Purpose – This research seeks to investigate the relationship between knowledge diversity (KD) in software teams and project performance. Previous research has shown that member diversity affects team performance; most of that work, however, has focused on diversity in personal or social attributes, such as gender or social category. Current research targets at the knowledge level aim to facilitate the implementation of knowledge management in organizations. Design/methodology/approach – A research framework was developed based on conﬂict theory and empirically tested on software teams in Taiwan.
Findings – It was found that KD increases task conﬂict, which in turn has signiﬁcant positive effects on team performance and that value diversity (VD) increases relationship conﬂict, which in turn negatively affects team performance.
Research limitations/implications – The ﬁndings indicate that task conﬂict can enhance team performance, while relationship conﬂict can reduce team performance. Therefore, it is important to maintain healthy relationships among team members.
Practical implications – This research concludes that KD is beneﬁcial and that VD is harmful to project outcome in software development. It is, therefore, useful for managers to form teams whose members encompass a broad knowledge base.
Originality/value – This paper proposes a novel way to measure knowledge and VD in teams and reports the effects of these attributes on team performance. The work also shows that a proper level of task conﬂict in a software team is necessary for achieving high performance. Keywords Knowledge management, Value analysis, Conﬂict, Software engineering Paper type Research paper
The performance of software development teams is an important topic in the information systems (IS) domain. As evident by Moore’s law, the information industry has prospered greatly due to rapid price reductions for computer hardware (Kelly, 1998). The enhancement and advancement of function also has played an important role in expediting this progress. However, the success rate of software projects is much The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0263-5577.htm
The research was partially supported by research grants to the ﬁrst author from National Science Council of Taiwan under the contract numbers NSC 92-2416-H110-017, 93-2416-H110-005, and 95-2752-H-110-004-PAE.