Article | Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings | 2009

Feeling the Heat: The Effects of Performance Pressure on Teams' Knowledge Use and Performance

by Heidi K. Gardner

Abstract

Why do some teams fail to use their members' knowledge effectively, even after having correctly identified each other's expertise? This paper identifies performance pressure as a critical barrier to effective knowledge utilization in teams. I theorize that performance pressure creates threat rigidity effects in teams, meaning that they default to using the expertise of high status members while becoming less effective at using team members with deep client knowledge. I test the model in a field study of 100+ accounting and consulting teams from a Big Four firm and use survey data from their clients to demonstrate the performance implications.

Keywords: Experience and Expertise; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Performance Effectiveness; Performance Expectations; Groups and Teams;

Citation:

Gardner, Heidi K. "Feeling the Heat: The Effects of Performance Pressure on Teams' Knowledge Use and Performance." Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings (2009).