Management Google Essay
However, such knowledge processing can be complicated by increasing cultural diversity. Recent studies have suggested that a group?s diversity attitudes may increase group outcomes. In this study, based on a sample consisting of 489 members of multicultural academic departments, we set out to investigate the relationship between openness to diversity (linguistic, social category, value, and informational) and group knowledge processing (knowledge location. Knowledge needed, bring knowledge to bear, and personal knowledge).
We found openness to linguistic and informational diversity to have positive associations with all group knowledge processing variables. Openness to value diversity was positively associated with most group knowledge processing variables, while openness to social category diversity only had a positive effect on personal knowledge. ; 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Introduction In the knowledge-based economy organizations have come to rely increasingly on intangible resources (ёsteelyard, Attainment, & Christianson, 2011; Tech, Passion, & Sheen, 1997).
In consequence, an organization?s knowledge base, in the form of human capital, has become even more important for Its performance. Add to this, the capability to locate, share, and use the group?s knowledge Is an Important source of competitive advantage (Toasts & Monologues, 2004). In this regard, it has been argued that employee diversity could
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Tell. : +45 8948 66 88; fax: +45 89 48 61 25. E-mail address: clamberers. Dc 0. Seller). Dreg & West, 2001; van Innkeeper et al. 2004). This conception is supported by social network theories arguing that unique knowledge sources can be more valuable than those shared by everyone (Burt, 2004; Grandmother, 1973). Also, it has been argued that the extent to which the group includes conflicting perspectives increases its members? ability to resist pressure for conformity (Cummings, 2004; Moment, 1986).
Finally, if individuals in a group use a variety of perspectives it may lead to conceptual differentiation and more divergent thinking groups (De Dreg & West, 2001; Greenfield, Thomas-Hunt, & Kim, 1998). Consequently, there could be some value in diverse teams for organizations dealing with knowledge as an important organizational asset. Nonetheless, a number of studies suggest that the existence of diversity in itself may not be sufficient for ensuring that existing knowledge resources are utilized Neon, Neal, 0263-2373/$ – see front matter a 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
All rights reserved. Http:// DXL. Did. Rover. 1016/J. Meg. 2012. 03. 016 Diversity attitudes and group knowledge processing in multicultural organizations & Northeast, 1999; Mitchell, Nicholas, & Bayle, 2009; Starters & Titus, 2003). This is particularly true when speaking of multicultural organizations where value-related, behavioral, and linguistic variations could function as barriers for locating and sharing new insights and perspective (Humpback, Davison, Snell, & Snow, 1998; Von Ogling, Shapiro, & Brett, 2004).
Some studies, however, indicate that barriers to positive group outcomes may be overcome if the group?s internal attitudes to its heterogeneity is favorable (Hofmann, Podia, & Gallon’s, 2004, 2007, 2008; Shirtwaists & Gregory, 2009; Strauss, Sawyer, & Joke, 2008). Fusspot, Hearted, and Hearted (2004) monstrance that diverse groups had higher decision effectiveness when showing positive diversity attitudes. Similarly, Watson, Kumar, and Michaels (1993) found that heterogeneous groups performed better when openness to diversity was high.
Finally, Caber and Caber (2002) argue that a good atmosphere among team members is necessary during group knowledge processing. As a response to recent calls for research to understand the role of group member attitudes regarding diversity and, in particular, to understand factors facilitating agricultural management (Hofmann et al. , 2004, 2008; Richard, Barnett, Dwyer, & Chadwick, 2004), e set out to examine the effect of diversity attitudes on group knowledge processing in multicultural organizations. Several scholars have expressed a need for more research on the link between diversity and knowledge processing.
More specifically, Cummings (2004) calls for new studies on what types of diversity influence the value of knowledge sharing. Van Innkeeper, De Dreg, and Human (2004) argue that research has paid insufficient attention to group knowledge processing and especially to potential moderators affecting the connection between group diversity and information elaboration. We assist in this task by studying the effect of openness to linguistic, social category, value, and informational diversity on different dimensions of group knowledge processing.
This is a relevant and important scarce and in an increasingly globalizes world more knowledge in this area is needed (e. G. Stall, Magazines, Voice, & Jensen, 2010). Secondly, while knowledge sharing is argued to be extremely important for the success of today?s organizations, only relatively few studies have dealt with this topic (Caber, Collins, & Salad, 2006; Mitchell et al. , 2009; Un & Curve-Caesura, 2004). Thirdly, examining the effect of openness to different types of diversity on group knowledge processing behavior could provide important guidelines for organizational managers in order for them to prioritize their effort.
Accordingly, the research question guiding the study is: What is more important in regard to group knowledge processing – openness to communicative diversity (linguistic), openness to surface-level diversity (social category), or openness to deep-level diversity (value, information)? In this study we have focused on universities as multicultural organizations because they are sousing increasingly on recruiting and retaining international staff (Latch, 2005; Marquee & Marquee, 1999).
This development is driven by the emergence of an international academic labor market, international faculty mobility, and growing numbers of international students (Kappa, Austin, & Trice, 125 2007; Misbehaving & Rouser, 2010; Van De Bunt-Oshkosh, 2000). Some studies, however, have shown that attitudes towards international members of the academic staff are not always open and appreciative (Cashbook, 2007; Wells, Sifter, Park, Reed, & Ambush, 2007). This may well affect the faculty group?s ability to processes knowledge.
It has been argued that group members turn to their colleagues for guidance and support, so that work groups become small, informal problem-solving social systems. Such networks of colleague-to-colleague consultation and advice are the primary macrostructure elements facilitating a satisfactory and accepting environment (Letdown & Louis, 1998). In other words, the attitudes towards group members? dissimilarities could have important implications for academics? abilities to collaborate and share knowledge.
Conceptualizations Scholars have focused intensively on how heterogeneous work groups can generate knowledge beyond the reach of their individual members Neon et al. , 1999). The idea is that interaction among group members in diverse settings can lead to the emergence of new insights through conceptual restructuring of perspectives within the social unit but that categorization mechanisms may hamper positive outcomes (van Dick, van Innkeeper, Haggle, Gallinule,& ” Brokered, 2008; van Innkeeper et al. , 2004).
Two theories can inform thinking in this area: (1) the Social Categorization Theory (ACTS) (Teasel & Turner, 1979) and (2) the Information and Decision-making Perspective (DIP) on diversity (Williams & O?Reilly, 1998). It has been argued that work groups often fail to use the group?s knowledge resources due to processes of over-selecting individuals that are similar to themselves or from the same social network Jackson, May, & Whitney, 1995). Put differently, by virtue of social Wormhole, 1966), group membership provides a basis by which individuals can distinguish the in-group from out-groups.
Moreover, when focusing on specific group characteristics, individuals confirm their membership by showing favoritism to members of their own social category. It has been argued that individuals are more keel to differentiate themselves from others based on surface-level traits (age, gender, race) compared to deep-level characteristics (skills, values, information) Jackson et al. , 1991). Surface-level group heterogeneity are overt, biological attributes that are immediately observable and provide a strong basis for social categorization Jackson, Stone, & Olivarez, 1993; Attainment, 2000).
Peeled (1996) suggested that surface-level heterogeneity is less related to a group task and therefore less relevant to group functioning and work outcomes. In line with this argument, observable preferences are often argued to be associated with negative consequences for group functioning leading to stereotypes and prejudice (Milliken & Martins, 1996; Van De Even, Rogers, Beachwear, & Sun, 2008). While ACTS was mainly developed to explain the effects of surface-level diversity (Chatham & O?Reilly, 2004), the DIP is mainly concerned with deep-level aspects of human dissimilarities (Human et al. 2008). Characteristics of 126 deep-level heterogeneity are differences that are not immediately observable and must therefore be discovered through registration of verbal and nonverbal behavioral patterns. In consequence, this type of diversity can mainly be registered through extended interaction (Harrison, Price, Gavin, & Floret, 2002). Deep-level diversity comprises variations among group members? skills, values, and information (Larson, 2007; Mitchell et al. , 2009; Tyranny & Gibson, 2008).
As such, the DIP draws on the notion that the inclusion of diverse perspectives can enhance group creativity, decommissioning, and problem solving (Page, 2007; Triads, Hall, & Owen, 1965). However, in order to yield benefits associated with diversity, heterogeneous groups just be effectively integrated into work units (van Innkeeper & Chippers, 2007). This entails the removal of barriers that block employees from using their full range of skills (Robertson, 2006). J. Lairing,J.
Seller Group knowledge processing The knowledge necessary for work-group performance can be tacit (Poland, 1997), codified (Gout & Gander, 1992), or embedded in routines (Nelson & Winter, 1982). But knowledge is of little use if it is not located, shared, and used. This is particularly important in work places where tasks require the handling of vast amounts of complex information, as we see it in academic departments (CB. Wheelwright & Clark, 1992). Interestingly, knowledge is an asset that increases with use because new ideas often seem to breed more new ideas.
Hence, group knowledge processing has been argued to be Just as important as knowledge creation (Puck, Orgy, & Kittle, 2006). In this article, following Farad and Sprouts (2000), we conceptualize group knowledge processing as knowledge location, knowledge needed, bring knowledge to bear, and information. Knowledge location refers to the extent to which group members know where internal group knowledge resources are located. This search occurs in the initial phase of the development of collective cognition (Gibson, 2001).
In this relation, the variety of team-member perspectives directly influences the amount of information available to a team (Dahlia, Weinberg, & Hinds, 2005). Organizations where individuals generally know where knowledge is located have been argued to have better performance (Becker, 2001; Abrogate & Cross, 2003). The knowledge needed is defined as the information necessary for carrying out the organization?s objectives (Gout & Gander, 1992). Having available the knowledge resources sufficient to achieve the organization?s objectives is argued to be crucial for organizational success (Argots, Ingram, & Levine, 2000).
To bring knowledge to bear to a problem or task in a timely manner is necessary for the known, needed knowledge to create value (Farad & Sprouts, 2000). The actual use of knowledge is a key determinant of performance on many tasks because effective decisions regarding complex, multifaceted problems require the consideration of multiple perspectives (Dahlia et al. , 2005). Finally, personal knowledge refers to informal information about non-work issues. This type of knowledge is typically developed in interaction between individuals with a close social connection (Levin & Cross, 2004; Monika, 1994).
Openness to diversity A number of scholars have argued that diversity attitudes vary between individuals (e. G. Strauss et al. , 2008), groups (e. G. Hofmann et al. , 2004), or organizations (e. G. Ely & Thomas, 2001; Moor-Bark, Cheering, & Bergman, 1998). We examine diversity attitudes in the form of openness to diversity which can be described as an awareness and acceptance of both similarities and differences that exist among people (Sawyer, Strauss, & Yang, 2005; Shirtwaists & Gregory, 2009).
Individuals, groups, or organizations that are open to diversity respect the views of those who are different and include all group members in work-place activities, regardless of their demographic characteristics. We use Jean?s (1999) distinction between social category diversity, value diversity, and informational diversity. To this we add linguistic diversity as an essentially overlooked variable in diversity research Onset, Magazines, & Schneider, 2011). Each of these different kinds of heterogeneity implies different challenges and opportunities and may therefore affect groups? abilities to process knowledge differently (CB.
Peeled, 1996). Linguistic diversity represents the communicative dimension of dissimilarity, which is often ignored in diversity studies Chosen et al. , 2011). When individuals are open to linguistic diversity, they are accepting of each other?s varying language proficiency, vocabulary, and accents (Lairing & Seller, 2012). Social category diversity is representative of the surface level of demographic heterogeneity (Harrison, Price, & Bell, 1998). When individuals are open to social category diversity, they show no discriminatory attitudes towards those who look different, e. G. E of a different gender, race, or age group. Value diversity, on the other hand, is a deep-level type of diversity (Tyranny & Gibson, 2008). Openness to other individuals? different values is tolerance for differences in opinions, world view, and cultural behaviors. Finally, knowledge that are often described as the true value of diversity (Ely & Thomas, 2001). When individuals show openness to informational diversity, they are inclusive of different types of information available within the group (Human, van Innkeeper, Van Sleek, & De Dreg, 2007). Hypotheses Openness to linguistic diversity
Linguistic diversity is likely to play an important role in knowledge-sharing behavior in multicultural settings (Lairing, 2008; Pickier, Vary, Tinnier, & Saints, 2005). The association between linguistic diversity and knowledge processing can be understood in the context of knowledge as being developed through interactions between individuals. It has been argued that learning is situated and thus reflects the social context of the learner (Lave & Winger, 1991). Therefore, through continuous interaction and exposure to individuals speaking the same languages, individuals may develop similar cognitive trustees (CB.
Wittgenstein, 1996). This could result in similar conceptualization and perspectives, which may extend to Job-related issues as well. In this regard, Marksman-Pickier, Welch, and Welch (1999) show that individuals often group along language boundaries in multinational organizations, and that language differences may explain why some organization members are isolated from important knowledge exchanges and therefore may not be able locate each other?s knowledge and may not know each other well personally.
Similarly, Ma” keel, Koala, and Pickier (2007) monster how language ” dissimilarity can be a driver of asymmetrical knowledgeableness patterns in multicultural organizations. Language differences have been argued to impede group processes due to (1) inadequate language skills and (2) group-based barriers (Henderson, 2005). Negative attitudes in understanding dissimilar group members? different language use make it harder to establish a common frame of reference necessary for sharing knowledge (Zinger & Lawrence, 1989).
Consequently, individuals may have a limited knowledge of ¶who knows what? due to less rich communication and thus they cannot locate the needed knowledge. Due to language insufficiencies, they might also refrain from small talk providing important personal knowledge (Legislators & Anderson, 2003). As a second barrier, language can ” be associated with group formation (Giles, Boorish, & Taylor, 1977; Giles & Byrne, 1982; Teasel, 1982). In this regard, linguistic similarities are associated with group trust which could affect the willingness to use others? knowledge and bring it to bear on a problem (Lairing, 2009).
Lists and Curry (2006) found that academics in non-English-speaking countries made great use of resigned with better English language skills in writing academic articles. Similarly, Misbehaving (2011) argued that foreign-born faculty members, with their diverse language backgrounds, can be instrumental in serving increasingly diverse student populations. Hence, in the case of university settings, openness to linguistic diversity may allow the group to bring needed knowledge resources to bear.
Abrogate and behavior in connection to (1) knowing what another person knows, (2) valuing what that other person knows in relation to one?s work, and (3) being able to gain timely access to that person?s thinking. If group members do not interact due to lacking tolerance of different speech patterns, individuals would not be able to identify the needed knowledge that different group members may hold. Accordingly, language- based group formations may lead individuals to abstain from sharing knowledge with other speech communities, and consequently needed explicit, tacit, or personal knowledge will not be located or brought to bear.
In other words, a group that generally holds attitudes that are open and tolerant to members? variations in spoken languages could more easily achieve the common assumptions and interaction patterns that are necessary for locating, sharing, and using knowledge. This leads to the following hypotheses: Hypothesis la. A group?s openness to linguistic diversity is positively associated with knowledge location. 127 Hypothesis 1 b. A group?s openness to linguistic diversity is positively associated with knowledge needed. Hypothesis LLC. A group?s openness to linguistic diversity is positively associated with bringing knowledge to bear.
Hypothesis old. A group?s openness to linguistic diversity is positively associated with personal knowledge. Openness to social category diversity Social category diversity refers to variance in visible or surface characteristics such as race, gender, and age (Cox, 1994; Harrison et al. , 1998). Social category diversity has been argued to have negative consequences for group functioning (Milliken & Martins, 1996; Human et al. , 2008). This is mainly because visible traits are used as objects of social categorization (Breaker, 2002; Tyranny & Gibson, 2008) leading to reduced interrupt interaction (Milliken & Martins, 1996; Van De Even et al. 2008; Zinger & Lawrence, 1989). Levin and Cross (2004) show that individuals that do not Penn much time interacting, will have reduced knowledge sharing and therefore may not locate needed knowledge or bring knowledge to bear. Dougherty (1992) also found empirical support for more frequent interaction leading to a better understanding of others? knowledge. The knowledge location could also be reduced as a result of less frequent interaction in a diverse group holding less positive attitudes towards dissimilar members Monsoons & Elderly, 2005; Levin & Cross, 2004).
Finally, frequent interaction is argued to be especially effective in sharing knowledge that has tacit or personal components (Monika, 1994; Slaking, 1996). In consequence, openness to visibly dissimilar group members could increase interaction and subsequently the sharing of knowledge. Hofmann et al. (2004) found low openness to social category dissimilarity to cause decreased group involvement in health-care teams. In consequence, attitudes that foster openness to social category diversity could overcome barriers to interaction that have been recognized as impeding the location, sharing, and using of knowledge.
Accordingly, we hypothesize: Hypothesis AAA. A group?s openness to social category diversity is social category diversity is positively associated with knowledge needed. Hypothesis c. A group?s openness to social category diversity is positively associated with bringing knowledge to bear. Hypothesis d. A group?s openness to social category diversity is positively associated with personal knowledge. Openness to value diversity Openness to value diversity relates to the way in which individuals approach the different beliefs, perspectives, and behaviors among group members.
Value similarities are 128 known to be positively associated with social attraction (McGrath, 1984) and group-member interaction (Tuba & Kelley, 1959). Group members holding similar ales will most often also have more frequent and deeper communication which could reduce conflicts and increase their personal knowledge about each other (Thus & O?Reilly, 1989). On the other hand, when group members do not all subscribe to the same values they are likely to report a less pleasant internal climate and experience greater communication difficulties than in homogeneous groups (Fiddler, 1966).
Openness to other group members? conflicting perspectives impacts positively on the group?s ability to resist pressures to conform to dominant positions (Mitchell et al. , 2009). Moreover, discussions taken from different points of view facilitate divergent thinking and the interpretation of codified knowledge from different perspectives, which is linked to the generation of ideas that could provide new needed knowledge (Brown & Dug, 2001; Dustman & Needle, 1978).
Furthermore, openness to peer-group members? different values and perspectives can lead to development of alternative solutions to problems which are known to limit biases in information seeking and thereby improve location of knowledge and subsequently bring it to bear on a problem Anis, 1982; Schemes, 1986). Hence, a group that is accepting of its internal value heterogeneity will be more likely to share knowledge. This leads to our hypothesizing: Hypothesis AAA. A group?s openness to value diversity is positively associated with knowledge location. Hypothesis b.
A group?s openness to value diversity is positively associated with knowledge needed. J. Lairing, J. Seller knowledge. However, group members? differences in professional backgrounds and skills are generally argued to have a negative effect on the willingness to share knowledge. This has been explained by Gonne and Hastiest 1993) by what has been termed the common knowledge effect. Gonne and Hastiest found that groups tended to focus on already shared information when making decisions. Information held by more members before a group discussion had greater influence on decisions than information held by fewer members.
This effect could cause unique, but important, pieces of information to be ignored or not even presented during discussions and therefore not be located or brought to bear in a group. In line with the common knowledge effect, more recent studies on the impact of interaction in groups suggest that the allocation of individuals with different knowledge resources does not promote knowledge sharing if the group climate is van Innkeeper et al. , 2004). Hence, we present the following hypotheses: Hypothesis AAA. A group?s openness to informational diversity is positively associated with knowledge location.
Hypothesis b. A group?s openness to informational diversity is positively associated with knowledge needed. Hypothesis c. A group?s openness to informational diversity is positively associated with bringing knowledge to bear. Hypothesis d. A group?s openness to informational diversity is positively associated with personal knowledge. Method Hypothesis c. A group?s openness to value diversity is positively associated with bringing knowledge to bear. Hypothesis d. A group?s openness to value diversity is positively associated with personal knowledge.
Target population and collection of data The data was extracted from a larger investigation aimed at academics of science departments. In the larger study, a data base of e-mail addresses of academics in science departments in three large universities in Denmark was constructed. Totally, 16 departments were targeted. The data was collected electronically and a immemorial web-survey software package was used to administer the questionnaire. Totally, 1022 academics were invited to participate in the survey and eventually, 489 responses were received amounting to a response rate of 47. %. Openness to informational diversity Diversity in an organization?s knowledge base increases its ability to exploit internal and external knowledge resources. Hence, difference in information is an important source of deep-level diversity, as it reflects differences in personal knowledge and cognitive decision schemas which are not immediately salient to other people. These differences generally do not become apparent when team members first meet each other but emerge over time (Harrison et al. , 2002).
It has been argued that the application of knowledge is facilitated when team members possess substantial and unique needed knowledge, know where it is located, and when informational differences are in line with initial expectations of team members. (Phillips, Manning, Neal, & Greenfield, 2004; Rink & Lemurs, 2010). For example, in a university setting, foreign born academics could provide international expertise, enhance scientific innovation, and raise the awareness of the global context in post-secondary educational institutions (De Wit, 2002; Storerooms, 2007).
Hence, they could be a source of needed Sample background Table 1 reveals that most academics were Danish citizens (62. 9%), but a substantial minority was foreign nationals (37. 1%), where respondents from non-E countries made up 16. 7%, and academics from other EX. countries than Denmark represented 20. 4% of the sample. The number of respondents from each department ranged from 9 to 54, and the share of foreign national respondents from each department (8 of a total of 14). Accordingly, each of the investigated departments had a culturally heterogeneous organizational context.