Spanning the Boundary: Measuring the Realized and Lifecycle Impact of Distinct Boundary Spanning Activities on Project Success and Completion

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Van Osch, Wietske
Steinfield, Charles
Zhao, Yanjie
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Abstract
For work teams to be effective, maintaining communication ties with other individuals and teams elsewhere in the organization—an activity typically referred to as team boundary spanning—is necessary for obtaining resources critical to project success. Within the literature on boundary spanning, the positive relationship between a team’s boundary-spanning activities and their performance has been validated repeatedly, but primarily through the use of self-reports from managers and team members. Thus, neither objective data exists to support these claims nor a longitudinal understanding of how various boundary-spanning activities may play different roles at various stages of project work. Similarly, with the proliferating use of enterprise social media (ESM) technologies in organizations, the empirical link between the increased visibility of communication ties in ESM and more effective boundary spanning has been largely assumed, but has received only limited empirical validation. In this study, drawing on log and content data from 169 projects in an ESM of a large multi-national corporation, we aim to objectively assess the effect of boundary spanning on project success as well as provide a qualitative path model of the evolution of boundary-spanning activities throughout the lifecycle of a project through a comparison of successful versus unsuccessful projects. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
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Boundary spanning, project success, project lifecycle, longitudinal analysis, qualitative path model
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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