Ties and teams a social network approach to team leadership /

by Balkundi, Prasad.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation proposes and tests a series of hypotheses concerning how a formal leader’s influence and eventual effectiveness are dependent on the leader’s pattern of ties. Specifically, the present dissertation proposes that a formal leader’s performance will be a function of the leader’s informal ties with team members and the extent to which the leader and the subordinates have informal ties to employees in the rest of the organization. A leader’s direct ties are important determinants of team task performance and subordinate satisfaction. These ties can be with the subordinates, the leader’s manager, or to other employees. To investigate the relationships between the leader’s social network and team task performance, I studied multiple work groups in India and the United States of America. All these work groups were composed of educated knowledge workers who were colocated with their leaders. In total, I surveyed 363 respondents belonging to 69 teams to collect data concerning social networks, satisfaction with team leaders and other variables. Further, data about team task performance were gathered by surveying the team leaders’ supervisors. Fifteen of the teams were based in the U.S.A with the remaining 54 based in India. Findings revealed that high performing teams have leaders who play a brokerage role in the team, bridging across disconnects between people. Alternatively, highperforming team leaders are connected to the informal team leaders in the advice network. The results do not support the notion that the leader’s prominence in the team advice network is associated with team performance. The results also do not show that iv leaders connected via the advice network to organizational boundary spanners are more productive. Similarly, I did not find support for the hypothesis that leaders who were disliked by their subordinates tended to receive lower performance ratings from their supervisors. However, the results do highlight the importance of a leader’s advice tie to the leader’s supervisor. A leader who was sought for advice by the leader’s own supervisor tended to have teams who were satisfied with the leader. Also, such leaders tended to have high performing teams. v
Bibliographical Information:


School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:

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