurable project rewards seem to restrict opportunities for free-riding, opportunistic behaviour or favouritism. This reduces suspicion and encourages project partners to trust each other. These findings have several implications for theory and practice: First, project work is an important source of product innovation, especially when external partner firms are involved. Project work by definition is specific and unique; it often requires creative problem solving and novel solutions (Bresnen et al., 2003 and Prencipe and Tell, 2001). Moreover, the involvement of external partners establishes information channels into the very heart of the industry. Far beyond the advantages of resource pooling and risk sharing, external partners most commonly are industry experts that intimately know industry players and customers, their needs, ideas and perceptions of future trends. To gain access to such knowledge is a side-effect of project work which may be unintended, unexpected and as our data suggest independent of project success. Nevertheless, such knowledge is valuable as it presents the basis for product innovation and, thus, future returns. Second, trust towards outside project partners can open access to valuable outside knowledge. Therefore, the development of trust becomes a major challenge for the management of inter-organizational projects. These findings emphasize the importance of trust as a social pattern to effective project knowledge management (Brookes et al., 2006) and underline a recent call by Atkinson et al. (2006) to formally include trust within the discipline of project management. Finally, project staffing and contract design, as two very disciplines of project management, can facilitate the formation of trust in inter-organizational projects. Prior research shows that trust among project partners is not easily developed and very often lacks a solid basis. The approach to foster the development of trust by formal team building exercises implies several disadvantages. It requires additional resources and may be of little help because formal team building sessions are in sharp contrast to every day project life (Atkinson et al., 2006). Moreover, trust in projects most likely remains on a superficial level as it is only ‘swift trust’ that occurs due to external pressures of project work (Meyerson et al., 1996). Project staffing and the design of project rewards present fruitful starting points for the development of trust in inter-organizational projects. Therefore, it seems worth noticing both project rewards and a firm’s staffing approach in the light of trust formation. There are several limitations to this study that might indicate fruitful opportunities for future research. The study examines a complex social phenomenon such as trust by reducing it to simple quantitative scalar items and one factor. More fine grained quantitative approaches are needed that might for example acknowledge different types of trust and their likely outcomes and antecedents. Moreover, in-depth qualitative approaches are needed to explore the complexity of trust, its formation, evolution and its likely role in acquiring and exploiting knowledge from outside project partners in greater detail. With respect to the antecedents of trust the study highlights the impact of organizational factors (project staffing and project rewards) on the formation of trust in inter-organizational projects. However, this study does not deliver a comprehensive picture of the possible organizational antecedents of trust. Moreover, the study neglects the existence of contextual and individual factors that might contribute to trust formation. For future studies it would be illuminative to consider more completely the different factors that may have an impact on the formation of inter-partner trust. Despite these open questions, one can conclude that the formation of trust is a challenging but profitable task in the management of inter-organizational projects that may be enhanced by carefully considering the composition of the project team and the design of project rewards.