توانایی یکپارچه سازی دانش فناوری اطلاعات (IT) و عملکرد تیم : نقش جو تیم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4458||2010||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 30, Issue 6, December 2010, Pages 542–551
Previous research considering a normative perspective for fostering knowledge integration at the team level of analysis underscores that teams are often reluctant to share important knowledge among their members. In the attempt to provide a wider perspective on team knowledge integration, we take a different perspective, basing our arguments on team climate theoretical framework. Specifically, we argue that an autonomy and experimental climate (i.e. shared perception that the team supports autonomous action and experimentation and risk taking) can favor the team's ability to integrate members’ knowledge. Indeed, focusing on members’ willingness to contribute to team well-being, team autonomy and experimental climate may enhance the team's capability to integrate knowledge enabled by the IT infrastructure (IT knowledge integration capability). We tested our research model on a sample of 410 members and leaders of 69 organizational work teams. Results show the critical role played by team climate in favoring IT knowledge integration capability, which in turn affects team outcomes.
Extant literature underscores the increasing relevance of teams within modern organizations (Adler et al., 2008, Appelbaum and Batt, 1994 and Argote and McGrath, 1993). Researchers have developed several models and constructs in the attempt to analyze the degree to which team members interact and collaborate with each other. In particular, previous studies highlight that the ability of team to integrate knowledge by leveraging team processes represents a favorable condition for facing the complexity of the task at hand (Addison, 2003, Garud and Kumaraswamy, 2005, Lee and Choi, 2003, Ramarapu and Simkin, 1999 and Wasko and Faraj, 2005). According to the resource-based view, knowledge represents one of the key elements for obtaining, transforming and integrating other resources. The way team members rely on processes for favoring the creation, codification, and sharing of knowledge has been recognized as having a positive effect on performance (Gold, Malhotra, & Segars, 2001). Despite the admitted importance of knowledge sharing among team members, many studies point out that team members are not likely to share knowledge because of the potential threat associated with providing critical information to other individuals (Wasko & Faraj, 2000). Indeed, previous studies emphasize the existence of a contextual environment which encourages individuality over teamwork. Such an environment can serve to discourage knowledge sharing if employees believe that this practice will hinder their personal efforts to distinguish themselves from their coworkers (Huber, 2001). In particular, organizations that promote knowledge exchange by establishing knowledge markets and providing tangible incentives could actually be encouraging hoarding behavior and competitive actions, diminishing the free flow of knowledge within organizational units (Wasko & Faraj, 2000). Furthermore, previous research mainly focuses on a hierarchical and control-oriented approach for studying team members’ likelihood to share and integrate knowledge (Bock et al., 2005, Hirst et al., 2009 and Lee, 1990). According to this perspective, individuals are likely to share knowledge because of the hierarchical pressure exerted by managers and supervisors, as well as for extrinsic rewards, and not because they feel that sharing knowledge is worthwhile for team success. Thus, a gap in describing the contextual factors that explain individual likelihood to integrate knowledge is particularly evident because of the response to the pressures of increasingly dynamic and unpredictable environment demands (Macky & Boxall, 2007). Thus, we rely on the concept of team climate, which refers to a perception of the values and norms shared by members of the group (Schein, 1985). Taking into account a climate-based perspective is particularly critical since previous studies indicate that employees’ shared understanding of a situation drives their attitudes and behaviors (Hoegl et al., 2003 and Schneider, 2000). Along with the widely recognized importance of team capability to activate processes for integrating knowledge, previous studies underscore that the effectiveness of integration process capability needs information technologies that support such integration processes (Burgelman, 1983). Indeed, IT may enhance performance by facilitating team members’ interactions; this in turn enables people to get information that is pertinent to their interest and tasks (Kim, Chaudhury, & Rao, 2002). IT may influence performance by reducing the bounded rationality of decision-making (Bakos and Treacy, 1986 and Kim and Sanders, 2002). By incorporating the core knowledge of an organization, information technology can enhance the transformation of knowledge into action, and help employees to effectively share and integrate their knowledge (Armour, 2001). Therefore, information technology which is thoroughly interwoven with knowledge integration process can be conceptualized as IT knowledge integration capability (Kim et al., 2002 and Ray et al., 2005). Such a concept, in turn, represents a type of combinative capability (Kogut & Zander, 1992) consisting of knowledge process capability and technological infrastructure to abilitate such processes. Thus, drawing on knowledge-based view of the firm (Barney, 1991, Nelson and Winter, 1982 and Wernerfelt, 1984) as well as organizational climate theories (Denison, 1996, James et al., 1988 and Schneider and Reichers, 1983), our study proposes an integrative model for exploring the effect of team climate on IT knowledge integration capability. The basic argument underlying our model is that team climate may favor the circulation of information among team members thereby increasing the ability to integrate their knowledge through IT, which in turn influences team performance. The present study contributes to the extant literature in three ways. First, it provides a model that integrates the concepts of team climate, IT knowledge integration capability, and team performance. The understanding of team-level contextual antecedents of IT knowledge integration capability is likely to provide important insights associated with team design and management. Second, prior research considering the capabilities of knowledge integration primarily focuses on the firm level of analysis (Grant and Baden-Fuller, 1995, Ray et al., 2005 and Tiwana and McLean, 2005), while scant research conducted the analysis at a team level. Finally, the adoption of a team-level perspective on IT knowledge integration capability is consistent with the view that organizations do not “perform”; instead, individuals in an organization perform in ways that allow it exploit knowledge and to achieve desirable results (Klein & Kozlowski, 2000). Thus, such a perspective offers a finer level of granularity in understanding how employees integrate their knowledge to achieve higher performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The goal of this research is to expand our understanding of the role of team climate and IT integration capability in shaping team performance. This study contributes to previous research in the following ways. First, it extends the investigation of knowledge integration capability beyond the firm level to the team level of analysis. Second, it provides further understanding of the consequences of team climate that may affect the way team members interact to integrate their knowledge in order to improve team performance. Third, it takes into account the role of team IT knowledge integration capability for explaining team performance, both in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. 6.1. Theoretical implications We sought to understand the role of team climate in shaping individuals’ capability to integrate knowledge by leveraging IT. We accomplished this by using a team-level lens to integrate the theories on team climate and resource-based view of the firm. This was driven by the recognition that, increasingly, organizations are moving toward a team-based structure for increasingly complex knowledge work (Hoegl et al., 2003). We argue that team climate may influence the ability of team members to integrate their knowledge in order to enhance team performance by providing a shared interpretation of the environment. This in turn favors the exchange and integration of knowledge among team members. The incorporation of performance reflects the importance of considering the generation of team outcomes that are consistent with the organizational mission. Thus our study provides important insights based upon the IPO framework by highlighting the input and process mechanisms that can affect efforts for improving performance. Indeed, our research underscores the fact that developing a team climate which fosters autonomy and experimental environment is more likely to encourage integration among the different ideas, perspectives and expertise that team members can bring to the team. Moreover, our results show that teams which allow individuals to build on each other's knowledge, skills, and perspectives are more likely to develop superior performance. In light of these arguments, our study makes several contributions to IS research. First, we contribute to the research knowledge integration in IT by adopting a team level perspective. Indeed, previous research focuses on the firm level, while we answer a recent call by Ray et al. (2005) who urge researchers to develop studies grounded on the level at which the knowledge integration mainly occurs. Therefore, our study provides a deeper portrait of organizational life by acknowledging the importance of IT integration capability at the team level of analysis. Therefore, our work is a compelling extension of the previous approach to research on IT integration capability, in which investigation is limited to macro-only analysis, an approach that ignores influence from other levels. Thus, we respond to calls for considering the organizational phenomena as occurring at different levels of analysis (Hofmann, 1997 and Klein and Kozlowski, 2000). Following the suggestion by Seibert, Silver, and Randolph (2004), who recommend explicitly stating the level at which a certain construct is manifest, we contextualize the study of team-level factors as the result of a shared perception of team members. Moreover, our research also suggests that team climate plays a strategic role in knowledge integration capability. A finer-grained understanding of work-unit performance can be gained by adopting a team climate lens, which may enhance our understanding of the way team members acquire and integrate their knowledge. This means that teams with a high level of autonomy in terms of freedom, independence, and discretion in scheduling work and determining procedures, may positively benefit from IT knowledge integration capability. This result is consistent with previous studies which underscore that, as a result of increased autonomy climate, members are likely to identify more with the team, increasingly seeing it as ‘theirs’ (Hackman, 1987), consequently enhancing the likelihood of team members integrating their knowledge. Finally, our paper corroborates the fact that a climate which fosters autonomy may increase the development of knowledge integration capability by enhancing trust among team members. This, in turn, may lead team members to be more prone to share and integrate knowledge for the team success. Moreover, team experimental climate enhances IT knowledge integration capability. Thus the existence of room for experimentation and tolerance of “competent” mistakes within the team may positively influence the IT knowledge integration capability. Our research answers the existing call for developing a better understanding of the contextual factors at the team level of analysis which may influence the way members exploit resources and technology for developing processes and procedures for acquisition, combination, creation, and sharing of knowledge (e.g. Tiwana & McLean, 2005). Perhaps members of teams that present a high degree of experimental climate are more open to new and novel information and are more likely to interact in new ways. Similarly, teams that foster experimentation are better able to stimulate exchange and combination between members. Thus, while a low degree of experimentation may have efficiency benefits for the team and the organization, a certain degree of tolerance for risk taking seems necessary for knowledge integration and performance enhancement. Thus, our examination of the drivers that affect IT knowledge integration capability represents an important step in overcoming the lack of studies concerning knowledge integration and capabilities at the team level of analysis. Furthermore, we point out the positive effect of IT knowledge integration capability on team performance (i.e. effectiveness, efficiency). This finding is particularly noteworthy because we shed some light on the role of IT on team outcomes. Literature in the IS field has explored the role of IT, and the link between IT and firm performance (e.g. Bharadwaj, 2000 and Wade and Hulland, 2004), while scant research examines these issues at the team level. In particular we answer previous research calls that draw attention to a lack of studies on the link between IT and team performance (Tiwana & McLean, 2005). Our paper is one of the first attempts to test the idea that higher levels of performance are the result of the ability of leveraging IT in order to integrate members’ knowledge within the team. This argument has profound implications on how organizations must approach team design and management (Desouza & Evaristo, 2006). Clearly, bringing together the right set of skills is insufficient for enhancing team effectiveness, which also requires that those skill sets be appropriately integrated and brought to bear on the team integration processes. 6.2. Managerial implications From a managerial perspective our findings demonstrate that organizations and teams must develop fertile ground to facilitate the occurrence of knowledge integration to increase their ability to recombine information and achieve better outcomes (Brown and Eisenhardt, 1998 and Liao and Chuang, 2004). Therefore, understanding the team climate that enhances team IT integration capability offers management potential support tools for teams to effectively exploit members’ knowledge. This study has important implications for organizations that adopt technologies for supporting team members’ interaction. It has long been recognized that introducing new technologies is not enough for enhancing the full exploitation of technology potential (Magni & Pennarola, 2008). Thus, active experimentation and autonomy may facilitate the discovery of new sources of value for the technology, enabling its potential for enhancing performance. Managers may consider creating a climate that is supportive for exploration and autonomy in team structures that emphasize tight integration of technology use into employee work practices. While previous research highlights the need to design team-based structures, we point out that IT knowledge integration capability is influenced by a climate that facilitates information exchange and learning among team members. The focus on climate is a particular strength of our study from a managerial perspective. Assessment of team climate can be used to provide guidance regarding the differential actions that managers might take to enhance the way team members integrate their knowledge through the support of IT. For example, to foster an experimental climate at the team level, one firm asked team members to provide at least two alternatives to solve a single problem. Besides this example, there are several practices that managers can use to shape employees’ climate perceptions. This observation is consistent with the arguments developed by Seibert et al. (2004) who underscore the importance of assessing team climate perceptions to fine tune the managerial practices that lead to a performance increase both at the team and individual level. Moreover, our results offer specific recommendations for improving team performance. First, by leveraging on climate it is possible to develop the ability of team members to integrate their expertise. Indeed, team members do not work in a vacuum; their performance is influenced by their likelihood and ability to exchange knowledge with other members. Organizations can use this mechanism to guide and train their employees, teaching them how organizations value excellent knowledge exchange and fostering the development of an organizational environment consistent with this purpose. Indeed, according to Liao and Chuang (2004), when organizations do not foster a positive organizational environment based upon experimentation and autonomy, individuals may be less likely to interact with their colleagues. 6.3. Strengths and limitations Our research study has several strengths that should be noted. First, our study design involved data collection from multiple sources within participating teams. In particular, we were able to get responses to questionnaire items from a majority of members in each team. This is particularly noteworthy given the difficulty of obtaining such data in a field setting. Second, our treatment of climate does not rely on a single source but reflects the shared perception of team members, offering a more accurate representation of the climate concept. From a methodological standpoint, the use of team-level perceptions can be considered an important strength for the study because mean ratings tend to smoothen both random variance in individual responses and systematic differences that may contaminate individual perceptions, such as an individual's background, previous experiences, and personality (Seibert et al., 2004). Thus, the aggregation of perception at the team level of analysis allowed us to develop a more accurate view of the team context, providing a better understanding of those relationships specified at a level of analysis above the individual, which are rarely considered in the IS literature. Third, our field study involved 410 participants from 69 different teams. Compared to previous studies pertaining to the same research stream, this is a fairly large sample size. Despite the strengths of our study, as with any research, our findings need to be interpreted in light of a few limitations. One is the use of a survey method and a cross-sectional design in the study. Such a design raises the potential for common method bias as participants can engage in hypothesis guessing and social desirability while completing the questionnaire (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003). However, this concern is allayed since we followed recommendations by Podsakoff et al. (2003) by using multiple respondents within each team. In addition, a longitudinal study can provide even greater confidence in the results. Moreover, our results are based on the European context, suggesting the need for future research in other national and cultural settings.