The role of star performers in software design teams

Judith Volmer (Department of Psychology, Social Psychology Group, University of Erlangen, Nuremberg, Germany)
Sabine Sonnentag (Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 29 March 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to extend previous research on experts with mainly ad‐hoc groups from laboratory research to a field setting. Specifically, this study aims to investigate experts' relative importance in team performance. Expertise is differentiated into two categories (task functions and team functions) and the paper aims to investigate whether experts in task and team functions predict team performance over and above the team's average expertise level.

Design/methodology/approach

Longitudinal, multi‐source data from 96 professional software design engineers were used by means of hierarchical regression analyses.

Findings

The results show that both expert members in task functions (i.e. behavior that aids directly in the completion of work‐related activities) and the experts in team functions (i.e. facilitation of interpersonal interaction necessary to work together as a team) positively predicted team performance 12 months later over and above the team's average expertise level.

Research limitations/implications

Samples from other industry types are needed to examine the generalizability of the study findings to other occupational groups.

Practical implications

For staffing, the findings suggest that experts are particularly important for the prediction of team performance. Organizations should invest effort into finding “star performers” in task and team functions in order to create effective teams.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on the relationship between experts (in task functions and team functions) and team performance. It extends prior research on team composition and complements expertise research: similar to cognitive ability and personality, it is important to take into account member expertise when examining how to manage the people mix within teams. Benefits of expertise are not restricted to laboratory research but are broadened to real‐world team settings.

Keywords

Citation

Volmer, J. and Sonnentag, S. (2011), "The role of star performers in software design teams", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 219-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683941111112659

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.