Attaining Individual Creativity and Performance in Multi-Disciplinary and Geographically-Distributed it Project Teams: The Role of Transactive Memory Systems

63 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2021 Last revised: 22 Oct 2021

See all articles by Wei He

Wei He

Rawls College of Business

JJ Po-An Hsieh

Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business, Computer Information Systems Department

Andreas Schroeder

Aston University, Aston Business School, Operations and Information Management Department

Yulin Fang

Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong

Date Written: August 8, 2021

Abstract

Contemporary IT project teams demand individual members to generate and implement novel ideas in response to the dynamic changes in IT and business requirements. Firms rely on multi-disciplinary, geographically-distributed IT project teams to gather necessary talents, regardless of their locations, for developing novel IT artifacts. In this team context, individuals are expected to leverage dissimilar others’ expertise for creating ideas during idea generation (IG) and then implement their ideas during idea implementation (II), known as the IGII process. Although much has been done to explain individual creativity, the extant literature offers little theoretical understanding on how to address the double-edged effects of dispersions in both functional expertise (ExpDisp) and geographical locations (GeoDiss)—the two defining characteristics of multi-disciplinary, cross-locational IT project teams—on individual creativity and subsequent performance. Drawing on the IGII framework, we propose transactive memory systems (TMSs) as a plausible team-level solution to tackle the challenge. With a multi-wave multi-level dataset from 141 members and their supervisors from 35 IT project teams, we found that team-level TMS and GeoDiss interactively moderate individual-level IGII processes in multi-disciplinary geographically -distributed IT project teams during both II and IG, but in qualitatively different ways.

Keywords: Expertise dissimilarity, IT project teams, geographic dispersion, transactive memory system, idea generation idea implementation, multilevel analysis, future work, creativity

Suggested Citation

He, Wei and Hsieh, JJ Po-An and Schroeder, Andreas and Fang, Yulin, Attaining Individual Creativity and Performance in Multi-Disciplinary and Geographically-Distributed it Project Teams: The Role of Transactive Memory Systems (August 8, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3901216 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3901216

Wei He

Rawls College of Business ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

JJ Po-An Hsieh (Contact Author)

Georgia State University, Robinson College of Business, Computer Information Systems Department ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30302
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jjhsieh.com

Andreas Schroeder

Aston University, Aston Business School, Operations and Information Management Department ( email )

Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B47ET
United Kingdom

Yulin Fang

Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK
China

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