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ERIC Number: ED522719
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 267
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-2207-0
The Effects of IT, Task, Workgroup, and Knowledge Factors on Workgroup Outcomes: A Longitudinal Investigation
Mudigonda, Srikanth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
Organizations work towards achieving their goals by integrating and utilizing the knowledge available within their boundaries. In order to successfully manage the knowledge-related processes occurring in their workgroups, organizations need to understand how different contingency factors affect the knowledge-related processes of a workgroup, ultimately affecting the workgroup's knowledge outcomes and performance. Knowledge processes, by their nature, are dynamic, time-dependent. A review of extant literature revealed a gap: few studies exist that studied the research question, using a longitudinal methodology. Hence to obtain a deeper understanding of the longitudinal effects of different contingency factors on knowledge outcomes and performance of workgroups and, consequently, to contribute to the literature in this area, this dissertation was conducted. Specifically, this dissertation investigated the longitudinal effects of contingency factors that were grouped into five categories, on three outcome variables, via workgroup processes that were grouped into three categories. The research question, which combines the above aspects of the investigation and guided this dissertation is: "Which factors, from the five categories of factors (a) characteristics of the workgroup; (b) characteristics of the tasks assigned to the workgroup; (c) the interface between the workgroup and the tasks; (d) characteristics of the knowledge required to complete the tasks; and (e) characteristics of the information technologies, affect workgroup outcomes, including (i) average consensus among a workgroup's members about each other's areas of knowledge; (ii) average accuracy of knowledge; and (iii) performance of the workgroup, over time, and in what way?" These workgroup processes included in the study can be categorized into three groups: "processes related to scheduling of tasks, processes related to completion of tasks and processes accompanying those related to completion of tasks". An agent-based model, that was derived from findings and theory drawn from extant literature was used in this investigation. Key aspects of the model were validated using data obtained from a series of four qualitative, semi-structured interviews. The results of simulations of the agent-based model were analyzed using the methodology of panel data analysis. The results indicate that only a subset of contingency factors from each category affect each of the workgroup outcomes. Specifically, "average task priority, average knowledge-intensity of subtasks, average propensity to share, time in training phase, probability of non-specific exchange, number of agents, number of locations and average project intensity" were found to have a positive effect on average consensus, while "average task intensity, average self-knowledge and average number of tasks per agent" had negative effect on average consensus. In the case of "average accuracy of knowledge, average knowledge level and number of agents" were found to have a positive significant effect. Finally, in the case of "percentage of project completed, average propensity to share, average knowledge level, average self-knowledge", and "time in training phase" were found to have a positive significant effect, while "average knowledge intensity of subtasks, richness of email", and "average direction time" were found to have a negative significant effect. "Average number of tasks per agent" was found to have a significant negative effect between workgroups and positive significant effect within workgroups. The dissertation contributes to literature by describing the simultaneous, longitudinal effects of a large set of contingency factors on the outcome variables and, of those, identifying those that are have a significant longitudinal effect on the workgroup outcomes. By doing so, it provides a shortlist of contingent factors that could be used in future empirical, confirmatory studies. Additionally, the specifications of the agent-based model and the accompanying source code provide a basis for future work that can explore workgroup-related phenomena in greater depth. For practitioners, the dissertation offers recommendations regarding the factors on which they should focus to increase the likelihood of favorable workgroup outcomes. It also helps them identify those contingency factors whose negative effects on the workgroup outcomes can be mitigated through appropriate policies and procedures. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A