Individual Centrality and Performance in Virtual R& D Groups: An Empirical Study
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.
Volume (Year): 49 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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