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

Gautam, Tanvi (2009) Project leader's dual socialization and its impact on team learning and performance: A diagnostic study. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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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.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFlorkowski, GaryGwf@katz.pitt.eduGWF
Committee MemberKirsch, Laurielkirsch@katz.pitt.eduLKIRSCH
Committee MemberArgote,
Committee MemberGray,
Committee MemberMoreland, Richardcslewis@Pitt.eduCSLEWIS
Date: 18 May 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 January 2009
Approval Date: 18 May 2009
Submission Date: 18 February 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: knowledge transfer; project leadership; Socialization
Other ID:, etd-02182009-145545
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


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