Extra-team connections for knowledge transfer between staff teams

Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Health Education Research (Impact Factor: 1.66). 07/2009; 24(6):967-76. DOI: 10.1093/her/cyp030
Source: PubMed


As organizations implement novel health promotion programs across multiple sites, they face great challenges related to knowledge management. Staff social networks may be a useful medium for transferring program-related knowledge in multi-site implementation efforts. To study this potential, we focused on the role of extra-team connections (ties between staff members based in different site teams) as potential channels for knowledge sharing. Data come from a cross-sectional study of after-school child-care staff implementing a health promotion program at 20 urban sites of the Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston. We conducted a sociometric social network analysis and attempted a census of 91 program staff members. We surveyed 80 individuals, and included 73 coordinators and general staff, who lead and support implementation, respectively, in this study. A multiple linear regression model demonstrated a positive relationship between extra-team connections (beta = 3.41, P < 0.0001) and skill receipt, a measure of knowledge transfer. We also found that intra-team connections (within-team ties between staff members) were also positively related to skill receipt. Connections between teams appear to support knowledge transfer in this network, but likely require greater active facilitation, perhaps via organizational changes. Further research on extra-team connections and knowledge transfer in low-resource, high turnover environments is needed.

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    • "SNA has a history of applications within social and behavioral sciences including political systems, community networks, social supports, and group problem solving [19] and can be a useful tool to identify strengths or problems in social structures. SNA is relatively new to health settings although it has been used to: identify key people to improve knowledge sharing efficiency between specialists within hospitals [20]; understand internal/external influences for designing healthcare teams [21]; identify an intervention champion within schools [22]; and identify structural needs for facilitating knowledge transfer between afterschool program teams [23]. The aim of the current study was to determine the feasibility and relevance of SNA for child obesity prevention amongst staff within a long day care setting. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Interest has grown in how systems thinking could be used in obesity prevention. Relationships between key actors, represented by social networks, are an important focus for considering intervention in systems. Method: Two long day care centers were selected in which previous obesity prevention programs had been implemented. Measures showed ways in which physical activity and dietary policy are conversations and actions transacted through social networks (interrelationships) within centers, via an eight item closed-ended social network questionnaire. Questionnaire data were collected from (17/20; response rate 85%) long day care center staff. Social network density and centrality statistics were calculated, using UCINET social network software, to examine the role of networks in obesity prevention. Results: "Degree" (influence) and "betweeness" (gatekeeper) centrality measures of staff inter-relationships about physical activity, dietary, and policy information identified key players in each center. Network density was similar and high on some relationship networks in both centers but markedly different in others, suggesting that the network tool identified unique center social dynamics. These differences could potentially be the focus of future team capacity building. Conclusion: Social network analysis is a feasible and useful method to identify existing obesity prevention networks and key personnel in long day care centers.
    Journal of obesity 08/2013; 2013(3):919287. DOI:10.1155/2013/919287
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    • "Research into teams in organisations has largely investigated the influences of work group characteristics (Campion et al., 1993) and team structures (Stewart and Barrick, 2000) on team performance. However, social interaction between team members should be emphasised in such studies because team interaction, including both extra-team and intra-team connections, can positively affect knowledge transfer and improve team performance (Ramanadhan et al., 2009). Undoubtedly, team trust is a vital factor to teamwork success and team effectiveness (Liu et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous scholars have concentrated on the influences of team trust in team cooperation and performance. However, there is a lack of studies which explore the relationship between team trust and team performance in the virtual setting. The issue of whether team trust influences team effectiveness differently between conventional and virtual teams has rarely been discussed. The purpose of this paper aims to address this gap in the literature by investigating team trust in both conventional and virtual teamwork, in order to seek an understanding of effective methods for building team trust in these working environments. Findings from this study show that building interpersonal trust between team members is important to improve the team effectiveness of conventional teams. But developing institutional trust within a team is essential for virtual teamwork. An understanding of how to build team trust in different working environments can help businesses to increase the operational efficiency.
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    ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of using team learning to improve team performance has been well documented in the literature, and this notion makes intuitive sense. However, little empirical research has been dedicated to the relationship between team learning and team performance, probably owing to the lack of a widely acceptable instrument for assessing team learning. In this study, a psychometric (validity and reliability) examination of Edmondson’s Team Learning Survey (TLS) is undertaken. This instrument was then used to examine the effects of internal and external team learning on team performance. Implications and limitations of the study findings are discussed.
    Team Performance Management 11/2003; 9(7/8):174-181. DOI:10.1108/13527590310507426
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