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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

R. Patel, R.J. Mitchell and K. Warwick

To describe some research done, as part of an EPSRC funded project, to assist engineers working together on collaborative tasks.

Abstract

Purpose

To describe some research done, as part of an EPSRC funded project, to assist engineers working together on collaborative tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

Distributed finite state modelling and agent techniques are used successfully in a new hybrid self‐organising decision making system applied to collaborative work support. For the particular application, analysis of the tasks involved has been performed and these tasks are modelled. The system then employs a novel generic agent model, where task and domain knowledge are isolated from the support system, which provides relevant information to the engineers.

Findings

The method is applied in the despatch of transmission commands within the control room of The National Grid Company Plc (NGC) – tasks are completed significantly faster when the system is utilised.

Research limitations/implications

The paper describes a generic approach and it would be interesting to investigate how well it works in other applications.

Practical implications

Although only one application has been studied, the methodology could equally be applied to a general class of cooperative work environments.

Originality/value

One key part of the work is the novel generic agent model that enables the task and domain knowledge, which are application specific, to be isolated from the support system, and hence allows the method to be applied in other domains.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 34 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Joachim Hüffmeier and Guido Hertel

Social support from fellow team members has been neglected as a unique source of process gains in teams. This paper seeks to introduce the Model of Social Support within…

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4394

Abstract

Purpose

Social support from fellow team members has been neglected as a unique source of process gains in teams. This paper seeks to introduce the Model of Social Support within Teams (MSST) that explicates testable hypotheses on effects of team partners' affective and task‐related support on team performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model is proposed that specifies the psychological mechanisms by which affective and task‐related support from fellow team members evoke process gains in teams compared with individual work. Moreover, moderators and potential limits of these beneficial effects are described. The model integrates results from experimental research on behaviour in small groups with findings from field studies on organisational citizenship behaviour, team cognition, and efficacy beliefs at the individual and team level.

Findings

It is predicted that affective support predominantly increases individual members' motivation, while task‐related support predominantly improves coordination within teams. Moreover, various moderators (team members' dispositions, task design, team characteristics) are considered.

Practical implications

According to this analysis, social support can be an effective measure to trigger process gains in teams, and thus to increase team performance and organisational success. Concrete interventions to foster social support in teams are derived from the model, among them task design, consideration of social attitudes in selection and staffing, and team training.

Originality/value

This paper introduces a theoretical model explicating a previously neglected source of process gains in teams. In contrast with other sources of process gains, social support relates to the interaction among team members and integrates both motivation and coordination gains.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 24 November 2021

Jing Du, Wei Fan and Jin Nam Choi

The ubiquity of smartphones has changed how people communicate, work and entertain. In view of conservation of resources theory and the positive spillover effect, this…

Abstract

Purpose

The ubiquity of smartphones has changed how people communicate, work and entertain. In view of conservation of resources theory and the positive spillover effect, this study explores the effect of non-work-related instant messaging (IM) in the workplace on daily task performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use the experience sampling method to collect day-level data from 75 employees over a period of 10 workdays. Multilevel path analysis is used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Non-work-related IM exerts a significant negative indirect effect on daily task performance through diminished cognitive engagement. This negative indirect effect disappears when social support is high, thereby showing the function of social support as a neutralizer of the detriment of non-work-related IM on daily task performance.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that organizations can neutralize the harm of non-work-related IM in the workplace by promoting social support perceived by employees.

Originality/value

This study advances the technology and management literature by developing and testing a balanced perspective on the ambivalent effect of workplace smartphone use that considers social and cognitive resource implications.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Xuequn Wang, Paul F. Clay and Nicole Forsgren

This paper aims to investigate how to promote two types of knowledge contribution tasks. The authors focus on the role of supervisor and coworker support on motivation…

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1156

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how to promote two types of knowledge contribution tasks. The authors focus on the role of supervisor and coworker support on motivation, and their effects on two different contribution tasks. Motivating employees to contribute knowledge is quite challenging. While previous studies have tried to understand how to promote knowledge contribution, few have differentiated between knowledge contribution tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

Information technology support was chosen as the context of this study, and data were collected from system administrators within a Fortune 500 company via a web-based survey.

Findings

Results show the differential effects of two forms of motivation on different contribution tasks, and supervisor support is positively associated with intrinsic motivation. Specifically, while intrinsic motivation is positively associated with challenging knowledge contribution, external motivation is positively related to mundane knowledge contribution and negatively related to challenging knowledge contribution.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the current literature by providing a deeper theoretical understanding of knowledge contribution tasks, and contributes to practice by offering suggestions on how to better motivate employees within organizations and promote different knowledge contribution tasks.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Frada Burstein and Henry Linger

This paper examines the role of knowledge management and knowledge management systems for supporting knowledge work. In a work environment, knowledge is always situated in…

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2024

Abstract

This paper examines the role of knowledge management and knowledge management systems for supporting knowledge work. In a work environment, knowledge is always situated in a specific context, so an organization benefits from a knowledge management system when such a system is focused on a specific task. Providing support for knowledge work at the task level complements the work practices of actors performing the task. The paper suggests that knowledge management systems can be implemented as intelligent decision support that establishes a joint cognitive process between the system and the actor performing the task. The proposed approach has been derived from our application of a knowledge management framework to a number of field studies. These applications come from various domains and highlight different aspects of the proposed framework. The focus on task performance, as a driving force for knowledge management, unifies these field studies. The paper identifies the issues that emerge from these studies and describes their contribution to the development of the framework. The paper concludes that by privileging knowledge work, task‐based knowledge management can be an effective knowledge management strategy.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2017

Jihye Lee, Seokhwa Yun and Seckyoung Loretta Kim

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of an employee’s consideration of future consequences (CFCs) in predicting employee task performance and its situational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of an employee’s consideration of future consequences (CFCs) in predicting employee task performance and its situational contexts (i.e. organizational support and supervisor support) based on trait activation theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a cross-sectional field study design, data were collected from 189 employees and their immediate supervisors in South Korea.

Findings

Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that employees’ CFC has a positive effect on their task performance. Furthermore, this study investigated whether this relationship would be varied by relevant situational factors. Consistent with the hypotheses, the relevance of CFC to employees’ task performance would be stronger when they perceive low levels of organizational support based on trait activation theory.

Practical implications

The findings suggest the importance of employees’ CFC on task performance. Also, organizations should pay more attention to the way of compensating for employees with low levels of CFC by fostering supportive environment.

Originality/value

Although researchers have been examined long-term perspectives in the business field, a few studies have examined its effect at the individual level. This paper identified not only the main effect of CFC on employee task performance but also the moderating role of organizational support on the aforementioned relationship.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Millissa F.Y. Cheung and Chi‐Sum Wong

This study aims to examine the moderating role played by leaders' task and relations support in the relationship between transformational leadership and followers' level…

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30059

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the moderating role played by leaders' task and relations support in the relationship between transformational leadership and followers' level of creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 182 supervisor‐subordinate dyads was randomly collected and returned from a restaurant, hotel, retail store, bank, and travel agent of Hong Kong.

Findings

Results indicated that the positive relationship between transformational leadership and followers' creativity is stronger when there is a high degree of leaders' task and relations support.

Research lismitations/implications

This study extends the leadership literature to better understand the effects of transformational leadership on employees' level of creativity are contingent on the nature of leaders' support. Sample size is a possible limitation.

Practical implications

Intensive training can be provided to supervisors or personality test can be used to screen for selected individuals who are high caliber for being a potential transformational leader.

Originality/value

An empirical examination of how leaders' task and relations support can strengthen the positive link between transformational leadership and employees' level of creativity that previously have been overlooked.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Hak Liong Chan, Dahlia Zawawi, Siew Imm Ng and Debbra Toria Anak Nipo

International assignments are an effective tool to develop employees' cultural competencies, yet expatriate failure rates remain high. This paper aims to examine salient…

Abstract

Purpose

International assignments are an effective tool to develop employees' cultural competencies, yet expatriate failure rates remain high. This paper aims to examine salient stakeholders' (i.e. organisations, host country nationals (HCNs) and spouses) support as antecedents of expatriates' work adjustment and task performance. It also explores work adjustment as a mediator between support and task performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting the quantitative approach, survey data were collected from 112 expatriates who were married and based in organisations in Malaysia. Partial least squares-structural equation modelling was employed to analyse the data.

Findings

The findings validate the direct influences of perceived organisational support (POS) on work adjustment, HCN support on work adjustment, and spousal support on task performance. The indirect effect of HCN support on task performance through work adjustment was also established. When expatriates' work adjustment improves as a result of receiving HCN support, their task performance is enhanced.

Practical implications

This study evidences that expatriate-hiring firms should provide suitable support for expatriates when they work overseas. Local employees and spouses should likewise be tasked to help expatriates maximise their full potential in achieving successful performance in their assignments.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is the exploration of the relationships between support, work adjustment and task performance among expatriates. It also adds to the limited knowledge on the role of specific stakeholders in the expatriate context.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 June 2021

Thi Hong Le Vo

This paper aims to provide evidence that online well-designed educational tasks can provide more relevant and richer active learning environment for business English…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide evidence that online well-designed educational tasks can provide more relevant and richer active learning environment for business English learners. The benefits of online tasks, as an education tool, became more apparent and gained more importance during the events related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The task design is based on task-based interactions and in a sequence of tasks with the support of an online learning management system (LMS). The findings suggest that online task-based learning (and would-be blended learning in the future) enables meaningful and authentic activities promoting interactions and communicative competences to prepare for learners of business English to enter the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

The overarching aim of the study is to explore how task-design-utilizing online LMS could contribute to enhancing the learning process and to the development of the learner's communicative competences. The study included two aspects, namely: (1) the design of online tasks and (2) pilot evaluation. The task design involved tasks that required interactions between the learners. The pilot evaluation relied on data collection via questionnaires.

Findings

Two aspects relating to the findings: (1) a description of the teaching initiatives which was designed to see how blended learning and online tasks can enhance learning and develop the skills of the learners: with questioning techniques targeting communication skills, simulated workplace situations and timely feedback and peer influence; (2) the findings of the pilot study evaluation to see the actual implementation of online tasks. The students' responses corroborate the teachers' comments. The findings of this research showed that LMS tasks, which were designed for this study, helped the learners to enhance their competence in business English. Such competences included communicative skills needed for learners to enter the workplace such as interpersonal skills, presentation skills and negotiation skills in contexts. These findings lead to significant recommendations regarding the way forward for developing active blended learning.

Research limitations/implications

Firstly, teachers need to be trained and involved in designing such online tasks and materials to be used in active blended learning. More training in language teaching methodologies should be investigated to adapt the transition from a traditional to a computer-assisted language learning teacher. This helps teachers to design and implement online simulated workplace tasks. Secondly, time for the use of online tasks should be allocated satisfactorily. This can be achieved by building online learning sessions into class schedule or developing active blended courses. The time for the use of online simulated tasks should be allocated satisfactorily with lab or simulation room, in which students would be shown how to access the online tasks designed on the university LMS and the way to practice with different kinds of tasks.

Originality/value

In this study context, the online tasks design can initiate at activity-level blending to support face-to-face (F2F) activities, for example, online activities to support tasks for the topic Make a request or Offer for help. This can be extended to course-level blending when more online activities are designed to use with F2F activities such as online comparing and contrasting tasks to develop skills in connections with the awareness of cultures. The findings of the research suggest to develop and to implement online tasks alongside with classroom learning and teaching to enable the objectives of business English programme at university for preparing learners to enter the workplace. The recent pandemic highlighted the need for effective methodologies for active blended learning. It is now required that professionals in higher education to collect evidence base to inform future practice of such methodologies. Further significant research efforts should be directed towards collecting such evidence of the effectiveness and improvements of such methods. The support of higher education management professionals in securing funding for such research will be essential.

Details

Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2515-964X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2011

Asya Pazy

This study aimed to test how the effects of types of support on employees’ performance and commitment were moderated by structure of pay, namely by the degree to which pay…

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2142

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to test how the effects of types of support on employees’ performance and commitment were moderated by structure of pay, namely by the degree to which pay was contingent on level of performance. The constructs of Perceived Organizational Support (POS) and Perceived Supervisor Support (PSS) were decomposed into two types, according to whether the support was directed at doing the task or at the welfare of the person. The study proceeded to examine how each type influenced performance and commitment under different pay structures.

Methodology

The survey was conducted in Israel. A self‐report questionnaire was administered to a sample of managers and professionals. The questionnaire consisted of new scales for person‐focused and task‐focused support along with measures of performance, commitment and structure of pay. The main interaction predictions were tested with regression analyses.

Findings

Pay contingency interacted with task‐focused POS and with person‐focused PSS in affecting performance. The interactions related to commitment were not significant. The results justify the differentiation of support to the two types. They indicate that different kinds of support that are perceived to be provided either by the organization or by the supervisor boost performance under different pay structures. The effect of support on commitment is not affected by the structure of pay.

Research limitations/implications

Similar surveys should be conducted in additional cultural contexts and with samples representing diverse populations, so that the conclusions from this research can be further generalized. In order to establish causality, a longitudinal design should be used in future research. It is also advised that performance should be measured through outside agents, for example through supervisor evaluation.

Practical implications

In contexts where employees’ pay is contingent upon their level of performance, employers should emphasize task‐related organizational support and supervisors should exert person‐related support in order to boost performance. A reverse pattern is effective when pay is relatively invariable, namely when it is not contingent on performance.

Originality/value

The study is a first attempt to differentiate organizational support, which so far has been studied as one global construct. It introduces further differentiation by proposing that features of the pay structure influence which support type is effective in influencing performance at work.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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