The Influence of Project Ambiguity and Help Seeking on Project Performance in Knowledge Process Outsourcing Project Teams
37 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2010 Last revised: 20 Jun 2011
Date Written: December 13, 2010
This research examines the relationship between different help seeking patterns and project performance in offshore teams working on outsourced knowledge intensive projects. We synthesize the literature on help seeking to compare the effectiveness of four commonly recognized patterns of help seeking: the direct-leader pattern, the direct-internal pattern, the direct-external pattern and the indirect-external pattern. We propose that project ambiguity, i.e., the degree to which a project cannot be fully specified upfront, moderates how these different patterns influence project performance. Empirical analysis of data from members of 45 design teams supports this argument, suggesting that ambiguous projects are facilitated by direct external help seeking beyond team boundaries, whereas low-ambiguity projects benefit from direct-leader help seeking.
Keywords: Project Management, Fluid Teams, Problem Solving, Ambiguity, Help Seeking
JEL Classification: M19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation