Cultivating and Benefiting from Member Familiarity in Temporary Work Groups

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    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


    ConferenceThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014
    LocationRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
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