The effects of utilitarian & ontological individualism-collectivism on multitask performance in teams

John A. Wagner, Christopher J. Meyer, Stephen E. Humphrey, John R. Hollenbeck

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals working in teams often face an equivocal situation in which attention and effort must be divided between personal endeavors and collective pursuits. We propose that individual differences in two types of individualism-collectivism-utilitarian and ontological-influence how team members resolve this equivocality. Results of a study of the members of 52 teams with either high or low interdependence, a variable indicative of differences in situational strength also likely to influence how individual/collective equivocality is resolved, show that heterogeneous intra-individual combinations of the two types of individualism-collectivism, either utilitarian collectivism coupled with ontological individualism or utilitarian individualism coupled with ontological collectivism, lead to greater speed of team member performance in conditions of low structural interdependence. Findings also indicate that homogeneous intra-individual combinations of the two types of individualism-collectivism, either utilitarian individualism and ontological individualism or utilitarian collectivism and ontological collectivism, lead to greater accuracy of team member performance. These results suggest that speed and accuracy of team member performance stem from different underlying processes and require different profiles of individual-level resources. They also verify the empirical independence of the utilitarian and ontological dimensions of individualism-collectivism, and indicate that their effects on behavior in teams and organizations merit further investigation. Finally, they contribute to research on multitasking in teams, an area of study that is only now emerging in organizational research despite increasing attention paid to teams in that research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 5 2005Aug 10 2005

Other

Other65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI
Period8/5/058/10/05

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems and Management

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    Wagner, J. A., Meyer, C. J., Humphrey, S. E., & Hollenbeck, J. R. (2005). The effects of utilitarian & ontological individualism-collectivism on multitask performance in teams. Paper presented at 65th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2005, Honolulu, HI, United States.