Interpersonal networks in multiteam systems: differential impact of levels and states
Doty, Daniel A.
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Multiteam systems (MTSs), defined as two or more interdependent teams working towards both proximal team goals and at least one shared goal, are prevalent in modern organizations. Prior research has shown that MTS effectiveness is a function of the quality of both the processes occurring within each component team and between the teams in the system (Marks, DeChurch, Mathieu, Panzer, & Alonso, 2005; DeChurch & Marks, 2006). The critical drivers of both team and MTS effectiveness include behavioral processes (explicit actions directed towards others; e.g., communication), cognitive states (knowledge or perceptions; e.g., transactive memory), and affective states (emotions or mood; e.g., stress) emerging from the shared experiences of the members of the team (Cohen & Bailey, 1997; Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001; Mathieu, Marks, & Zaccaro, 2001). While these phenomena exist both within and between teams, prior research has shown that such processes and states cannot be assumed equivalent across these levels (DeChurch & Zaccaro, 2010). Further complicating these relationships, these processes and states are expected to impact the relationships that other phenomena have on performance in addition to their expected direct effects (Ilgen, Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt, 2005). With this, the purpose of this thesis is to study the relationships between process, cognitive and affective states, and performance as each exists within and between teams. Central to this purpose is examining the effects of cognitive and affective states on the relationship between process and performance. These relationships were tested using a laboratory sample of six-person MTSs (N = 118, n = 708) performing an action- and information sharing-oriented task. Utilizing network analysis, the direct and conditional impact of behavioral process (i.e., communication), cognitive states (i.e., advice relationships), and affective states (i.e., hindrance relationships) within and between teams were captured. It was found that the impact of between-team communication on MTS performance was moderated by between-team advice relationships and the impact of within-team communication on team performance was moderated by within-team hindrance relationships. Together, these findings suggest a need to consider the effects of within- and between-team processes on performance as having different conditional relationships with co-occurring states.