مشارکت دانش در تیم های توسعه سیستم اطلاعات : یک تحقیق تجربی از دیدگاه شناختی اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4622||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 31, Issue 2, February 2013, Pages 252–263
The extent of knowledge contribution is the key to the success of system development projects. Knowledge contribution refers to the knowledge that is provided to increase a team's efficiency and achieve its goal. This study proposes a research model exploring factors that influence the extent of knowledge contribution from a social cognitive perspective. These factors include the team relationship commitment, team relationship norms, and awareness of expertise location. Additionally, this study argues that a team's awareness of expertise location mediates the effects of affective commitment and relationship norms on knowledge contribution. The result shows that the awareness of expertise location plays a crucial mediating role in the relationships between the two socially prescribed motivations and knowledge contribution. Moreover, team relationship commitment has an important impact on team established relational norms.
Today, information system development (ISD) teams face greater challenges as they are compelled to adapt to changing business needs and technical issues, as well as deliver desired deliverables on time and under budget (Jaros et al., 1993 and Lee and Xia, 2005). Rapid changes in business conditions and contexts add to the uncertainty in ISD projects (ISDPs). Consequently, the effective application and integration of the knowledge possessed by a team in swiftly responding to unexpected disruptions in the course of development have become salient factors for successful project performance (Lin and Huang, 2010 and Mitchell, 2006). To address the growing challenges arising from socio-technical environments, recent research on systems development has devoted increasing attention to demonstrate how knowledge can be shared in a contributive manner. Past research has primarily utilized a bivariate approach relating predictor variables to contributions, focusing on the effect of personal motivations on contributions (e.g., Wasko and Faraj, 2005). These studies argue that voluntary contributory behaviors take place when individuals are intrinsically and/or extrinsically motivated by the expectation of receiving personal benefits (e.g., reputation, recognition, autonomy, pay, and promotion); giving away knowledge eventually causes the possessors to lose their unique value relative to what others know. This approach has facilitated significant contributions to identify specific motivations that correlate with knowledge contributions. Previous research has made substantial contribution to the understanding of contributory behaviors. However, evidence indicates that knowledge contributory behaviors are not explained by the above-mentioned motivation-related factors alone, suggesting that the investigation of other factors is required (Bock et al., 2005). There are two reasons accounting for the insufficiency. First, the extant studies overlooked the fact that the individuals reside in an open environment and their contributory behaviors are likely to be socially influenced. Previous research has noted that knowledge contribution involves important social influence (Argote et al., 2000, Bock et al., 2005 and Kankanhalli et al., 2005). Social influence refers to the ways in which external forces alter an individual's thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, or behaviors. In the ISD context, contributing knowledge is not solely an individual phenomenon since a successful ISDP requires a high degree of team cooperation. In such a context, ISD team members may perceive institutional influences from external constituents. These external effects prescribe norms, rules, and values that could exert profound impact on individuals' attitudes and eventually shape their behaviors. In this study, we argue that perceived social influences may lead to knowledge contribution as they constitute an institutionalized ambiance in which contributory behaviors are expected and considered desirable. Secondly, motivation may be a necessary driver for individual intention to share knowledge and skills. However, having motivation is insufficient for contributory behaviors to be effective because willingness to share knowledge does not guarantee that the knowledge exchanged is appropriate for the problems encountered. Some authors have acknowledged that motivation's effect on knowledge contribution involves mediating mechanisms pertaining to cognitive elements. Limited attention has been paid to specify the cognitive mechanisms through which contributory acts take place in group contexts. However, these studies either have not integrated cognitive and motivational explanations of contributions (Hinds and Pfeffer, 2003) or merely develop conceptual models in which mediating mechanisms are delineating for contribution behaviors (Olivera et al., 2008). Few studies have explicated the role of the cognitive mechanism through which socially molded motivations affect knowledge contribution. To fill this gap, the present study draws on social cognitive perspective as a theoretical base for investigating the social factors and mechanisms influencing knowledge contribution. More specifically, the purpose of this study is to examine the relationship among social influences and knowledge contribution and the cognitive mechanism that mediates the relationship. To this end, we develop a model of knowledge contribution fostered by the presence of social and cognitive elements. The present approach contends that socially molded motivational factors initiate, sustain, and carry to completion the activities that are necessary for making a contribution. The cognitive constituent involves searching and matching activities that mediate the effect of motivation to contribution behaviors (Olivera et al., 2008). Team relationship commitment, relational norms, and awareness of expertise location serve as antecedents for determining whether knowledge contribution can be enhanced. While team relationship commitment and relational norms represent socially molded motivations, awareness of expertise location indicates the cognitive element in the research model. A survey of 71 ISD teams in Taiwan indicates that the model holds, demonstrating that shared cognition emanating from social behaviors and norms collectively promote desired knowledge contribution. The implications of the findings for researchers and practitioners are also discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Implications On the basis of the social cognitive perspective, we postulate that motivational forces (team relationship commitment and team relational norms) and cognitive initiative (awareness of expertise location), both resulting from socially institutionalized settings, contribute to ISDP team knowledge contribution. Moreover, this study contends that the effect of social–cognitive-based motivation on the quality of shared knowledge is mediated through the awareness of expertise location. The results of the survey on 71 software development teams show that the three social cognitive variables have positive effects on the level of knowledge contribution. Meanwhile, the awareness of expertise location mediates the relationship between team relationship commitment, relational norms, and knowledge contribution. The results of this study have several implications for MIS researchers. First, this study distinguishes the concept of knowledge contribution from that of knowledge sharing. As stated earlier, knowledge sharing describes the extent to which knowledge is exchanged among individuals and emphasizes largely on measuring the amount and frequency of information transfer. On the other hand, knowledge contribution focuses on the extent to which knowledge being transferred is particularly relevant and applicable to the problems on hand. In the context of system development, sharing individually held knowledge is important for project performance because of the constant changes typically prevalent in system development. However, contributing ISD-related knowledge goes beyond sharing held knowledge. To attain contribution, the shared knowledge must also be directed toward specific problems and appropriately address them. This brings into focus the value aspect of knowledge involved in a contribution behavior namely, appropriateness, usefulness and helpfulness. Second, we theorize on the motivations derived from the perceived socially institutionalized climate as antecedents of knowledge contribution. Particularly, two socially influenced motivations, namely, team relationship commitment and team relational norms, are considered to play essential roles. Extant contribution studies based on the social cognitive theory have largely restricted focus on individualistic motivations and argue that contributory behaviors are induced on the basis of satisfying an individual's intrinsic (e.g., self-competence, autonomy, task accomplishment) or extrinsic (e.g., pay, security, promotion, and general working conditions) needs. This stream of research assumes that individuals behave independently based on the environment they reside in, and overlook the fact that social climate may also play an important role in determining individual behaviors. The presence of socially molded motivations provides an alternative explanation to why individuals are willing to contribute their knowledge to solve problems in an ISD team context. Third, this study presents a research model with a mediating mechanism containing both motivational and cognitive constituents. In essence, the awareness of expertise location is used to represent such a cognitive mechanism and serves as a mediator that intervenes in the relationship between socially molded motivations and knowledge contribution. The findings provide a fine-grained understanding of how contributory behaviors take place at the team level. Moreover, the results suggest that socially institutionalized motivation is an important antecedent that initiates, sustains, and carries to completion the activities necessary for making a knowledge contribution. However, this study also recognizes that knowledge contribution is not restricted to simply sharing what one knows but what is appropriate, useful, and helpful for problem resolution. This study also indicates that the mechanisms leading to the occurrence of contributory acts involve processes that are more complex than a bivariate motivation–contribution model. In other words, while motivation sets off the course for knowledge sharing, search-and-match initiatives help identify the providers' knowledge domain and match personal knowledge with the situations that necessitate help. This study confirms that effective knowledge contribution, in addition to perceived team relationship commitment and team relational norms, requires additional cognitive efforts to search for the intended knowledge and align it with the problems that arise during the development of information systems. There are several implications for project managers. First, this study suggests that enhancing the level of knowledge contribution necessitates the development of an awareness of expertise location that allows the team to effectively recognize the skills and knowledge in the team that are related to the problems. This cognition assumes greater importance in increasingly volatile socio-technical environments. Awareness and application of expertise can also be supplemented by utilization of knowledge management systems (KMS). Organizations need to invest in KMS that consist of indexing, searching, and matching capabilities. For example, KMS based on taxonomies and semantic networks can serve as an external memory aid for an ISD team. Secondly, breeding a socially institutionalized atmosphere that fosters team member commitment and reciprocal behaviors can enhance the awareness of expertise location. Nurturing a social milieu that gives rise to team relationship commitment and relational norms is particularly essential to the development of the expertise awareness given that ISD projects have increasingly become intricate within the context of complex enterprise systems. Additionally, large team settings can present a barrier to the development of effective expertise awareness. Team relationship commitment and relational norms can therefore play an essential role in managing this barrier by fostering mutual acceptance of the project and encouraging contributory behaviors for project success. Team relationship commitment and relational norms can be strengthened by instilling a culture of innovation, which accentuates the need to work together, providing team members with the flexibility and opportunity necessary to work as a team and highlighting the outcome interdependence among the individual tasks performed by the team members. 5.2. Limitations and future research directions There are a number of limitations to our study. First, the data is collected from 71 ISD project teams in Taiwan — the results of this study may not be applicable to other cultures or contexts, not without replication studies. Single culture studies are also limiting in that relationships might be dependent on traits inherent in the culture under study. Second, the sample was not randomized; the data comprised respondents who are pursuing an MBA degree. A snowball strategy was employed in which the participating respondents were asked to invite their acquaintances to take part in the survey. Potential data bias may exist, which may restrain the generalizability of the findings. Third, since all participants are MBA students, potential data bias may exist. However, the participants are working professionals and majoring in MIS track at a leading private university in Taiwan. These factors could mitigate the likelihood of response bias. Fourthly, the cross-sectional surveys used are characterized by limitations in attributing and substantiating affirmative causality. Finally, Podsakoff et al. (2003) classified the major sources of method bias into four types, including common rater effects, item characteristic effects, item context effects, and measurement context effects. Future research is encouraged to randomize the order of items both within instruments and across respondents, and collect data from different sources or different time slots to lessen the threat of common method variance (CMV), although the results of the Harman's single factor test showed that CMV is not a likely issue in this study. The theory adopted in this study is heavily driven by the social cognitive lens and results of the study ratify that team commitment, team relationship norms, and the awareness of expertise location have profound effects on a firm's knowledge access. Other theoretical views can also be taken (e.g. social exchange or social network theories) to examine this issue. Specifically, it would be interesting to scrutinize how ISDP teams develop a socially molded milieu that facilitates knowledge contributory activities. Moreover, this study merely focuses on one type of cognitive activity, i.e. the awareness of expertise location, associated with contribution behaviors. Subsequent to awareness, research has identified other distinct activities (e.g. searching and matching, and formulation and delivery) that jointly constitute contribution behaviors and operate as mechanisms that mediate the effects of requests for help on knowledge contributions (Olivera et al., 2008). Future studies could examine the joint operation of these contribution-facilitating mechanisms and their antecedents that facilitate these cognitive activities. Finally, this study positions the contribution behaviors in an intra-group setting. However, as external environments become increasingly volatile and capricious, ISDP teams may not possess the needed expertise and skills to hedge against high-velocity environments. The focal teams may need to acquire needed skills and expertise from external sources. Future studies could be designed to investigate the factors that facilitate the knowledge contribution behaviors between different organizational units.