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Project leader's dual socialization and its impact on team learning and performance: A diagnostic study

One of the important challenges for leadership in project teams is the ability to manage the knowledge, communication and coordination related activities of team. In cross-team collaboration, different boundaries contribute to the situated nature of knowledge and hamper the flow of knowledge and prevent shared understanding with those on the other side of the boundary. While existing research on the issue has focused on 'what' is needed to overcome these boundaries, there is very little research on 'how' leaders can be equipped to deal with the challenges of cross-boundary work. We propose a new construct: 'dual socialization' of the project leader, as an important means of surmounting challenges of knowledge sharing and collaboration across boundaries. We argue that dual socialization enables a leader to gain a deep contextual understanding of collaborating teams in a manner that is not easily available through other means of learning. This understanding then is invaluable for the knowledge transfer process as well as for achieving project goals. A model of dual socialization, knowledge transfer and project team outcomes (team performance & inter-team coordination) is proposed and tested using data from project teams in a leading global IT consulting firm. We focus on the inter-organizational boundary encountered by the consultants when dealing with the client. The thesis is based on the consulting team's point of view. The data is collected from client-consultant dyads in an engaged in an outsourcing relationship. The results support the importance of dual socialization as a construct for understanding and enhancing leadership capabilities needed in inter-organizational project teams. An important finding of this dissertation is that socialization to home and socialization to client don't always influence outcomes in a similar manner. They act in competing or complementary ways depending on the
dependent variable and moderators under consideration. Also socialization to home/client may enhance or detract team performance based on project contingencies. Additionally, we found that prior knowledge of the team enhances the acquisition of knowledge, but detracts from the performance capability of the team. This finding has important implications for issues of team composition and design, as well as utilization of expertise.
Date18 May 2009
CreatorsGautam, Tanvi
ContributorsDr. Peter Gray, Dr. Gary Florkowski, Dr. Linda Argote, Dr. Richard Moreland, Dr. Laurie Kirsch
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Source SetsUniversity of Pittsburgh
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsunrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to University of Pittsburgh or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

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