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

See all articles by Enno Siemsen

Enno Siemsen

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Dishan Kamdar

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Mani Subramani

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Min Li

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Date Written: December 13, 2010

Abstract

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

Siemsen, Enno and Kamdar, Dishan and Subramani, Mani and Li, Min, The Influence of Project Ambiguity and Help Seeking on Project Performance in Knowledge Process Outsourcing Project Teams (December 13, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1725013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1725013

Enno Siemsen (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

Dishan Kamdar

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India

Mani Subramani

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Min Li

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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