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Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams

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  • Samer Faraj

    ()
    (Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742)

  • Lee Sproull

    ()
    (Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York 10012)

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    Abstract

    Like all teams, knowledge teams must acquire and manage critical resources in order to accomplish their work. The most critical resource for knowledge teams is expertise, or specialized skills and knowledge, but the mere presence of expertise on a team is insufficient to produce high-quality work. Expertise must be managed and coordinated in order to leverage its potential. That is, teams must be able to manage their skill and knowledge interdependencies effectively through expertise coordination, which entails knowing where expertise is located, knowing where expertise is needed, and bringing needed expertise to bear. This study investigates the importance of expertise coordination through a cross-sectional investigation of 69 software development teams. The analysis reveals that expertise coordination shows a strong relationship with team performance that remains significant over and above team input characteristics, presence of expertise, and administrative coordination.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.12.1554.12072
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 1554-1568

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:12:p:1554-1568

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    Keywords: software development; team performance; team processes; distributed cognition; expertise coordination;

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    Cited by:
    1. Magni, Massimo & Proserpio, Luigi & Hoegl, Martin & Provera, Bernardino, 2009. "The role of team behavioral integration and cohesion in shaping individual improvisation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1044-1053, July.
    2. Hoegl, Martin & Proserpio, Luigi, 2004. "Team member proximity and teamwork in innovative projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1153-1165, October.
    3. Wouter Dessein & Tano Santos, 2003. "The Demand for Coordination," NBER Working Papers 10056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chiang, Yun-Hwa & Shih, Hsi-An & Hsu, Chu-Chun, 2014. "High commitment work system, transactive memory system, and new product performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 631-640.
    5. Rau, Devaki, 2006. "Top management team transactive memory, information gathering, and perceptual accuracy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 416-424, April.
    6. Bonner, Bryan L. & Bolinger, Alexander R., 2013. "Separating the confident from the correct: Leveraging member knowledge in groups to improve decision making and performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 214-221.
    7. Simon Gaechter & Georg von Krogh & Stefan Haefliger, 2006. "Private-Collective Innovation and the Fragility of Knowledge Sharing," Discussion Papers 2006-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Paola Giuri & Matteo Ploner & Francesco Rullani & Salvatore Torrisi, 2009. "Skill, division of labor and performance in collective inventions: Evidence from open source software," KITeS Working Papers 017, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2009.
    9. Raouf Boucekkine & Patricia Crifo & Claudio Mattalia, 2008. "Technological Progress, Organizational Change and the Size of the Human Resources Department," Working Papers hal-00240715, HAL.
    10. Hoegl, Martin & Gibbert, Michael & Mazursky, David, 2008. "Financial constraints in innovation projects: When is less more?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1382-1391, September.
    11. Sidhu, Jatinder S. & Volberda, Henk W., 2011. "Coordination of globally distributed teams: A co-evolution perspective on offshoring," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 278-290, June.
    12. Lewis, Kyle & Belliveau, Maura & Herndon, Benjamin & Keller, Joshua, 2007. "Group cognition, membership change, and performance: Investigating the benefits and detriments of collective knowledge," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 159-178, July.
    13. Paola Giuri & Matteo Ploner & Francesco Rullani & Salvatore Torrisi, 2004. "Skills, Division of Labor and Performance in Collective Inventions. Evidence from the Open Source Software," LEM Papers Series 2004/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Jody Hoffer Gittell & Kim Cameron & Sandy Lim & Victor Rivas, 2005. "Relationships, Layoffs, and Organizational Resilience: Airline Industry Responses to September 11," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2005_06, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    15. Robert S. Huckman & Bradley R. Staats, 2008. "Variation in Experience and Team Familiarity: Addressing the Knowledge Acquisition-Application Problem," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-035, Harvard Business School.
    16. Gächter, Simon & von Krogh, Georg & Haefliger, Stefan, 2010. "Initiating private-collective innovation: The fragility of knowledge sharing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 893-906, September.
    17. Edoardo Mollona & Andrea Marcozzi, 2009. "Self-emerging coordination mechanisms for knowledge integration processes," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 8(2), pages 223-241, December.
    18. Bond, Brenda J. & Gittell, Jody Hoffer, 2010. "Cross-agency coordination of offender reentry: Testing collaboration outcomes," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 118-129, March.

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