Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Date of Defense

10-1-2010

Graduate Advisor

Rajiv Sabherwal

Committee

Gokel, George

Mano, Haim

Sauter, Vicki L.

Subramanian, Ashok

Abstract

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. To obtain a deeper understanding of the longitudinal effects of different contingency factors on knowledge outcomes and performance of workgroups, this dissertation was guided by the research question: 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? Workgroup processes considered were 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. 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.

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