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Distribution of Knowledge, Group Network Structure, and Group Performance

Author

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  • Diane L. Rulke

    () (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey TW20 OEX, United Kingdom)

  • Joseph Galaskiewicz

    (Department of Sociology and Curtis L. Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455)

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of knowledge distribution and group structure on performance in MBA game teams. We found that group performance was contingent on the distribution of knowledge within the group and networks of social relationships among group members. Studying 39 teams of MBA students in two management simulation games, we found that, in general, groups that had broadly distributed knowledge, i.e., groups made up of members who had general knowledge, outperformed groups that had knowledge concentrated in different members, i.e., groups made up of members who had specialized or both specialized and general knowledge. However, the advantage that the former enjoyed over the latter disappeared when groups of specialists or mixed groups had decentralized network structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Diane L. Rulke & Joseph Galaskiewicz, 2000. "Distribution of Knowledge, Group Network Structure, and Group Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 612-625, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:5:p:612-625
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.5.612.12052
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    Cited by:

    1. Zheng, Sijing & Zeng, Xiaohua & Zhang, Cheng, 2016. "The effects of role variety and ability disparity on virtual group performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3468-3477.
    2. Stephen P. Borgatti & Rob Cross, 2003. "A Relational View of Information Seeking and Learning in Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 432-445, April.
    3. Christophe Boone & Walter Hendriks, 2009. "Top Management Team Diversity and Firm Performance: Moderators of Functional-Background and Locus-of-Control Diversity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(2), pages 165-180, February.
    4. Samuel D. Bond & Kurt A. Carlson & Ralph L. Keeney, 2008. "Generating Objectives: Can Decision Makers Articulate What They Want?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 56-70, January.
    5. Zhen Wang & Dean Tjosvold & Yi-feng Chen & Zhengxue Luo, 2014. "Cooperative goals and team performance: Examining the effects of advice network," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 835-852, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Dekker, D.J. & Stokman, F. & Franses, Ph.H.B.F., 2000. "Broker Positions in Task-Specific Knowledge Networks," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2000-37-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    8. Tine Buyl & Christophe Boone & Walter Hendriks & Paul Matthyssens, 2011. "Top Management Team Functional Diversity and Firm Performance: The Moderating Role of CEO Characteristics," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 151-177, January.
    9. Zvi Stern & Tal Katz-Navon & Eitan Naveh, 2008. "The Influence of Situational Learning Orientation, Autonomy, and Voice on Error Making: The Case of Resident Physicians," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(9), pages 1553-1564, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Dominik Doll & Eberhard Feess & Alwine Mohnen, 2017. "Ability, Team Composition, and Moral Hazard: Evidence from the Laboratory," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 18(1), pages 49-70, February.
    12. John P. Lightle & John H. Kagel & Hal R. Arkes, 2009. "Information Exchange in Group Decision Making: The Hidden Profile Problem Reconsidered," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 568-581, April.
    13. Joana Almodovar & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2014. "Assessing the Importance of Local Supporting Organizations in the Automotive Industry: A Hybrid Dynamic Framework of Innovation Networks," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 841-865, April.
    14. Boh, Wai Fong & Evaristo, Roberto & Ouderkirk, Andrew, 2014. "Balancing breadth and depth of expertise for innovation: A 3M story," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 349-366.
    15. Sung-Choon Kang & Scott A. Snell, 2009. "Intellectual Capital Architectures and Ambidextrous Learning: A Framework for Human Resource Management," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 65-92, January.
    16. Wang, Long & Keith Murnighan, J., 2013. "The generalist bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 47-61.
    17. 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.
    18. Daniel Ladley & Ian Wilkinson & Louise Young, 2013. "The Evolution Of Cooperation In Business: Individual Vs. Group Incentives," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    19. Jorge Colazo, 2016. "A Cognitive Load View And Empirical Test Of Collaboration Network Structure Versus Learning Rates In New Software Development," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(01), pages 1-28, January.
    20. Melero, Eduardo & Palomeras, Neus, 2015. "The Renaissance Man is not dead! The role of generalists in teams of inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 154-167.

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    Keywords

    small groups; networks; group knowledge;

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