Multilevel Social Dynamics Considerations for Project Management Decision Makers: Antecedents and Implications of Group Member Tie Development

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ABSTRACT

Successful projects represent the effective culmination of management skills, planning, and individual project member strengths. In operations management, such strengths are often viewed predominantly from the perspective of skill base. However, it has become increasingly evident that behavioral traits associated with individuals play a very significant, if not ultimately dominating, role in the effectiveness of certain group projects. Our aim in this study is to look into how certain individual attributes viewed as relevant to these project contexts may lead to social networking decisions that have impacts spanning multiple levels of analysis. Such insights are likely to prove valuable to decision makers managing project teams as well. We employ a controlled 4-month investigation of multiple projects, for which we are able to consider both objective, and subjective pre-, in situ, and postproject data. Our results demonstrate that the issues of perceived control, confidence, and conscientiousness are relevant not only in driving individual perceptions of the value of within-group interactions, and hence the development of associated ties, but are also ultimately relevant in helping to drive higher levels of group performance.

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