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Collaboration time influences information-sharing at work

Collaboration time influences information-sharing at work PurposeDifferent lengths of collaboration with colleagues at work is a central feature of modern working life, and even more so in a work environment that is increasingly project focused and knowledge-intensive. Despite its practical importance, there is little research on how the perceived costs and benefits in an information-sharing dilemma might change depending on collaboration length. Based on a social dilemma framework, it is hypothesised that anticipated length of collaboration time will significantly influence the motivation to collaborate.Design/methodology/approachAn experimental scenario study (N = 87) compared the willingness to work collaboratively, share information and help the partner in a long-term (two academic terms) vs a short-term (one week) condition.FindingsAt first somewhat counter-intuitively, participants were more helpful in the short-term, and insisted more on equality and disengaged more from a defecting partner – but not the project – in the long-term condition. People appear to focus more on the immediate task in short-term collaborations – even at cost – because the outcome is more important than the relationship, and more on setting norms for equality and reciprocity in long-term collaborations to avoid future exploitation.Practical implicationsThe findings help understanding the motivation and the partner and task perception under different time conditions and support managing teams in an increasingly project-oriented work environment with changing partners and varying time frames.OriginalityTo the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper investigating the influence of anticipated collaboration time in information-sharing dilemmas. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Team Performance Management Emerald Publishing

Collaboration time influences information-sharing at work

Team Performance Management , Volume 24 (1/2): 15 – Mar 12, 2018

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References (48)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1352-7592
DOI
10.1108/TPM-10-2016-0043
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeDifferent lengths of collaboration with colleagues at work is a central feature of modern working life, and even more so in a work environment that is increasingly project focused and knowledge-intensive. Despite its practical importance, there is little research on how the perceived costs and benefits in an information-sharing dilemma might change depending on collaboration length. Based on a social dilemma framework, it is hypothesised that anticipated length of collaboration time will significantly influence the motivation to collaborate.Design/methodology/approachAn experimental scenario study (N = 87) compared the willingness to work collaboratively, share information and help the partner in a long-term (two academic terms) vs a short-term (one week) condition.FindingsAt first somewhat counter-intuitively, participants were more helpful in the short-term, and insisted more on equality and disengaged more from a defecting partner – but not the project – in the long-term condition. People appear to focus more on the immediate task in short-term collaborations – even at cost – because the outcome is more important than the relationship, and more on setting norms for equality and reciprocity in long-term collaborations to avoid future exploitation.Practical implicationsThe findings help understanding the motivation and the partner and task perception under different time conditions and support managing teams in an increasingly project-oriented work environment with changing partners and varying time frames.OriginalityTo the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper investigating the influence of anticipated collaboration time in information-sharing dilemmas.

Journal

Team Performance ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 12, 2018

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