Designing successful project teams has been receiving increasing attention in academia and practice. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of expertise diversity and task interdependence on project team effectiveness, considering individual autonomy as a moderator. This study conceptualizes four dimensions of project team effectiveness: project efficiency, project creativity, team satisfaction, and growth experience. In this study, expertise-domain diversity and expertise-level diversity are proposed as the two dimensions of expertise diversity. Theoretically, the social categorization and information/decision-making perspectives provide logical grounds to develop hypotheses on the various relationships between expertise diversity and project team effectiveness. The integrated theory of job design provides a basis for the independence between task interdependence and individual autonomy. The final sample, 274 individuals from 50 project teams, was collected from a large healthcare organization in the U.S. To quantify expertise diversity of each project team, this study used HR information of all members of the 50 project teams. Disciplines and Organizational positions were used to operationalize expertise-domain diversity and expertise-level diversity. On the baseis of a multilevel design, hHierarchical linear modeling was employed to test the hypotheses including quadratic relationships and multilevel moderation effects. Expertise-domain diversity was negatively related to project efficiency, project creativity, and team satisfaction. Expertise-level diversity was positively related to project efficiency and team satisfaction and not related to project creativity. Both expertise-domain diversity and expertise-level diversity were not significantly associated with growth experience. Task interdependence was positively related to team satisfaction and growth experience. In terms of moderation, individual autonomy negatively moderated the relationships between task interdependence and project team effectiveness, while it had no moderation effect on the relationships between expertise diversity and project team effectiveness. The finding of this study contributes to team diversity literature by empirically demonstrating the different effects of expertise diversity on project teams depending on its conceptualizations. Further, the significant interaction between task interdependence and individual autonomy implies that task interdependence benefits project teams when individual autonomy is low. Theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2020. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisors: Alexandre Ardichivili, Sehoon Kim. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 148 pages.
The Effects of Expertise Diversity and Task Interdependence on Project Team Effectiveness: The Moderating Role of Individual Autonomy.
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