Publication Date

8-2006

Abstract

Knowledge gathering can create problems as well as benefits for project teams in work environments characterized by overload, ambiguity, and politics. This paper proposes that the value of knowledge gathering in such environments is greater under conditions that enhance team processing, sensemaking, and buffering capabilities. The hypotheses were tested using independent quality ratings of 96 projects and survey data from 485 project team members collected during a multi-method field study. The findings reveal that three capability-enhancing conditions moderated the relationship between knowledge gathering and project quality: slack time, organizational experience, and decision-making autonomy. More knowledge gathering helped teams to perform more effectively under favorable conditions but hurt performance under conditions that limited their capabilities to utilize that knowledge successfully. Implications for theory and research on knowledge and learning in organizations, team effectiveness, and organizational design are discussed.

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Suggested Citation
Haas, M.R. (2006). Knowledge gathering, team capabilities, and project performance in challenging work environments. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site:
http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/articles/2/

Required Publisher Statement
Final version published as: Haas, M. (2006). Knowledge gathering, team capabilities, and project performance in challenging work environments. Management Science, 52, 1170-1184.
Copyright 2006 INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

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