Variation in Experience and Team Familiarity: Addressing the Knowledge Acquisition-Application Problem
AbstractPrior work in organizational learning has failed to find a consistent effect of variation in experience on performance. While some studies find a positive relationship between these two variables, others find no effect or even a negative relationship. In this paper, we suggest that the differences in prior findings may be due to the failure to separate the processes of knowledge acquisition and knowledge application. While variation in experience may permit the acquisition of valuable knowledge, additional mechanisms may be necessary to enable the subsequent application of that knowledge in a team setting. We hypothesize that team familiarity - prior experience working with team members - may be such a mechanism. We use detailed project- and individual-level data from an Indian software services firm to examine the effects of team familiarity and variation in market experience on multiple measures of performance for over 1,100 software development projects Consistent with prior work, we find mixed results for the effect of variation in experience on performance. We do, however, see evidence of a moderating effect of team familiarity on the relationship between these two variables. Our paper identifies one mechanism for uniting knowledge acquisition and knowledge application and provides insight into how the management of experience accumulation affects the development of organizational capabilities.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-035.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Experience; Knowledge; Software; Team Familiarity; Variation;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-KNM-2008-09-20 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-PPM-2008-09-20 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael A. Lapré & Nikos Tsikriktsis, 2006. "Organizational Learning Curves for Customer Dissatisfaction: Heterogeneity Across Airlines," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(3), pages 352-366, March.
- Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
- Ray Reagans & Linda Argote & Daria Brooks, 2005. "Individual Experience and Experience Working Together: Predicting Learning Rates from Knowing Who Knows What and Knowing How to Work Together," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(6), pages 869-881, June.
- Linda Argote & Bill McEvily & Ray Reagans, 2003. "Managing Knowledge in Organizations: An Integrative Framework and Review of Emerging Themes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 571-582, April.
- Littlepage, Glenn & Robison, William & Reddington, Kelly, 1997. "Effects of Task Experience and Group Experience on Group Performance, Member Ability, and Recognition of Expertise," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 133-147, February.
- Eelke Wiersma, 2007. "Conditions That Shape the Learning Curve: Factors That Increase the Ability and Opportunity to Learn," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(12), pages 1903-1915, December.
- Peter Thompson, 2007.
"How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Forget?,"
INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 908-918, June.
- John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
- Melissa A. Schilling & Patricia Vidal & Robert E. Ployhart & Alexandre Marangoni, 2003. "Learning by Doing Something Else: Variation, Relatedness, and the Learning Curve," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 39-56, January.
- anonymous, 1982. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(11), pages 1350-1351, November.
- Gary P. Pisano & Richard M.J. Bohmer & Amy C. Edmondson, 2001. "Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(6), pages 752-768, June.
- Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
- Wai Fong Boh & Sandra A. Slaughter & J. Alberto Espinosa, 2007. "Learning from Experience in Software Development: A Multilevel Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(8), pages 1315-1331, August.
- anonymous, 1982. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(3), pages 337-337, March.
- Gavin Sinclair & Steven Klepper & Wesley Cohen, 2000. "What's Experience Got to Do With It? Sources of Cost Reduction in a Large Specialty Chemicals Producer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 28-45, January.
- Samer Faraj & Lee Sproull, 2000. "Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1554-1568, December.
- Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, March.
- Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
- Jonathon N. Cummings, 2004. "Work Groups, Structural Diversity, and Knowledge Sharing in a Global Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 352-364, March.
- Argote, Linda & Ingram, Paul, 2000. "Knowledge Transfer: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 150-169, May.
- Marshall L. Fisher & Christopher D. Ittner, 1999. "The Impact of Product Variety on Automobile Assembly Operations: Empirical Evidence and Simulation Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(6), pages 771-786, June.
- John Paul MacDuffie & Kannan Sethuraman & Marshall L. Fisher, 1996. "Product Variety and Manufacturing Performance: Evidence from the International Automotive Assembly Plant Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(3), pages 350-369, March.
- Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
- Robert S. Huckman & Gary P. Pisano, 2006. "The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 473-488, April.
- Michael A. Lapré & Amit Shankar Mukherjee & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2000. "Behind the Learning Curve: Linking Learning Activities to Waste Reduction," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 597-611, May.
- C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Gruenfeld, Deborah H & Martorana, Paul V. & Fan, Elliott T., 2000. "What Do Groups Learn from Their Worldliest Members? Direct and Indirect Influence in Dynamic Teams," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 45-59, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.