Purpose – This research seeks to investigate the relationship between knowledge diversity (KD) in software teams and project performance. Previous research has shown that member diversity affects team performance; most of that work, however, has focused on diversity in personal or social attributes, such as gender or social category. Current research targets at the knowledge level aim to facilitate the implementation of knowledge management in organizations. Design/methodology/approach – A research framework was developed based on conflict theory and empirically tested on software teams in Taiwan. Findings – It was found that KD increases task conflict, which in turn has significant positive effects on team performance and that value diversity (VD) increases relationship conflict, which in turn negatively affects team performance. Research limitations/implications – The findings indicate that task conflict can enhance team performance, while relationship conflict can reduce team performance. Therefore, it is important to maintain healthy relationships among team members. Practical implications – This research concludes that KD is beneficial and that VD is harmful to project outcome in software development. It is, therefore, useful for managers to form teams whose members encompass a broad knowledge base. Originality/value – This paper proposes a novel way to measure knowledge and VD in teams and reports the effects of these attributes on team performance. The work also shows that a proper level of task conflict in a software team is necessary for achieving high performance.
Industrial Management & Data Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 29, 2007
Keywords: Knowledge management; Value analysis; Conflict; Software engineering
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