Cultivating and Benefiting from Member Familiarity in Temporary Work Groups

Shannon Hessel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, I investigate an example of short-duration, time-bound project work conducted by high-performing groups in order to surprise our expectations regarding the motivations and potential to cooperate and to cultivate group member familiarity within such temporary organizations. Project participants included seven string quartets that worked together in different combinations and without the expectation of future collaboration across groups. I consider what motivated cooperation and relationship-oriented activities as well as the conditions which enabled these activities to emerge despite limited time and a perceived short shadow of the future. Several contributions result: First, I challenge our expectation that a short shadow of the future will decrease the likelihood of cooperation by demonstrating how the clan-like tendency to construct common values and aspirations motivated cooperative behavior in these groups. Second, I challenge our expectation that a task-oriented over relationship-oriented approach will inevitably dominate work when projects are time-bound and of short duration by describing moments in which these groups chose relationship-oriented activities despite time and tenure constraints. Finally, I propose a model for strategically composing limited-tenure project groups of enduring tenure sub-groups as one way to inject the benefits of member familiarity into temporary organizations, and I illustrate how this condition supported both task- and relationship-oriented pursuits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014: Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times - Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 Jul 20145 Jul 2014
Conference number: 30
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Conference

ConferenceThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014
Number30
LocationRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
CountryNetherlands
CityRotterdam
Period03/07/201405/07/2014
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Cite this

Hessel, S. (2014). Cultivating and Benefiting from Member Familiarity in Temporary Work Groups. Paper presented at The 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands.