Author: Ling, Chuding
Title: An investigation of the antecedents and consequences of team members' external learning : a bottom-up model
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2019
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Teams in the workplace
Organizational effectiveness
Department: Department of Management and Marketing
Pages: xi, 174 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: External learning is an increasingly prevalent activity engaged in by the members of teams that has important implications for team and organizational effectiveness. Despite this prevalence and importance, limited studies have been conducted examining the social structural factors that lead to individual task versus contextual learning along with how the team-level performance implications emerge after individual team members engage in task versus contextual learning. To address these research questions, I conduct three studies. In Study 1, I draw upon social network theory and investigate why and when individuals engage in task versus contextual learning. Specifically, I propose and establish that the density of an individual's external network is positively related to the individual's task learning, while the betweenness centrality of an individual in his/her external network is positively associated with the individual's contextual learning. I further argue and find that the individual's knowledge depth strengthens the positive association between density and task learning. In contrast, I propose and reveal that an individual's knowledge breadth magnifies the positive relationship between betweenness centrality and contextual learning. In Study 2 and Study 3, I draw upon the framework of team receptivity to personnel movement and investigate how and when the different types of knowledge acquired by a team member's task versus contextual learning are disseminated within teams and further integrated into team performance. On top of this theoretical framework, I develop a multilevel conceptual model that uncovers the presumed processes underlying the relationships between individual team member's different forms of external learning and team performance. More specifically, I propose and find that Member A's task learning is positively and indirectly associated with Member B's task knowledge utilization through Member A's task knowledge sharing, while Member A's contextual learning is positively and indirectly related to Member B's team work reflexivity through Member A's contextual knowledge sharing. Furthermore, I argue and find that a higher density of task knowledge utilization and/or team work reflexivity among team members contributes to a better team performance. Lastly, based upon the team receptivity framework and associated empirical research, I introduce team performance pressure as a theory-relevant moderator which strengthens the linkages between task learning, task knowledge sharing, and task knowledge utilization. The findings from the three studies primarily suggest that task learning and contextual learning differ in terms of both their antecedents and consequences. The implications of this dissertation for theory and practice are also discussed.
Access: open access

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/10264