This paper aims to test the influence of external information search (EIS) on knowledge elaboration and group cognitive complexity (GCC) under the moderating effect of…
This paper aims to test the influence of external information search (EIS) on knowledge elaboration and group cognitive complexity (GCC) under the moderating effect of absorptive capacity (AC is indicated by prior knowledge base and gender diversity).
The results of three studies (one field study and two experimental studies) are reported. The first study tests the interaction between EIS and the two dimensions of AC on group knowledge elaboration in a sample of 65 organizational groups. In the second study, EIS was directly manipulated and the interaction with AC in a sample of 65 groups was tested. In the last experimental study, the AC of the boundary spanner (highest level of expertise versus lowest level of expertise) was manipulated and the effects of EIS in a sample of 37 groups were tested.
The first study reveals a significant interaction between EIS and prior knowledge base on knowledge elaboration and points toward a compensatory interplay of EIS and AC on GCC. The results of the second study indicate that EIS increases the time spent on task, as well as the efficiency of knowledge integration (GCC per unit of time). Furthermore, EIS has the strongest positive effect on GCC in groups in which at least one of the AC dimensions is average or high. The results of the last study show that the AC of the boundary spanner compensates for the lack of absorptive capacity of the group and also show that the cognitive distance between the boundary spanner and the rest of the group has a negative influence on the efficiency of knowledge integration in groups.
The limitations of Study 1, common to non-experimental research (related to causality), are dealt with in the second and third studies that establish causality between EIS and GCC.
The paper has important implications for the management of information search effort in organizational groups, in particular the groups are advised to: engage in EIS to increase their cognitive repertoire and cognitive complexity, delegate, when possible, their most competent members to engage in boundary spanning activities as they will maximize the cognitive benefits of EIS and finally minimize the cognitive dissimilarity between the boundary spanner and the rest of the group to facilitate the effective integration of novel insights into the group cognition.
This study is among the first empirical attempts to uncover the causal effect of EIS on knowledge elaboration and GCC in groups and to uncover the role of the boundary spanner in the EIS efforts.
Recent evidence from glass cliff research suggests that women are more willing than men to accept risky leadership positions. The purpose of this paper (based on three…
Recent evidence from glass cliff research suggests that women are more willing than men to accept risky leadership positions. The purpose of this paper (based on three studies) is to reveal and resolve the apparent paradox that women are more risk averse than men yet end up in risky leadership positions.
In Study I, risk attitudes of 125 participants were surveyed to understand gender differences in risk taking. In two experimental vignette studies, 119 university students (Study II) and 109 working adults (Study III) were offered a leadership position in either a risky or successful company and asked to rate their willingness to accept the job.
Together, the results showed that although women are generally more risk averse than men, women who scored low on career self-efficacy were more likely to perceive a risky job as a promotional opportunity and were therefore more willing to accept such a job. These findings shed light on the role of women’s career decision making in the glass cliff phenomenon.
Glass cliff research has focused almost exclusively on organizational decision makers. The authors aim to better understand the glass cliff phenomenon by incorporating the perspective of job seekers.