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Individual Centrality and Performance in Virtual R& D Groups: An Empirical Study


Author Info

  • Manju K. Ahuja

    (Kelley School of Business, Information Systems Department, Indiana University, 1309 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405)

  • Dennis F. Galletta

    (Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260)

  • Kathleen M. Carley

    (Department of Social & Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, 208 Porter Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)

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    Communication technologies support virtual R&D groups by enabling immediate and frequent interaction of their geographically-distributed members. Performance of members in such groups has yet to be studied longitudinally. A model proposes not only direct effects of functional role, status, and communication role on individual performance, but also indirect effects through individual centrality. Social network analysis was performed on e-mail samples from two time periods separated by four years. Analysis revealed both direct and indirect effects as hypothesized; however, the indirect effects were more consistent in both time periods. The clearest findings were that centrality mediates the effects of functional role, status, and communication role on individual performance. Interestingly, centrality was a stronger direct predictor of performance than the individual characteristics considered in this study. The study illustrates the usefulness of accounting for network effects for better understanding individual performance in virtual groups.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 21-38

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:1:p:21-38

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    Keywords: field study; path analysis; social science; hierarchy of authority; is project teams; electronic mail; social network analysis; centrality; roles; individual performance;


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    Cited by:
    1. Nader Ale Ebrahim & Shamsuddin Ahmed & Zahari Taha, 2009. "Virtual Teams for New Product Development: An Innovative Experience for R&D Engineers," Post-Print hal-00593361, HAL.
    2. Nader Ale Ebrahim & Shamsuddin Ahmed & Zahari Taha, 2009. "Modified Stage-Gate: A Conceptual Model of Virtual Product Development Process," Post-Print hal-00593359, HAL.
    3. Teigland, Robin & Wasko, Molly, 2009. "Knowledge transfer in MNCs: Examining how intrinsic motivations and knowledge sourcing impact individual centrality and performance," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 15-31, March.
    4. Ale Ebrahim, Nader & Ahmed, Shamsuddin & Taha, Zahari, 2008. "Virtual teams: A literature review," MPRA Paper 27001, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2009.
    5. Walter, Jorge & Lechner, Christoph & Kellermanns, Franz W., 2007. "Knowledge transfer between and within alliance partners: Private versus collective benefits of social capital," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 698-710, July.
    6. Shafia, Mohammad Ali & Ale Ebrahim, Nader & Ahmed, Shamsuddin & Taha, Zahari, 2009. "Consideration of the virtual team work and disabled citizens, as promising opportunity providers for the e government infrastructure's formation," MPRA Paper 27265, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2009.
    7. Ale Ebrahim, Nader & Ahmed, Shamsuddin & Taha, Zahari, 2008. "Dealing with Virtual R&D Teams in New Product Development," MPRA Paper 27120, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2008.
    8. Michael Haenlein, 2011. "A social network analysis of customer-level revenue distribution," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 15-29, March.
    9. Ale Ebrahim, Nader & Ahmed, Shamsuddin & Taha, Zahari, 2010. "SMEs; Virtual research and development (R&D) teams and new product development: A literature review," MPRA Paper 26989, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jun 2010.


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