Multilevel knowledge and team performance

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


We examined team performance as it was affected by organizationally supported face-to-face and technology-mediated knowledge practices. Guided by an information processing perspective, we demonstrate from a field study of over 250 teams within a global Fortune 100 technology company that team member participation in face-to-face and technology-mediated knowledge practices (e.g., community of practice (CoP) meeting attendance and use of CoP-related technologies, respectively), and team knowledge sharing practices are positively related to individual team member knowledge. We predicted that absorptive capacity would moderate tacit knowledge relationships with team performance, and that transactive memory would moderate explicit knowledge relationships with team performance. We found that the patterns of relationships differed depending on the measure of team performance. The predictions held for absorptive capacity by tacit knowledge on manager-assessed performance, and for transactive memory by explicit knowledge on customer satisfaction. Additionally, there was a significant direct effect, with no moderation, of tacit knowledge on customer satisfaction. We highlight multilevel modeling for team research and argue for joint consideration of organizational and technology practices.