نقش تبدیل دانش و شبکه های اجتماعی در عملکرد تیم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4519||2011||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 31, Issue 3, June 2011, Pages 217–225
This study aims to find out how different processes of knowledge management and patterns of social networking affect team performance. Our data on teams originate from a sample of different organizations from a variety of both public and private industries in Finland (76 teams; 499 employees). One of the main deficiencies in the current literature on knowledge and networks is that they tend to concentrate on specific types of teams in a single organization context. Our aim was to put the team phenomenon into an everyday context by analysing the interplay of knowledge creation and social networks in teams which function on a permanent basis in a variety of industry contexts. Both knowledge creation and social networking contributed to performance, but the results showed that whereas team members see the knowledge conversion processes as central to performance, top management emphasize the importance of social networks in value creation. In our examination, lively interaction between team members, combined with team leaders’ intra-organizational networks, contributed to team performance.
Knowledge and social networks play an ever increasing role in creating the performance of 21st century organizations. They signify a change from the smokepipe industry to the nurturing of intangible assets, and from the management of established hierarchies to the self-organization of independent teams (Chen, 2004, Grant, 1996, Matusik and Hill, 1998, Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995, Nonaka and Toyama, 2003, Nonaka, 1994 and Spender and Grant, 1996). Knowledge creation provides an organization with an intangible resource that enhances its ability to adapt to a changing environment (i.e. Nonaka, von Krogh, & Voelpel, 2006), and is difficult to duplicate (Coakes, Coakes, & Rosenberg, 2008). The essence of knowledge creation and management is especially important in team-based organizations (see for example Cohen and Ledford, 1994, Kirkman and Shapiro, 1997, Kirkman and Shapiro, 2001 and Ancona and Bresman, 2007). A team gathers together a certain amount of employees who have interdependent tasks but a shared responsibility for team level outcomes (Cohen and Bailey, 1997, Guzzo and Dickson, 1996 and Hackman, 1987). Sharing knowledge is one of the key aspects of effective teamwork: to accomplish their mission, teams must integrate, synthesize, and share information throughout a performance episode (Salas, Cooke, & Rosen, 2008). One of the main deficiencies in the current literature on knowledge and networks is that it tends to concentrate on specific kinds of teams in a single organization context. According to recent reviews on teams and networks (Henttonen, 2010), corporate R&D, project organizations, innovative teams, students, and laboratory experiments constitute the substance of most knowledge and network-related studies. There is no academic reason for this: the omnipresence of knowledge work in a networked context creates interest in studying the everyday duties performed on an ongoing basis in a variety of industries. Our aim is to put the team phenomenon into an everyday context by analysing the interplay of knowledge creation and social networks in the performance of teams which function on a permanent basis. According to reviews of team studies, future directions in the research area should include the assessment of interdependency among team members (Paris, Salas, & Cannon-Bowers, 2000), the institutional factors of teams (Cohen and Bailey, 1997 and Guzzo and Dickson, 1996), and the different types of teams (Stock, 2004). This study aims to address some of the inadequacies identified by previous team research. The social network analysis employed in this study enables assessment of interdependence among team members as well as their contacts to the host organization, and teams studied here originate from a sample of different organizations from a variety of industries, both public and private. The study aims to find out how different processes of knowledge management and patterns of social networking affect team performance. The data consist of 76 teams (499 employees) from both the private and public sectors. First, the theories concerning knowledge management and networking in team settings are introduced. Then we describe the study setting and methodology. In the empirical part of our inquiry we contrast the knowledge-based and network-based explanations of team performance. To provide further validity to our examination, we included performance indices evaluated by both team members and the top management of the organizations (see Delarue, van Hootegem, Procter, & Burridge, 2008, for a review). In the concluding section, we assess the findings in relation to the practical developments of organizing work, as well as in the theoretical context of knowledge creation and networks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The study aimed at analysing the significance of knowledge creation processes and social networking for the performance of ordinary teams fulfilling their duties on a permanent basis in a variety of industries. In our study, both team members and top management assessed the performance of their teams, which revealed significant divergences in the evaluation of performance. Both knowledge creation processes and social networks defined the performance of the team. First, as seen in the comparison of the consecutive coefficients of determination, team members see knowledge conversion and social networking as more interdependent than does top management. Second, team members attribute performance mainly to the knowledge conversion (socialization, internalization, and combination), processes, but top management only saw socialization practices as beneficial for performance. Echoing earlier findings, it might be that unity in itself is valued property of performance in management evaluations. Top management emphasizes social networking more strongly as a source of performance. The result replicates the findings of Cummings and Cross (2003), in that managers attribute performance to cohesive social structure. Moreover, the inclusion of control variables (team size) in the model is in line with these divergent viewpoints. As social structures grow, subgroups begin to form. This decreases social cohesion, but provides more opportunities for knowledge conversion. Social networks are also the apparent behavioural component that contains the specific attitudinal knowledge conversion processes. From the bird's eye perspective of the top management, the patterns of social intercourse among team members might be an approximate measure of knowledge creation, whereas from the shop floor perspective of the team members, success originates from a variety of knowledge creation and networking processes. The manager's and members’ evaluation are similar in two respects. Socialization and team internal communication network density is beneficial to performance, and externalization of knowledge is not related to performance. The discussion of the appreciation of knowledge-sharing is poignant here. Although there is a belief in knowledge management literature that sharing knowledge is important, the methods encouraging knowledge-sharing are ambiguous (Bartol and Shrivastava, 2002 and Small and Sage, 2005). Here, the sharing of local knowledge to wider audiences within the host organization does not pay off because it is not seen as part of the performance measurement itself. In our data, only 6% of the respondents agreed with the Likert-scale statement that they could receive extra compensation for sharing information with others. This easily gives rise to a ‘selfish team’, in which members identify more with their own team than with the host organization. Network variables also shed light on the distinction between the internalization and externalization processes. Basically, both processes require crossing over team boundaries in order to work properly. However, it seems that only some of the border crossing interactions are beneficial, and others irrelevant, why? Maintenance of information channels requires time and energy. From a team perspective, the time spent by leaders and members upholding inter-organizational relationships is detrimental to team performance. The externalization of knowledge to the use of other organizations does not automatically make sense from a team perspective, and the possibility of the internalization of outside knowledge does not necessarily compensate for the time spent with the distant environment. To put it otherwise, it might be that some of the earlier results highlighting the importance of the manifold interacting patterns of all employees in team-based organization structures, in contrast to restricted interactions within traditional hierarchies, could be misleading, due to their election of exceptional subjects of inquiry. The results follow hierarchical principles in the organization environment interface, and support earlier findings (Brass et al., 2004). The team leader's contacts with other organizations are not legitimate in hierarchical terms because the “foreign policy” of the organization belongs to the organization's top management. The fact that our sample of teams consisted of those working on a permanent basis, including public organizations, might have influenced our results. In essence, the successful completion of repetitive duties requires less lateral interaction and external contacts than operating on unstructured practices aimed at innovation. According to the hierarchical principle, employees are supposed to stick to their own work, middle management to other units and levels within the host organizations, and top management to the external stakeholders of the organization. Our focus was on relationships beneficial for performance and not the existence of external relationships as such. In this sense, the hierarchical ordering of relationships proved to be a key success factor of the team, results showing only selective balance between tacit and explicit knowledge-sharing (Johannessen et al., 2001). This is not an image of a boundaryless organization (Ashkenas et al., 1995), but rather the extension of a hierarchy in a team-based context which could be called ‘teamarchy’. In the pyramidal distribution of work tasks, shop floor employees are connected to one another through first line supervisors; they are interrelated through middle managers, and the top manager connects the middle managers together. Our notion of teamarchy deviates from the pyramidal distribution of connections in one sense in particular: it is beneficial for team members to interact with one another. Based on this, our hypothesis for further research is that teams provide safe havens from direct hierarchical pressures, which in turn are dealt with in managerial ranks. Furthermore, these results lead us to propose that performance in this kind of team mostly depends on team socialization (i.e. gaining the functional skills or abilities that are required, getting along with organizational culture, supporting and being supported by peers, and having a feeling of self-fulfilment), which takes place in dense intra-team communication networks. Another feature of the balance is the information processing capacity of employees. Maintaining frequent internal and external contacts is highly demanding. Too much emphasis on external contacts puts team identity at risk, and also endangers team identity (Choi, 2002). Our examination points to the supremacy of maintaining team identities through lively team interactions supported by team leader networks that are orientated to team-external, intra-organizational action. Our study has some practical implications. The conversion of learned practices into explicit, usable knowledge for the host organization was not seen as beneficial for the team in any of the performance assessments. If the team is the basic unit responsible for creating results, any effort for disseminating best practices can be seen as irrelevant for the success of the team, as it requires time and energy devoted to others rather than to the team itself. What is rational for the team might be suboptimal for the organization, as in this way lessons learned do not enter organizational circles. Hypothetically, the obvious remedy to combat the resurrection of selfish teams is to encourage and reward for the sharing of knowledge to others within the organization. The importance of teams as social contexts provides a strong platform for socialization and co-worker support, but local social intercourse also easily results in local social identities. The significance of lively interaction between the team and the host organization cannot be assessed solely on the basis of performance. To make strong team players into good organization men and women may well require forming of those external links that are irrelevant or detrimental for the performance, but which provide sense of togetherness at the organizational arena.