Nuova ricerca

Elisa MATTARELLI

Professore Associato
Dipartimento di Scienze e Metodi dell'Ingegneria


Home | Curriculum(pdf) |


Pubblicazioni

2024 - Many teams, one better career? A study on the impact of MTM on individual career success [Working paper]
Incerti, V.; Bellesia, F.; Bertolotti, F.; Mattarelli, E.
abstract

This study investigates individuals who experience Multiple Team Membership (MTM) with the aim to understand the interplay between MTM and careers. We gathered 6-years longitudinal data of employees working in multiple teams in a mid-sized IT consultancy company, and we investigate how the number of MTMs and its change over time affect employees’ career progression in particular. We highlight a complex relationship between the number of concurrent team memberships and career progression, a relationship that is also contingent on employees’ seniority. Our results suggest that, to increase their probability of career success, individuals need to experience low variability in the number of concurrent team memberships, especially when they are junior members of the organization. However, experiencing an increase in the number of concurrent teams over time is also beneficial for career progression. More broadly, our study contributes to the understanding of how complex organizational arrangements, such as those driven by MTM, affect individual career trajectories. Moreover, it contributes to the growing conversation on MTM, by introducing and investigating different dimensions of concurrent team memberships and their effects on individuals.


2023 - Algorithmic work-life balance: How algorithms influence gig-workers perceptions of work-life boundaries on platforms [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bellesia, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.
abstract

With the rising trend of individuals embracing freelance work on online labor markets, it becomes crucial to comprehend how platforms and algorithms influence their experiences of well-being. This study employs a mixed methods approach to explore the effects of platforms and various algorithms, including matching, control, and rating algorithms, on freelancers' work-life balance. Drawing on preliminary data collected through surveys and interviews with freelancers on a major online labor market platform, our findings reveal that control and rating algorithms negatively impact work-life balance by amplifying feelings of insecurity among freelancers. However, we also discovered that freelancers who perceive the platform they work on as useful exhibit greater proficiency in navigating the boundaries between their work and family life. Our study sheds light on the intricate dynamics between platforms, algorithms, well-being, and work-life balance for freelancers and emphasizes the need for further exploration of algorithmic interventions that promote work-life balance in the online freelance context.


2023 - Algorithms and their Affordances: How Crowdworkers Manage Algorithmic Scores in Online Labour Markets [Articolo su rivista]
Bellesia, Francesca; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola
abstract


2023 - Multiple Team Membership (MTM) and the Future of Work: How MTM Experiences Affect Knowledge Workers [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Incerti, Valerio; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bhappu, Anita D.; Rishani, Mayssa; Jasmin Hoever, Inga; Van Dierendonck, Dirk; Anantha Ramakrishnan, Poornika; Fodor, Oana; Curseu, Petru; Meslec, Nicoleta; Ahmadpour, Leila; Raghuram, Sumita; Iubatti, Daniela; Rua-Gomez, Carla
abstract

Knowledge workers are asked to work concurrently on several teams, but very few studies have tried to operationalize Multiple Team Memberships (MTM) using a variety of metrics, above and beyond the number of teams. However, broader conceptualizations of MTM (for instance, different forms of context variety) could help appreciate some unique benefits and challenges for multi-teamers. Relatedly, we still need to more broadly understand how people interpret and give meaning to their different experiences in MTM contexts. This symposium addresses these pressing issues by presenting four papers looking at the interplay between various conceptualizations of MTM (e.g., number of teams, variety of perceived team inclusion, variety of perceived team prestige) and several underexplored individual outcomes such as creativity, emotions, thriving at work, and the likelihood to enter multiple boards. Importantly, the papers use multiple methods and multiple sources of data such as qualitative data based on interviews, quantitative data based on surveys, and longitudinal panel data. They also focus on the experiences of people when engaged in scenarios of MTM within the boundaries of single firms as well as when they work across multiple firms.


2022 - How designed work environment and enacted work interactions impact creativity and work-life balance [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, E; Cochis, C; Bertolotti, F; Ungureanu, P
abstract

Purpose This paper investigates how (1) a work environment designed to sustain creativity (i.e. through flexible arrangements and elements of the social-organizational work environment) and (2) the amount of enacted work interactions among employees, interpreted as facilitators of new idea generation (i.e. outdegree centrality in instrumental networks), differently impact creativity and work-life balance. Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted a quantitative study in a knowledge-intensive multinational company and collected data through a survey on a sample of 207 workers. Findings Findings highlight that flexible work arrangements are positively related to increased work-life balance but not to creativity, whereas having access to a social-organizational work environment designed to foster creativity is associated to an increased level of idea generation, but to a reduction in work-life balance. In addition, centrality in instrumental social networks is also associated to a reduction of work-life balance. Findings thus point to a potential trade-off between structures aimed at increasing creativity and initiatives aimed at engendering work-life balance. Originality/value The research contributes to the current debate on new organizational practices for innovation and creativity, highlighting their unexpected implications for workers. The research also contributes to the literature on work-life balance by unraveling previously unexplored antecedents, i.e. social networks and the social-organizational work environment designed for creativity.


2022 - Promoting Performance and Positive Organizational Environment Through Multiple Team Membership [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Incerti, Valerio; Mattarelli, Elisa; Raghuram, Sumita; Johan Van De Brake, Hendrik; Finuf, Kayla D.; Gibson, Hise O.; Mecham, Bradley R.; Mistry, Sal; Crawford, Eean; Grossman, Rebecca; Jang, Sujin; Ann Margolis, Jaclyn; Mell, Julija; Middlebrooks, Arthur; Montanye, Michael; Moore, Ozias; Mortensen, Mark; Ptashnik, Thomas; Stewart, Greg L.; Yücesan, Enver
abstract

Inspired by the Positive Organizational Scholarship Perspective—that is, committed to create and sustain work environments that support human potential, thriving, and wellbeing (e.g., Cameron et al., 2012)—with this symposium we aim to open up this black box and shed light on such complexity by giving answers to a pressing question: how can we design and manage an organizational MTM system that promotes both performance and a positive organizational environment conducive to individual and collective wellbeing and flourishing?


2021 - Crowds, Gigs and Platforms. An Integrative Review and Research Agenda on the Future of Online Work [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bellesia, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.; Sobrero, M.
abstract

As organizations outsource jobs traditionally performed by employees to the ‘crowd’ – i.e. to an external, undefined workforce with very different backgrounds, skills, expertise, and cultures – through online platforms, we still lack a detailed understanding of the experiences of workers on these platforms and how platforms change individual work. We conducted an integrative literature review on the changing nature of work on online platforms, based on 64 papers dated 2006-2020. We identified three main research areas, related to (I) work characteristics, i.e. motivation to engage in online work, workers’ behaviors and performance, meaning of work; (II) the relation between workers and platforms, i.e. workers interactions with algorithms and control issues, such as algorithmic scores management; and (III) workers relations with peers, especially in online communities. For each of these areas we propose and detail future research directions.


2021 - How perceptions of work-life balance and technology use impact upon creativity in collaborative spaces [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Cochis, C.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.; Scapolan, A. C.; Montanari, F.; Ungureanu, P.
abstract

This paper unpacks creative processes in collaborative spaces (CS). We focus on how the positive resources related to wellbeing and work-life balance derived from working in CS interplay with the use of collaborative technology in affecting individual creativity. We conducted a survey study with individuals working in 27 different CS in Italy. We propose and find a positive relationship between the perceived level of work-life balance satisfaction and individual creativity. Instead we do not find a significant relationship between the frequency of technology mediated interactions with external actors and individual creativity. Furthermore, the relationship between work-life balance and creativity is negatively moderated by technology mediated interactions with external actors. In other words, an intense use of collaborative technology with actors external to the CS can generate perceptions of overload thus making the impact of work-life balance on creativity not significant. We conclude with theoretical and practical implications.


2021 - Reputation in the Workplatforms: How Crowdworkers Manage Algorithmic Scores in Online Labor Markets [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bellesia, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.
abstract


2021 - The Effect of Role-Based Product Representations on Individual and Team Coordination Practices: A Field Study of a Globally Distributed New Product Development Team. [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.; Prencipe, A.; Gupta, A.
abstract

The investigation of the appealing indication that a modular product architecture is best associated to a loosely coupled organizational structure—that is, the mirroring hypothesis—has produced contradictory evidence, especially in the dynamic and ambiguous context of new product development. By integrating modularity theory and productrepresentation theories, we investigate how individual agency affects coordination in teams developing modular products.We conducted a field study of Flower-Net, a globally distributed team in a major IT company, engaged with the development of a modular software using agile practices. Our grounded model shows that, whereas top managers defined the product as modular and coordinated work accordingly, individuals developed different representations of the product’s architecture and conflicting individual coordination practices. We traced the individual development of product architecture representations back to the individual interpretations of organizational roles as more or less “segmented.” Conflicting individual practices, associated to different role-based product representations, were not addressed by the team—that developed a state of illusory concordance—and impaired the functioning of the team. This study contributes to the literature on modularity and the mirroring hypothesis by proposing individual role-based representations as an underexplored level of analysis for the matching between product and organizational modularity (Mirroring Hypothesis II). It also contributes to the debate on how representations affect team coordination, by detailing how role-based product representations can influence teammembers’ divergence and sustain illusory concordance.


2021 - Working in the era of multiple virtual team membership. A study on the effects of variety of communication rules on individual management of knowledge resources [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Incerti, V.; Bellesia, F.; Bertolotti, F.; Chudoba, K.; Fadel, K.; Mattarelli, E.; Ungureanu, P.
abstract

In contemporary workplaces, individuals are concurrently members of more than one virtual team. As they experience multiple virtual team membership, they may be subjected to different rules related to communication with collaborative technology. We propose that this context variety (i.e. different communication rule systems) and switching between teams negatively affect individual capability to acquire and provide resources in a team, due in part to an increased perception of role overload. In our experimental studies, we confirm that context variety directly and negatively affected individuals' ability to acquire resources, and, through role overload, negatively influenced the ability to provide resources. Contrary to our hypotheses, switching frequently between teams reduced role overload, which, in turn, increased ability to provide resources. Our results have theoretical implications for understanding the changing nature of work in increasingly virtual and complex team contexts, as well as practical implications for managing teams and designing collaborative technology.


2020 - Collaboration and identity formation in strategic interorganizational partnerships: an exploration of swift identity processes [Articolo su rivista]
Ungureanu, P; Bertolotti, F; Mattarelli, E; Bellesia, F
abstract

We investigate how collective identity formation processes interplay with collaboration practices in an inter-organizational partnership promoting regional innovation. We found that initial collaboration challenges are dealt with by setting up an early ‘swift identity’ which is associated with material artifacts to increase its strength and stability (‘swift identity reification’). However, as the partnership evolves, the reified identity becomes misaligned with partners’ underdeveloped collaboration practices. To ensure realignment, new attempts at reification are performed, as partners buy time for learning how to collaborate. Our findings contribute to extant identity research by proposing alternative (i.e., ‘swift’ and ‘reified’) mechanisms of identity formation in contexts characterized by both heterogeneity challenges and integration imperatives. They also integrate the debate about the role of identity formation in the evolution of interorganizational partnerships. For both literatures we highlight the important role of materiality.


2020 - Collaborative Spaces at Work: Innovation, Creativity and Relations [Curatela]
Montanari, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Scapolan, A
abstract


2020 - Introduction. Collaborative spaces between current trends and future challenge [Capitolo/Saggio]
Montanari, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Scapolan, A.
abstract


2020 - Language in collaborative spaces: Advantages and barriers [Capitolo/Saggio]
Leone, Ludovica; Guardiano, Cristina; Irimia, Monica Alexandrina; Mattarelli, Elisa; Montanari, Fabrizio
abstract

An indispensable desideratum in collaborative spaces is to foster dynamic, barrier-free environments where professionals from different backgrounds can find common ground for collaborative projects. However, although such goals cannot be met without proficient and effective communication, research on the use of language as the most important means of information exchange in collaborative spaces is still needed. Our contribution in this paper consists of an exploration of the linguistic interactions among coworkers of such spaces. We propose a multi-disciplinary approach integrating insights from the organizational literature on communication and research methods in theoretical linguistics. The sociolinguistic analysis of two coworking spaces reveals essential traits such as language diversity, the use of different formal and informal linguistic registers, as well as the appeal to various media and communication modalities. This type of versatility can foster information exchange, knowledge sharing, and, ultimately, effective collaboration. However, it might also act as a barrier to communication, suggesting the need for collaborative spaces to establish common linguistic ground as the basis for promoting collaboration.


2020 - Managing Reputation in the Workplatform: How Freelancers Interpret Algorithmic Scores in OLM [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bellesia, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.
abstract

Although considered independent from the platforms they work from, freelancers in online labor markets need to develop an ‘algorithmic competence’ to become and stay competitive. To increase the likelihood of being hired, in particular, they need to deal with algorithmically calculated reputation, which is a standardized score associated to their quality as workers. By drawing on signaling theory, this research aims to explore how freelancers working on online platforms interpret algorithmic calculated reputation and with what consequence for their work. The grounded model we developed through interviews and documents collected with freelancers from a major platform reveals two phases through which freelances manage their reputation. First, freelancers interpret algorithmic scores as barriers and strive to build their initial reputation with emotional consequences in terms of feelings of hardship and loneliness. In a second phase, freelancers develop three different strategies to manage reputation, that we labelled as instrumental, relational, and indifferent. The interpretations and behaviors associated to the different strategies lead to different, although mainly negative, emotional responses, i.e. emotion regulation, anxiety, and frustration. We believe our model offers implications for theories on imposed reputation signals, gig work, and emotions in new work contexts."


2020 - Multiplex boundary work in innovation projects: the role of collaborative spaces for cross-functional and open innovation [Articolo su rivista]
Ungureanu, P.; Cochis, C.; Bertolotti, F.; Mattarelli, Elisa.; Scapolan, A. C.
abstract

Purpose: This study investigates the role of collaborative spaces as organizational support for internal innovation through cross-functional teams and for open innovation with external stakeholders. In particular, the study focuses on collaborative spaces as tools for multiplex (i.e., simultaneous internal and external boundary management in innovation projects). Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted a qualitative study in a multi-divisional organization that set up in its headquarters a collaborative space for collaborative product development. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and participant observations. Findings: Findings highlight that the relation between expectations and experiences about the collaborative space impact on employees' ability to perform boundary work inside and outside the organization. In addition to the collaborative space's affording role for expectations about hands-on collaborative innovation (space as laboratory), the study also highlights a set of collaboration constraints. These latter are generated by perceived boundary configurations (i.e. degree of boundary permeability and infrastructure in internal and external collaborations) and by discrepancies between expectations (space as laboratory) and actual collaboration experiences in the space (i.e. space as maze, cloister, showcase and silo). We show that space-generated constraints slow down internal and external boundary work for innovation and generate a trade-off between them. Originality/value: Using the process-based perspective of boundary work, the paper connects studies on cross-functional teaming and open innovation through the concept of “multiplex boundary work.” It also contributes to the literature on boundary work by showing the challenges of using collaborative spaces as organizational support tools for multiplex boundary spanning.


2020 - Prototypes as Identity Markers: the Double Edged Role of Prototypes in Multidisciplinary Innovation Teams [Articolo su rivista]
Dosi, Clio; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo
abstract

Prototypes play a powerful role in facilitating the work of multidisciplinary innovation teams, but if not properly managed, they may inhibit innovation processes. This paper inquires into the tensions that exist around the use of prototypes in multidisciplinary teams. We studied the relationship between work identities (related to teams and subgroups within teams) and prototypes with a field study of a multidisciplinary team in an emergency department, in charge of redesigning the layout of the unit. Results show that different values of subgroup identities are reflected in the solutions devised by the team. These values become salient through the prototype, i.e. the prototype is an identity marker, especially when it is characterized by higher tangibility, fidelity, and validity. When the prototype is an identity marker, it sparks conflict within the team. We also find that a superordinate team identity can help in solving conflictual interactions. Our analysis contributes to revealing how prototypes as identity markers can both inhibit and facilitate the innovation process of multidisciplinary teams. We offer theoretical and practical implications for managers, team members, and designers working in multidisciplinary teams.


2019 - HOW PERCEPTIONS OF WORK LIFE BALANCE AND TECHNOLOGY USE IMPACT UPON CREATIVITY IN COLLABORATIVE SPACES [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Cochis, Carlotta; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Scapolan, Anna Chiara; Montanari, Fabrizio; Ungureanu, Paula
abstract

This paper unpacks creative processes in collaborative spaces (CS). We focus on how the positive resources related to wellbeing and work-life balance derived from working in CS interplay with the use of collaborative technology in affect-ing individual creativity. We conducted a survey study with individuals working in 27 different CS in Italy. We propose and find a positive relationship between the perceived level of work-life balance satisfaction and individual creativity. In-stead we do not find a significant relationship between the frequency of technolo-gy mediated interactions with external actors and individual creativity. Further-more, the relationship between work-life balance and creativity is negatively moderated by technology mediated interactions with external actors. In other words, an intense use of collaborative technology with actors external to the CS can generate perceptions of overload and therefore making the impact of work-life balance on creativity not significant. We conclude with theoretical and practi-cal implications


2019 - Making matters worse by trying to make them better? Exploring vicious circles of decision in hybrid partnerships [Articolo su rivista]
Ungureanu, Paula; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bellesia, Francesca
abstract

Our research is concerned with how and why vicious circles of decision occur in hybrid partnerships. The literature reports three types of decision dysfunctions that can alter the trajectory of multi-stakeholder collaborations: escalation of commitment, procrastination, and indecision. While previous studies focused on one dysfunction at a time, we inquire about cases in which dysfunctions coexist and interact in the same partnership. Employing multiple sources of qualitative data, we conducted a longitudinal field study in a cross-sector partnership that co-created and managed a science park. We offer an in-depth account of ‘vicious circles of decision’ in which partners’ attempts to solve a dysfunction paradoxically lead to the accumulation of additional dysfunctions. We explain that the process is more likely to happen when solutions are 1) conditioned by the very risk-opportunity tensions they try to solve and 2) inscribed in material artefacts for greater visibility. In addition to the literature on hybrid partnerships, we also contribute to the debate in organization studies about the evolution of collaborations within frames of concurrent risk-opportunity tensions and theorize about the role of materiality in such processes.


2019 - Platforms as Entrepreneurial Incubators? How Online Labor Markets Shape Work Identity [Articolo su rivista]
Bellesia, F.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, F.; Sobrero, M.
abstract

Purpose. This study explores how the process of work identity construction unfolds for gig workers experiencing unstable working relationships in online labor markets. In particular, it investigates how digital platforms, intended both as providers of technological features and online environments, affect this process. Design. We conducted an exploratory field study and collected data from 46 interviews with freelancers working on one of the most popular online labor markets and from online documents such as public profiles, job applications, and archival data. Findings. Our findings reveal that the online environment constrains the action of workers who are pushed to take advantage of the platform’s technological features to succeed. This interplay leads workers to add new characteristics to their work self and they end up developing an entrepreneurial orientation. Practical implications. Our study offers insights to platform providers interested in improving workers’ experiences in online labor markets, highlighting mechanisms for uncertainty reduction, and diversifying a platform’s services according to gig workers’ identities and orientations. Value. Our study expands our knowledge on work identity construction processes of gig workers, detailing the relationship between work identity and IT, and documents previously unexplored antecedents of entrepreneurial orientation in non-standard working contexts.


2019 - The dynamics of inter-organizational hybrid partnerships in technology transfer [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bertolotti, F; Mattarelli, E; Ungureanu, P
abstract

Drawing on the literature on inter-organizational and hybrid partnerships, we put forth a process-based perspective on the evolution of regional innovation systems (RIS), with particular attention to the changing role of TTOs through-out the RIS lifecycle. We theorize on how perceptions of environmental turbu-lence (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, in short VUCA) may influence partners’ decisions to adopt a given organization model for the bro-ker/TTO that manages the partnership. We show that perceptions of environ-mental turbulence may lead to a set of possible decision pathologies at the partnership level that interfere with the organizational structure of the TTO. We suggest that perceptions of turbulence and decision pathologies play an important part in explaining RIS may deviate from the intended direction or produce outcomes that are unexpected


2019 - The relationship between polychronicity and social networks: A mixed-methods study of research and development professionals [Articolo su rivista]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Dukerich, Janet
abstract

How do knowledge workers interact with their colleagues when organizations increasingly ask them to work on multiple activities, projects and working spheres simultaneously? Given the importance of social networks for individual and organizational success, in this study we explore the relationship between individual preferences for engaging in multiple tasks simultaneously (individual polychronicity), the perception of the organization’s demands in terms of engaging in multiple tasks simultaneously (organizational polychronicity), and centrality in instrumental networks. Adopting a mixed-methods approach, we collected data from knowledge professionals in a research and development (R&D) unit. Our results show that both individual and organizational polychronicity were related to network centrality. However, the effect of individual polychronicity on instrumental network centrality was stronger, especially for advice-related interactions, suggesting that individual preferences matter more when it comes to knowledge-related interactions. Not only do we link polychronicity to a previously unexplored context, that is, social networks, but we also propose the use of a cultural toolkit perspective to explain how individuals differentially make sense of organizational temporal demands. Finally, we advance research on the antecedents of network centrality and contribute to the ongoing debate on the delicate balance between structure and individual characteristics.


2018 - Experimenting with innovation in creative spaces [Articolo su rivista]
Vignoli, Matteo; Mattarelli, Elisa; Mäkinen, Saku J.
abstract

This special issue is dedicated to the investigation of how people, teams, and organizations collaborate and experiment with innovative practices in different types of creative spaces and the challenges and opportunities they face in such contexts. The six papers of this special issue offer a comprehensive view of creative spaces by providing variegated perspectives, case studies, and evidence on exemplary experimentations within them.


2018 - How Co-creation Processes Unfold and Predict Submission Quality in Crowd-based Open Innovation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Schecte, Aaron; Hinds, Pamela; Contractor, Noshir; Lu, Cindy; Topac, Begum
abstract


2018 - Innovating onsite or coordinating online? An exploration of how knowledge practices shape the onsite and online collaboration interplay across the lifecycle of collaborative communities [Articolo su rivista]
Ungureanu, Paula; Cochis, Carlotta; Rodighiero, Stefano; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Montanari, Fabrizio; Rinaldini, Matteo; Scapolan, Anna Chiara
abstract

This paper inquires about how collaborative communities configure online and onsite collaboration practices throughout their lifecycle, paying specific attention to how knowledge practices and online-onsite collaboration practices interplay. While previous literature shows that the same online and onsite collaboration practices can be both good and bad for an organization’s ability to generate new knowledge, we show that this insight can be better understood at the light of an organization’s lifecycle. By studying the evolution of a collaborative community of designers, we show that different stages of development afford different types of community structuring, identity processes and knowledge practices, which in turn shape different needs in terms of online-onsite interplay. We contribute to the literature on collaborative spaces by underscoring the importance of considering hybrid workspaces where the interplay of onsite and online collaboration assumes complex and dynamic configurations.


2018 - The Interplay between Prototyping and Identity Processes: a Field Study of a Healthcare Team [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dosi, Clio; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo
abstract

While prototypes are recognized as fundamental boundary objects in that they can favor coordination in multidisciplinary teams, we know little about how team members interpret and interact with different types of prototypes and the implications for knowledge integration. In order to address this gap, we adopted an identity-based perspective and conducted a field study of a multidisciplinary team in an emergency department, composed of doctors, nurses, technicians, and designers, in charge of redesigning the layout of the unit developing four prototypes. Our grounded model shows how team and subgroups identities impact on how prototypes are discussed, defined, and tested. In particular, subgroup identities played a major role in the definition of prototypes characterized by high levels of tangibility, validity, and fidelity, by engendering more conflict and dissent. However, a team identity based on values of innovation and experimentation lead the multidisciplinary team first to discuss openly about possible alternatives and then to converge on a solution that integrated their diverse knowledge. Our analysis contributes to the literature on boundary objects by unraveling how the interpretation of the characteristics of a prototype interacts with team and subgroups identities and offers theoretical and practical implications for designers working in knowledge intensive teams.


2018 - The journey of great expectations: A study on how institutional expectations impact collaboration expectations and collaboration enactment in hybrid interorganizational partnerships [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ungureanu, P; Bellesia, F; Bertolotti, F; Mattarelli, E.; Cochis, C.
abstract

Our research is concerned with the role played by expectations in hybrid interorganizational collaboration projects. In particular, we look at how organizations participating in public-private partnerships negotiate broad and ill-defined goals and expectations set by policymakers to carry forward heterogeneous expectations about the partnership. We empirically study a hybrid partnership in which public and private actors came together with the broad goal of supporting regional innovation and fostering knowledge exchange. We use a process-perspective derived from the sociology of expectations to analyze the generative and transformational role of expectations, that is, how expectations shape dynamics and outcomes of hybrid collaboration. In particular, we document that the tendency to create ad-hoc material objects or spaces (in our case, a regional science park) can lead to vicious self-reinforcing mechanisms that push partners away from the initial collaboration goals. Notably, too many expectations and promissory commitments associated to an already configured physical space may lock partners in rigid and repetitive interaction schemes, especially when the configuration of the space is not backed up by social centrality— willingness and ability to modify pre-existing organizational structures. We offer contributions to a better understanding of collaborative dynamics in partnership failure and a more nuanced understanding of policy goal-setting through hybrid private-public partnerships.


2017 - Building Bridges in Global Virtual Teams: The Role of Multicultural Brokers in Overcoming the Negative Effects of Identity Threats on Knowledge Sharing Across Subgroups [Articolo su rivista]
Eisenberg, Julia; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Global virtual teams experience difficulties in knowledge sharing, often related to identity threats that emerge across subgroups. In this conceptual paper we adopt the integrative model of subgroup relations to explore the role of multicultural brokers, i.e. team members or leaders who transcend different cultural boundaries and help to bridge differences among colleagues in different subgroups, in positively influencing the relationship between identity threats and knowledge sharing. We propose that identity threats across subgroups of global virtual teams have a negative impact on knowledge sharing quality and quantity. We contend that the presence of multicultural brokers help alleviate the negative effects of identity threats over knowledge sharing through a curvilinear moderating effect. We further propose that role (leader versus member), type of appointment (formal versus emergent), situated coworker familiarity with different subgroup members, and level of cultural intelligence of the multicultural broker play unique moderating roles on the relationship between identity threats and knowledge sharing quality and quantity. Our research offers theoretical contribution to the literature on subgroup relationships and knowledge sharing in global virtual teams and practical implications for managers and MNEs, helping guide management efforts.


2017 - Interrelating Collaboration Practices and Identity Formation in Interorganizational Partnerships [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Ungureanu, Paula; Bellesia, Francesca; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

This work studies the process by which interorganizational partnerships develop collective identities, and, in particular, how collaboration practices and identity processes interplay as partnerships evolves through time. We conducted a longitudinal study in a partnership where organizations from different sectors collaborated to realize a science park. We followed the evolution of the partnership across four stages (setup, design, implementation, and redesign), highlighting for each phase how collective identity processes and collaboration practices interplayed. We document that the enthusiasm and urgency in the initial phases led partners to immediately create a strong sense of belongingness to the partnership, which we labelled as swift collective identity. While in the beginning the swift identity mobilized collaboration practices (i.e., precocious alignment), as the partnership evolved, it became dissonant with what partners could actually accomplish together (misalignment), and, after being dismantled and reelaborated, it set the basis for a more gradual, and slow paced identity (realignment). By discussing alternation between swift identities and small collaboration wins, we contribute to a better understanding of the identity-collaboration interplay in interorganizational settings. By connecting identity fluidity with reification and embeddedness, we also contribute to the current conversation on the construction of collective identities.


2017 - On the Impact of Multiple Team Membership on a System of Teams’ Performance [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Incerti, V.; Yücesan, E.; Mell, J.; Mattarelli, E.; Bertolotti, &
abstract

In this study, we investigate the complex and conjoint effects of Multiple Team Membership and other related system design characteristics on the performance of a system composed of teams. This is particularly relevant as organizations increasingly make use of teamwork to achieve their goals and most knowledge workers experience a situation of multi-teaming. In particular, we focus on the concurrent effects of the number of concurrent membership, and teams’ size and overlap. Results indicate that at the system of teams level the relationship between MTM and performance follows a curvilinear, inverted U-shaped relationship. Moreover, team size and team overlap show an effective, negative role in affecting performance. Following this, we propose a topology for MTM systems based on system design characteristics.


2017 - The Role of Brokers and Social Identities in the Development of Capabilities in Global Virtual Teams [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Tagliaventi, Maria Rita; Carli, Giacomo; Gupta, Amar
abstract

While organizations are increasingly relying on global virtual teams (GVTs) to carry out knowledge intensive activities, the understanding of how GVTs develop capabilities is still limited. We explore how GVTs adapt routines and build capabilities, and the role played by brokers and social identities in this process. We interviewed 49 professionals working in fifteen GVTs based in Europe, India, and US, and operating in IT and engineering consulting companies. Our multi-level grounded model highlights that, while brokers help in the creation of mutual knowledge, they reduce the accuracy of perceptions about distant co-workers. Mutual knowledge, combined with limited accuracy of perceptions, diminishes the need to adapt team routines over time. The negative effect of brokers on the creation of team capabilities is reduced when individual professional identities trigger the search for more accurate perceptions of distant colleagues and clients with the objective of adapting team routines and performing more stimulating work. On top of this, organizational identity further enables the process of adaptation of team routines. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical implications on the interplay between operational and social processes in GVTs and team capabilities, as well as practical implications for designing and managing GVTs.


2016 - Geographic Configuration Fluidity in Virtual Teams: Consequences for Individuals and Teams [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Incerti, Valerio; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Mark, Mortensen; Michael Boyer, O'Leary
abstract

As communications technologies become increasingly stable and secure, distributed virtual work is fast becoming a central component of how global organizations function (Caya, Mortensen & Pissoneault, 2013; Gibson, Huang, Kirkman & Shapiro, 2014). With U.S. virtual worker growth of over 100% in the past decade (Global Workplace Analytics, 2014) and an estimated 1.3 billion virtual workers worldwide (International Data Corporation, 2011), it is increasingly important for organizations and employees to effectively navigate this transformed work environment. Although work is becoming more and more virtual, our collective understanding of the effects of this change is still in its infancy. In a variety of articles across a range of domains, Organizational Behavior scholars have lamented the lack of clarity on whether existing, highly cited management theories wholly apply to virtual contexts (Bolino, Long & Turnley, 2015; Feldman & Ng, 2007; Grandey, 2015). Theories relating to interpersonal interactions, which often rely on synchronous communication, in person cues, and shared understandings, may operate differently in settings where individuals are separated by space, time, and technology. The goal of this symposium is to advance research on virtual work by illuminating new findings and theoretical developments within this emerging work context. The presentations in this symposium cross domains and methodologies to help build an understanding of how virtual work impacts employee status, voice, transactive memory, team creativity, and communication. Together, these presentations propose theories and offer practical implications that will advance our understanding of this increasingly popular business context.


2016 - Institutional Frames and Collaboration Expectations in Hybrid Interorganizational Partnerships [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Ungureanu, Paula; Bellesia, Francesca; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Our research is concerned with the role played by expectations in hybrid interorganizational collaboration projects. In particular, we look at how organizations participating in multi-party cross-sector partnerships negotiate broad and ill-defined metaproblems set by policymakers to carry forward heterogeneous goals about the partnership. We used a process-perspective derived from the sociology of expectations to empirically study a hybrid partnership in which public and private actors came together with the broad goal of supporting regional innovation and creating and managing a new science park. In particular, we found that the ambiguity of institutional frames gave room to the proliferation of partners’ expectations about the collaboration. Such proliferation was driven by a clash between the pile-up of goals and commitments in relation to the main project of the partnership -i.e. the design of the science park- and the materialization of the project itself -i.e. the realization and use of the science park. Instead of admitting difficulties in making the science park function properly (i.e., managing the clash) our actors continuously alimented their positive expectations about the collaboration thanks to a rolling announcements strategy that constantly pushed expectations further into the future. We offer contributions to a better understanding of collaborative dynamics in hybrid partnership failure by surfacing the negative power of expectations, the dual role of materiality as collaboration enabler and constrainer, and the interplay between broadly defined institutional frames and the proliferation of heterogeneous goals within hybrid partnerships.


2016 - Organizzare la collaborazione nei luoghi di innovazione: le dinamiche relazionali tra spazi fisici e virtuali [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Mizzau, Lorenzo; Montanari, Fabrizio; Scapolan, Anna Chiara; Ungureanu, Paula
abstract

-


2016 - Third-World “Sloggers” or Elite Global Professionals? Using Organizational Toolkits to Redefine Work Identity in Information Technology Offshore Outsourcing [Articolo su rivista]
Koppman, Sharon; Mattarelli, Elisa; Gupta, Amar
abstract

Organizations increasingly rely on teams that span national and organizational boundaries, yet team members in emerging countries and vendor firms are not treated as professional peers by their Western and client-based peers. To understand how they respond to this identity threat, we integrate two literatures that suggest two possible answers: an organizational response, based on the critical literature on top-down identity regulation, and an individual response, based on the positive literature on bottom-up identity construction. Drawing on in-depth interviews and archival data from three Indian information technology (IT) offshore outsourcing firms, we examine how organizational and individual identity processes work in tandem to address this threat. We find that firms do not resolve this threat by regulating employee identity directly as they claim, but instead provide workers with an organizational toolkit—a set of organizationally available cultural resources (e.g., frames and stories) and political resources (e.g., policies and procedures) that workers use selectively and strategically to construct positive identities. By bringing a toolkit perspective to identity processes, we contribute to theory and research on cross-level identity linkages, the strategic nature of identity processes, and the local context of global identity.


2015 - Changing Collaboration in Knowledge Work: Design Implications for Jobs, Teams, and Organizations [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Catherine, Cramton; Mattarelli, Elisa; Andrea, Prencipe; Luca, Giustiniano
abstract

In the light of economic and technological turmoil, studies on job design, work practices, and organizational design call for research on the changing nature of collaborative practices and teamwork and their implications for job and organizational design. This symposium focuses on the changing nature of teamwork and its implications for individuals and organizations and puts emphasis on three relevant trends that may change how we think about designing and managing teams: i) multitasking and multiple team membership; ii) the increasing cultural heterogeneity of teams; and iii) new collaborative forms based on open-source platforms, open innovation networks, and crowdsourcing. Four papers on the three aforementioned issues will be presented by a multidisciplinary group of researchers. The papers will be discussed from a broader organizational design perspective in order to illustrate the theoretical contributions to the debate on the changing organizational forms for collaboration and innovation, and derive practical hints for organizations that are asked to redesign teams and structure. Role Structure Differences across Countries and Their Effect on Global Construction Teams Presenter: Tine Koehler; The U. of Melbourne Presenter: Catherine Cramton; George Mason U. Language-sensitive Communication Climate and Non-native English Speakers’ Stress in Global Work Presenter: Johanna Koroma; Aalto U. Presenter: Niina Nurmi; Aalto U. Presenter: Marianne Leinikka; Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Presenter: Satu Pakarinen; Finnish Institute of Occupational Health The Interplay between Multiple Team Membership and Time Preferences in affecting Role Overload Presenter: Fabiola Bertolotti; U. of Modena and Reggio Emilia Presenter: Valerio Incerti; U. of Modena and Reggio Emilia Presenter: Elisa Mattarelli; U. of Modena and Reggio Emilia Presenter: Mark Mortensen; INSEAD Presenter: Michael Boyer O'Leary; Georgetown U. Collaborative Co-Creative Crowdsourcing as a New Form of Work Presenter: Ann Majchrzak; U. of Southern California Presenter: Arvind Malhotra; U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


2015 - Exploring the relationship between multiple team membership and team performance: the role of social networks and collaborative technology [Articolo su rivista]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo; Macri', Diego Maria
abstract

Firms devoted to research and development and innovative activities intensively use teams to carry out knowledge intensive work and increasingly ask their employees to be engaged in multiple teams (e.g. R&D project teams) simultaneously. The literature has extensively investigated the antecedents of single teams performance, but has largely overlooked the effects of multiple team membership (MTM), i.e., the participation of a focal team’s members in multiple teams simultaneously, on the focal team outcomes. In this paper we examine the relationships between team performance, MTM, the use of collaborative technologies (instant messaging), and work-place social networks (external advice receiving). The data collected in the R&D unit of an Italian company support the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between MTM and team performance such that teams whose members are engaged simultaneously in few or many teams experience lower performance. We found that receiving advice from external sources moderated this relationship. When MTM is low or high, external advice receiving has a positive effect, while at intermediate levels of MTM it has a negative effect. Finally, the average use of instant messaging in the team also moderated the relationship such that at low levels of MTM, R&D teams whose members use instant messaging intensively attain higher performance while at high levels of MTM an intense use of instant messaging is associated with lower team performance. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications for innovative firms engaged in multitasking work scenarios.


2015 - How Offshore Professionals' Job Dissatisfaction Can Promote Further Offshoring: Organizational Outcomes of Job Crafting [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

This paper investigates the process that leads from job dissatisfaction to new business opportunities in organizations that offshore R&D activities to emerging countries. Specifically, we investigate a major source of job dissatisfaction for offshore professionals: the misalignment between the work that they perform and their professional identity. Our findings indicate that offshore professionals react against the perception of threat to work-identity integrity through individual and collective job crafting. A significant outcome of job crafting is the introduction of new markets, industries, and services, which are expected to change job design. The perceptions of the compatibility of organizational identity with professional identity and with new idea recognition on one hand, and of distant and local social support on the other, act as intervening conditions in the process. We discuss theoretical contributions to the evolution of offshoring, job crafting, and the interplay between organizational and professional identity, together with managerial implications.


2015 - The Development of Capabilities in Globally Distributed Teams [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Giacomo, Carli; Mattarelli, Elisa; Maria Rita, Tagliaventi; Amar, Gupta
abstract

As organizations increasingly rely on globally distributed teams (GDTs) to carry out knowledge intensive activities, the understanding of how GDTs develop capabilities is still limited. In this study we investigate how GDTs adapt routines and build up capabilities and the interplay between team and organizational capabilities. We collected qualitative data through documents and interviews with fourteen GDTs operating in IT consulting companies, with subgroups located in North America, Europe, India, and South America and we built a grounded model that highlights the role of brokers in the development of team capabilities. While brokers help in the creation of mutual knowledge, their activity reduces the accuracy of perceptions about distant coworkers. Mutual knowledge, combined with a limited accuracy of perceptions, reduces the need to adapt team routines over time. The negative effect of brokers on the creation of team capabilities is reduced when individual professional identities, characterized by values such as visibility and autonomy, trigger the search for more accurate perceptions of distant colleagues and clients with the objective of adapting team routines and gaining more stimulating work, especially when based in locations distant from team clients. Finally, we identified a continuous interplay between team routines and organizational routines in organizations characterized by innovativeness and flexibility as core attributes of their identity. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.


2015 - The interplay between organizational polychronicity, multitasking behaviors and organizational identification: A mixed-methods study in knowledge intensive organizations [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Incerti, Valerio
abstract

This paper investigates how individual perceptions and attitudes about an organization influence multitasking behaviors in the workplace. While we know that individuals are significantly influenced in their behaviors by the characteristics of their organizations (e.g. ICTs, organizational structure, physical layout), we still do not know much about how the way individuals interpret their organization influences their multitasking behaviors. Thus, we specifically hypothesize that the individual perception of the organizational preferences for multitasking (i.e. organizational polychronicity) engenders the actual multitasking behaviors that an individual enacts in the workplace. We also hypothesize that the attachment to the organization (i.e. organizational identification) moderates the above relationship. We conducted a mixed method study in two knowledge intensive organizations (an R&D unit and a university department) and collected data through a survey, diaries, and semi-structured interviews. Our findings support the first hypothesis but not the moderating role of organizational identification. However, this latter is directly related to how much a person is willing to work on multiple activities on a single day. Further, our study suggests that not only the organizational context should be investigated in the study of multitasking behaviors, but also the larger work context, including the individuals’ professional communities. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications as well as methodological reflections on mixing methods in the study of multitasking in organizations.


2014 - Doing what you are or becoming what you do: the interplay between identity and dynamic capabilities [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Giacomo, Carli; Mattarelli, Elisa; Maria Rita, Tagliaventi
abstract

We surprisingly know little about the process through which dynamic capabilities are generated and developed within organizations. When organizations cope with changes, they need to challenge the very essence and reflect upon the core attributes that make their employees respond to the question of ‘who are we as an organization?’, i.e. organizational identity. In this study we investigate the interplay between organizational identity and the development of dynamic capabilities. Our two qualitative case studies of Italian companies show that the search for coherence between the new routines introduced from outside (i.e. consultants) and organizational identity engenders the development of dynamic capabilities. In the first case, the introduction of new routines triggered the definition of a new organizational identity coherent with the underlying practices, and turned into the development of replication dynamic capabilities. In the second case, an enduring identity inspired the redefinition of the routines and contributed to the development of adaptation dynamic capabilities. The paper discusses contributions to the literatures about dynamic capabilities and organizational identity, as well as practical implications.


2014 - Integrating knowledge through consistency between leadership and technology in distributed teams [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Vincenza, Poliandri; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Maria Rita, Tagliaventi; Alessandro, Grandi
abstract

The literature on distributed work has recognized the importance of enhancing our understanding of how leadership processes change in globally distributed teams (GDTs), and of the interplay between leadership processes and the use of collaborative technologies. Following the theoretical framework of e- leadership, the aim of this paper is to explore how emergent and formal leadership processes co-evolve with the use of collaborative technologies in a GDT and their influence on team performance. We conducted a multiple case study of five GDTs engaged in European scientific collaborations. Our analysis suggests that the consistency between leadership processes and technology use is related to better knowledge integration, which is an important antecedent of overall team performance. The grounded model that we build contributes to the literature on distribute teams effectiveness, knowledge integration, and team science, and provides practical hints to team managers and policy makers.


2014 - ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT AND MULTITASKING BEHAVIORS: A MIXED-METHOD STUDY [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Incerti, Valerio; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

This paper investigates how individual perceptions and attitudes about an organization influence multitasking behaviors in the workplace. While we know that individuals’ behaviors are influenced by the characteristics of their organizations (e.g., ICTs, physical layout), we still do not know much about how the way individuals interpret their organization influences their multitasking behaviors. We first hypothesize that individual perceptions of organizational preferences for multitasking (i.e. organizational polychronicity) have impacts on actually enacted multitasking behaviors. We also hypothesize that the attachment to the organization (i.e. organizational identification) moderates the above relationship. We conducted a mixed method study in two knowledge intensive organizations and collected data through a survey, diaries, and semi-structured interviews. Our findings support the first hypothesis but not the moderating role of organizational identification. However, this latter seems to be directly related on how much a person is willing to work on different activities, but not on how much she interrupts others or accepts being interrupted. Further, our study suggests that not only the organizational context should be investigated in the study of multitasking behaviors, but also the larger work context, including the individuals’ professional communities.


2014 - The effect of consistency between leadership and technology on knowledge integration in GDTs [Capitolo/Saggio]
Poliandri, Vincenza; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Tagliaventi, Maria Rita; Grandi, Alessandro
abstract

The literature on distributed work has recognized the importance of enhancing our understanding of how leadership processes change in globally distributed teams (GDTs), and of the interplay between leadership processes and the use of collaborative technologies. However, we still find limited, and sometimes contradictory, empirical evidence on the topic. Following the theoretical framework of e-leadership, the aim of this paper is to explore how emergent and formal leadership processes co-evolve with the use of collaborative technologies in GDTs and their influence on team performance. We conducted a multiple case study in five GDTs engaged in scientific collaborations. Our analysis suggests that the attainment of consistency between leadership processes and technology use is related to better knowledge integration, which is an important antecedent of overall team performance.


2013 - How Many Teams should we Manage at Once? The Effect of Multiple Team Membership, Collaborative Technologies, and Polychronicity on Team Performance [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Mortensen, M.; O'Leary, M.; Incerti, Valerio
abstract

This study explores the relationship between multiple team membership or ‘multi-teaming’ (the extent to which team members are simultaneously engaged in several teams in a given period of time and switch between different teams in a single work day), the performance of single teams, the intensity of use and perceptions of usefulness of collaborative technologies, and team members individual preferences for managing multiple tasks simultaneously (individual polychronicity). Drawing on theoretical work on multiple team membership (MTM) and theories of attention and knowledge acquisition, we argue that the number of MTMs has an inverted U-shaped relationship with team performance while the team average daily MTM is negatively related to the focal team performance. We also propose that the intensity of use of collaborative technologies will moderate the above relationships so that at low levels of MTM it will help teams to attain higher performance while at high levels of MTM it will reduce teams performance. Conversely, variance in collaborative technologies’ perceptions of uselfulness will moderate negatively the above relationships. Finally, we expect teams whose members are more polychronic to attain better performance in a multi-teaming context. We are exploring these issues through a field study based on quantitative and qualitative data collected in an Italian consulting firm that operates in the field of Business Intelligence Systems.


2013 - The Effect of Consistency between Leadership and Technology on Knowledge Integration in GDTs [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Poliandri, V.; Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Tagliaventi, M. R.; Grandi, A.
abstract

The literature on distributed work has recognized the importance of enhancing our understanding of how leadership processes change in globally distributed teams (GDTs), and of the interplay between leadership processes and the use of collaborative technologies. However, we still find limited, and sometimes contradictory, empirical evidence on the topic. Following the theoretical framework of e-leadership, the aim of this paper is to explore how emergent and formal leadership processes co-evolve with the use of collaborative technologies in GDTs and their influence on team performance. We conducted a multiple case study in five GDTs engaged in scientific collaborations. Our analysis suggests that the attainment of consistency between leadership processes and technology use is related to better knowledge integration, which is an important antecedent of overall team performance


2013 - The Interpretive Work of Offshore Professionals in Intercultural Collaborations [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Koppman, Sharon; Mattarelli, Elisa; Gupta, Amar
abstract

Globally distributed arrangements that span Western and emerging countries have become increasingly common in knowledge intensive work. In these collaborations, it is often assumed that macro level structural inequalities are a major source of difficulty for coordination and knowledge sharing. However, we know surprisingly little about how professionals in emerging countries negotiate these inequalities in their daily work practice. To address this gap, we collected qualitative data from interviews with Indian IT professionals working in offshore consulting companies. We find that offshore professionals interpret inequalities and resulting workplace tensions with Western clients and colleagues as originating from differences in national culture. Contrary to our expectations, this interpretation does not carry negative connotations, but is rather framed as a professional development towards a higher global ideal. By developing strategies – cultural flexibility, business skills, and consulting skills – to alleviate these tensions, they re-conceptualize adaptation as a path towards realizing professional identity – characterized by visibility, international exposure, and learning – with the potential to improve their employability and work quality.


2013 - The use of ethnography and grounded theory in the development of a management information system . [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria
abstract

This work presents new evidence on how ethnography and the grounded theory approach can be integrated within a participatory information system development process. We conducted an ethnography in a hospital unit, collecting data from observations, interviews and documents. The discussion about emergent themes with the actors in their natural context and the development of a grounded model allowed us to identify widespread discomfort felt by personnel and to code it as process conflict, i.e. a particular type of conflict caused by inefficiencies in the organization of work activities. The grounded model was the starting point for conducting a series of focus groups during which the organizational actors were allowed to face process conflict while defining the requirements of a new management information system. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our study for IS researchers and practitioners.


2013 - Work and family: Do polychronicity and social networks help or hurt? [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Bagger, J.
abstract

We examine associations among polychronicity, work-family enrichment (affect, development, capital), and work-place social networks (advice receiving and giving). In a sample of University affiliates, we proposed and found a U-shaped relationship between polychronicity and work-family enrichment; polychronic or monochronic individuals reported higher levels of work-family enrichment compared to those who were neither polychronic nor monochronic. Advice receiving moderated this relationship such that monochronic and polychronic individuals reporting high levels of advice receiving experienced higher levels of work-family development and capital. Advice giving moderated the relationship in the opposite direction: central individuals low in polychronicity reported higher levels of work-family enrichment than central individuals high in polychronicity.


2012 - L’offshoring delle attività intangibili e le PMI: i casi di due imprese italiane [Working paper]
M. R., Tagliaventi; Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Zanoni
abstract

Il fenomeno dell’offshoring è stato oggetto di crescente attenzione da parte di media, manager e accademici (Levy, 2005; Manning et al., 2008; Contractor et al., 2010). Nella definizione più generale l’offshoring riguarda la de-localizzazione e/o esternalizzazione di produzione (attività tangibili) e servizi (quali attività specifiche, processi o intere funzioni, qui indicate genericamente con il termine attività intangibili, Grimaldi et al., 2010) verso Paesi esteri, in particolare quelli caratterizzati da economie emergenti, come India, Cina, Russia, Brasile. Se esternalizzazione e de-localizzazione della produzione per accedere a nuovi mercati o a risorse meno costose non sono una novità per le imprese occidentali, la tipologia di attività oggetto di offshoring si sta di recente muovendo verso servizi ad alto contenuto di conoscenza, talvolta strategici per le organizzazioni (offshoring delle attività intangibili). Tra i fattori che abilitano la crescente diffusione dell’offshoring delle attività intangibili si ricordano la diffusione delle ICT, la modularizzazione di prodotti e processi, la ridotta disponibilità di alcuni tipi di competenze, la liberalizzazione dei mercati, e la crescente integrazione interorganizzativa. Come mostrato in Figura 1, quando l’offshoring riguarda l’esternalizzazione di attività intangibili ad altre imprese fornitrici di servizi specifici (ad esempio imprese di consulenza) viene qualificato come offshore outsourcing. Quando un’impresa, invece, fa un investimento diretto in un Paese emergente e apre un centro proprietario, si parla di captive offshoring. Scelte di localizzazione all’interno dei confini nazionali sono quelle che portano a mantenere ‘in house’ le attività intangibili oppure a esternalizzare, ma all’interno dei confini nazionali (domestic outsourcing).Per chiarire meglio quali sono i ‘contenuti’ dell’offshoring delle attività intangibili (captive e outsourcing), si noti che il termine si riferisce all’approvvigionamento di input, piuttosto che ad attività di vendita in output e che nasce per fare fronte a bisogni globali o domestici delle imprese, piuttosto che a necessità locali nei Paesi emergenti. In altre parole, non si riferisce né alle attività legate all’ingresso in un nuovo mercato locale (ad esempio la vendita di prodotti e servizi nel mercato cinese) né ai servizi per supportare le attività locali (ad esempio la gestione delle risorse umane per la sede cinese). Solo se le attività svolte dal centro proprietario o dall’impresa fornitrice supportano l’impresa a livello globale oppure offrono servizi per le sedi domestiche, allora si parla di offshoring (Lewin et al., 2009).


2012 - Modularity: objective or perceived? A case study of a R&D globally distributed team [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Prencipe; A., Gupta
abstract

Globally Distributed Teams are being increasingly used by organizations to carry out knowledge intensive work and are often engaged in the development of modular products and services. While modularity is always treated as a given property of products and services, the findings of our qualitative research conducted in a GDT in charge of developing a new software product suggest that team members develop different perceptions of modularity, that, in turn, are related to different perceptions of interactions and team configuration. These different perceptions bring about both positive and negative outcomes.


2012 - Multiple Team Membership and Team Performance: The Effects of Social Networks and Technology [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo; Macri', Diego Maria
abstract

In this paper we examine the relationships between team performance, multiple team membership (MTM), i.e., the participation of team members in multiple teams simultaneously, the use of collaborative technologies (instant messaging) and work-place social networks (receiving advice). In a sample of R&D teams belonging to an Italian company, we found an inverted U-shaped relationship between MTM and team performance such that teams whose members are engaged simultaneously in few or many teams experience lower performance. We found that receiving advice moderated this relationship such that when MTM is low, it has a positive effect and when MTM is high, it has a negative effect. Finally the use of instant messaging also moderated the relationship such that at low levels of MTM, teams whose members used instant messaging intensively attain higher performance while at high levels of MTM an intense use of instant messaging is associated with lower team performance.


2012 - Perceived Modularity: A case study of a globally distributed team [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Prencipe; A., Gupta
abstract

Globally Distributed Teams are being increasingly used by organizations to carry out knowledge intensive work and are often engaged in the development of modular products and services. While modularity is always treated as a given property of products and services, the findings of our qualitative research conducted in a GDT in charge of developing a new software product suggest that team members develop different perceptions of modularity, that, in turn, are related to different perceptions of interactions and team configuration. These different perceptions bring about difficulties in coordination and knowledge sharing.


2012 - THE EVOLUTION OF INTER ORGANIZATIONAL NETWORKS OVER TIME [Working paper]
Mattarelli, Elisa; S., Weisband
abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors that influence the continuous use of collaborative technologies over time. We conducted a case study on a major telemedicine network in the U.S. The analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data suggests that integration with the regular workflow, stable availability of professionals at remote locations, and the emergence of spontaneous knowledge diffusion are associated with the success of telemedicine practices over time. Moreover, it shows that the limited awareness of the coordinating staff about the activities performed remotely reduces the use of telemedicine. However, this effect is mitigatedby the activation of telemedicine collaborations with other organizations, which belong to the same sub-networks. Based on the findings, we derive theoretical and practical implications for telemedicine and work at distance.


2011 - Consultants as enablers of Dynamic Capabilities: a multiple case study [Working paper]
Carli, G.; Grandi, A.; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

This study focuses on the process of change that firms undertake to overcome situations of organizational rigidity, thanks to the contribution of external actors, such as consultants. Previous literature about dynamic capabilities has become very rich in the last years; however, the models that explain how dynamic capabilities evolve are not particularly investigated. Literature about knowledge transfer claims that external actors can bring new elements that activate pathways of organizational change and the development of capabilities previously not present. This paper proposes relevant case studies in which external actors introduce new knowledge within organizations activating processes of change. Each case consists of an organizational consulting project. Consultants are interpreted as external actors who bring new knowledge that can be internalized by the client firm and can enable the development of new dynamic capabilities. Results show that consultants can play an active role in helping firms in overcoming conditions of organizational rigidity and in developing new dynamic capabilities.


2011 - I team virtuali [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

La diffusione delle tecnologie ICT e la crescente dispersione geografica delle imprese rendono i team virtuali una scelta organizzativa sempre più diffusa. Un team virtuale è un gruppo di lavoro i cui membri hanno un obiettivo comune, ricorrono principalmente a tecnologie collaborative per interagire e sono distribuiti in luoghi diversi. I team virtuali sono spesso chiamati a svolgere attività critiche per le organizzazioni, quali, ad esempio, la soluzione rapida di problemi complessi, la ricerca e sviluppo, i servizi di supporto informatico. L’obiettivo di questo libro è presentare i team virtuali attraverso una trattazione teorica e l’illustrazione di alcuni casi di studio. Nella prima parte del libro vengono sistematizzati i principali risultati degli studi accademici sui team virtuali, in termini di tecnologie utilizzate (tecnologie CSCW- Computer Supported Collaborative Work, CHI - Computer Human Interaction), processi sociali emergenti (leadership, status, identificazione, fiducia, awareness) e performance. Vengono inoltre introdotti gli strumenti manageriali per la progettazione e la gestione dei team virtuali. Nella seconda parte, i casi di studio illustrano operativamente questi temi presentando team virtuali in diversi contesti intra e inter organizzativi, locali e internazionali, specializzati e multidisciplinari. Team che lavorano sfruttando le differenze di orario, on-line communities, gruppi di medici e infermieri che utilizzano strumenti di telemedicina, ricercatori universitari coinvolti in progetti internazionali sono alcuni degli esempi di quei team virtuali, che, pur generando molteplici difficoltà organizzative e gestionali, stanno diventando sempre più una risposta ai bisogni di flessibilità delle organizzazioni moderne.


2011 - I team virtuali di R&D. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo
abstract

Il caso presentato in questo capitolo riguarda l’unità di R&S di una media impresa italiana che sviluppa motori ad energia alternativa, avvalendosi di team di progetto a diverso grado di vir-tualità. I membri dei team lavorano su diversi progetti simultaneamente e questo influenza la performance dei singoli team. In particolare, esiste una relazione a U invertita tra il numero di progetti a cui mediamente i membri del team partecipano (MTM) e la performance del team. All’aumentare del valore di MTM, aumenta la performance del team, ma oltre una certa soglia la relazione si inverte, a causa del bisogno degli individui di ‘dividersi’ tra troppe attività diverse. La relazione tra MTM e performance è moderata (cioè influenzata) dal supporto che gli individui ricevono dai colleghi e dalle modalità d’uso delle tecnologie collaborative. In particolare, avere un ampio supporto da numerosi colleghi è positivo per la performance del team se le persone sono coinvolte su pochi progetti, mentre è negativa quando gli individui sono coinvolti su moltissimi progetti. L’uso dell’Instant Messaging è positivo per la performance del team, quando gli individui sono coinvolti su pochi progetti, ma è causa di troppe interruzioni, difficili da gestire efficientemente, quando gli individui nel team sono coinvolti in molti progetti simultaneamente. Il caso si conclude con la discussione di alcune implicazioni per le organizzazioni.


2011 - The relationship between team performance and multiple team membership: the role of social networks and technology [Working paper]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo
abstract

In this paper we examine associations between team performance, the belongingness of team members to multiple project teams simultaneously, the use of collaborative technologies and work-place social networks (advice network support). In a sample of R&D teams, we proposed and found an inverted U-shaped relationship between multiple team membership (MTM) and team performance such that teams whose members are engaged simultaneously in few or many teams experience lower performance. Network support is a moderator of this relationship so that when MTM is low, network support has a positive effect and when MTM is high, network support has a negative effect. Finally the use of collaborative technologies, specifically instant messaging, moderates the relationship such that at low levels of MTM, teams whose members make an intense use of collaborative technologies attain higher performance while at high levels of MTM an intense use of collaborative technologies is associated with lower team performance.


2010 - Changing Work Practices: Acceptance of Virtual Work among Knowledge Professionals Engaged in Offshoring Activities [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

Technological advances and economic changes have increasingly enabled distant collaboration between knowledge workers and contributed to the reconfiguration of work into hybrid workspaces. This chapter presents an exploratory research that aims at better understanding distributed work in hybrid workspaces. We compare two globally distributed teams in organizations offshoring knowledge-intensive work. Our empirical evidence shows that, while both globally distributed teams are considered successful by their respective management, individual adjustment to virtual work was perceived by group members as smooth in one case and cumbersome in the other. We built a grounded theory that displays what factors facilitate the acceptance of virtual work among knowledge workers engaged in offshoring activities: integration with regular workflow, sensemaking of offshoring activities, and perception of differences in competences and professional identity. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.


2010 - Different Perceptions and Perceptions of difference in globally distributed teams [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi; Bertolotti, Fabiola; A., Gupta; A., Prencipe; N., Levina; S., Weisband; J., Wilson
abstract

This symposium will offer theoretical reflection and empirical evidence on the importance of perception and differences in globally distributed teams (GDTs). The use of GDTs, especially those dealing with knowledge-intensive tasks, has been constantly gaining relevance in academic and managerial literature due to recent technological advances and worldwide economic changes. When working from a distance, individuals engage in still underexplored processes of perception ofthemselves, others, and common phenomena. Leaders in fact face new challenges that can be interpreted differently in co-located and globally distributed teams. In addition, organizations assign bicultural leaders to GDTs based on somewhat inaccurate perceptions of how these individuals handle their bicultural identities. Likewise, team members try to understand how their distant coworkers may be and feel, and what the team outcomes are. In the symposium, we will specifically address the centrality of the issues of perception and differences in GDTs through thefollowing research questions: What are the challenges for leaders of co-located and globally distributed teams, and how are various types of leaders perceived by team members working in different team arrangements? How do bicultural managers assigned to offshore projects deal with their own bicultural identities, and how do others perceive them? What is the interplay between team members’ different propensity to multitasking and their perception of product modularity in GDTs? How does the perception of differences of professional identities across sites shape the construction of common practices? Presenters will explore these questions through studies in various R&D settings and discuss theoretical and managerial implications.


2010 - Integrazione organizzativa e tecnologia: schemi concettuali e tecniche per il ridisegno dei processi intra e inter-organizzativi. [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Macri', Diego Maria; Vignoli, Matteo; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

La pubblicazione illustra gli schemi concettuali e le tecniche per ridisegnare i processi sia inter sia intra-organizzativi al fine di raggiungere integrazione sia organizzativa sia tecnologica. I temi investigati sono le tecniche per lo studio e l'analisi dei processi organizzativi, le tecnologie dei sistemi informativi per l'integrazione delle informazioni e per l'analisi dei processi, gli strumenti di progettazione e di gestione dell'integrazione, la matrix alignment.


2010 - Inter-organizational collaboration in academia: is it worth one’s while? [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Vignoli, Matteo; Bertolotti, Fabiola; A., Grandi; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Research organizations are increasingly a context where the barriers related to physical distance are blurring. Indeed social, political and organizational pressures to inter-organizational collaboration are intensifying. This paper adopts a longitudinal approach to study the phenomenon of collaboration, investigating specifically the relationship between the mix of internal and external collaboration ties and the researcher’s performance. Analyzing the collaboration ties of researchers employed in a major Italian University from 2000 to 2007 through panel analysis, we found support for the hypothesis that more inter-organizational collaboration leads to superior performance. This result helps to deepen the understanding of the evolution of collaboration in research organizations and has implications for both management and policy.


2010 - Multiple perceptions of modularity and multitasking in globally distributed teams: toward a theory of multi-modularity [Working paper]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Prencipe; A., Gupta
abstract

Globally distributed teams (GDT) are an increasingly common organizational solution to carry out knowledge intensive tasks as they enable the development of products and services ‘around the clock’ (Carmel, 2006) in a ‘24 hours knowledge factory’ environment (Gupta et al., 2009). Most GDTs are engaged in the development of modular products or services: modularity enables the development and production of different modules to be assigned to different subgroups located across the globe (e.g. US, Ireland, and India) as product design assembly is built in the modular architecture.While modularity is always treated as a given property of products and services, in this paper we investigate (a) whether and how members of GDTs may develop different perceptions of modularity; (b) the interplay of such perceptions with individuals’ interpretations of their work in the team; and (c) the consequences of these different perceptions. In order to investigate these issues we conducted a qualitative research of a GDT in charge of developing a new software product. Our findings suggest that team members develop different perceptions of modularity, that, in turn, are related to different perceptions of interactions, team configuration, and team identity. Although these different interpretations may increase difficulty in sharing and coordinating knowledge, they positively reinforce individuals’ professional identity.The paper is structured as follows: we review literature on modularity in GDTs to introduce the construct of perceived modularity and we introduce our research question. After describing our empirical context, we present the adopted research methods and illustrate and discuss our results. We conclude with implications and directions for future research.


2010 - Offshoring of Intangibles: Organizational and Strategic Issues [Articolo su rivista]
R., Grimaldi; Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Prencipe; M., von Zedtwitz
abstract

Scholars from a variety of research traditions have provided interesting insights into offshoring. For instance, international business (IB) scholars have documented the movement of production operations to overseas locations (e.g. Dunning, 1988), and management scholars have investigated global sourcing strategies focusing on the outsourcing of components to vendors (Kotabe and Omura, 1989; Kotabe and Murray, 1990). Scholars commonly distinguish between relocation of economic activities to foreign subsidiaries, captive offshoring, and relocation to external independent suppliers, offshore outsourcing (Lewin and Peeters, 2006; Doh et al., 2009). With this special issue of Industry and Innovation, we focus upon a particular type of offshoring: that of intangibles. Offshoring of intangibles refers to the “process of sourcing any business task, process, or function supporting domestic and global operations from abroad, in particular from lower cost emerging economies” (Manning et al., 2008: 35). Over the last years, this practice has targeted increasingly higher value-adding activities related to a firm’s core business, such as research and development (R&D), engineering services and product design (von Zedtwitz and Gassmann, 2002; Bardhan, 2006; Chakrabarty et al., 2006; Couto et al., 2006; Manning et al., 2008). Offshoring of intangibles appears to be driven not only by cost saving, but also by a global sourcing-of-knowledge rationale, and must be seen as a novel type of internationalization (Maskell et al., 2007). In the early 2000s (Lewin and Cuoto, 2007), the percentage of firms experimenting with offshoring of intangibles rapidly rose from around 5 percent to more than 30 percent, mostly involving services such as engineering design, data processing and analysis, software development, R&D and web hosting (Zaheer et al., 2009).


2010 - The relationship between team performance and multiple team membership: the role of social networks and technology [Abstract in Rivista]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria; Mattarelli, Elisa; Vignoli, Matteo
abstract

Organizations increasingly use teams, both co-localized and distributed, to perform knowledge intensivetasks and face fast-pace environmental changes. Although their importance is widely acknowledged, agrowing body of evidences suggests that teams frequently face difficulties in fully realizing theirpotential, especially in situations where team members are distributed and interact mainly throughcollaborative technologies. The structure of social networks in which teams are embedded is consideredan important predictor of team performance even though, at a group level of analysis, empiricalevidence is still scant. Previous research has investigated the relationships between densecommunication-networ k structure in predicting performance in localized teams and started to link socialnetwork structures to some outcomes of distributed teams such as rapport, trust, ease of coordination.However, in distributed teams, dense communication and advice networks may be difficult to maintain,because team members need to avail themselves almost exclusively of communication technologies(Hinds, McGrath, 2006). Therefore, in this paper, we aim to further investigate the interplay betweentechnologies and the structure of work-related social networks and its effect on team performancecomparing distributed and collocated teams.Organizations increasingly use teams, both co-localized and distributed, to perform knowledge intensivetasks and face fast-pace environmental changes. Although their importance is widely acknowledged, agrowing body of evidences suggests that teams frequently face difficulties in fully realizing theirpotential, especially in situations where team members are distributed and interact mainly throughcollaborative technologies. The structure of social networks in which teams are embedded is consideredan important predictor of team performance even though, at a group level of analysis, empiricalevidence is still scant. Previous research has investigated the relationships between densecommunication-networ k structure in predicting performance in localized teams and started to link socialnetwork structures to some outcomes of distributed teams such as rapport, trust, ease of coordination.However, in distributed teams, dense communication and advice networks may be difficult to maintain,because team members need to avail themselves almost exclusively of communication technologies(Hinds, McGrath, 2006). Therefore, in this paper, we aim to further investigate the interplay betweentechnologies and the structure of work-related social networks and its effect on team performancecomparing distributed and collocated teams.We collected data on 73 R&D professionals, situated across 29 project teams (both co-located andgeographically distributed) and belonging to a multi-national world-leading corporation operating in thealternative energy industry. We collected data on the advice, communication, potential interaction workrelated complete networks Performance was measured by asking both team members and managers toevaluate the team outcomes in terms of quality of output, respect of budget, deadlines and clientsatisfaction. This work contributes to the social network as well as collaboration and distributed workliterature.


2010 - The role of polychronicity and social networks in the work-family enrichment relationship [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
J., Bagger; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

The current paper examines associations among measures of polychronicity, work-family enrichment (affect, development, and capital), and social networks (network support and network centrality in the advice network). Specifically, in a sample of 88 University employees and academics, we proposed and found a U-shaped relationship between polychronicity and work-family enrichment, such that individuals who are highly polychronic or highly monochronic report higher levels of work-family enrichment. Furthermore, this relationship was found to be moderated by network support, albeit no support was found for one work-family enrichment dimension (affect). Specifically, individuals with strong network support experience higher levels of work-family development and capital than individuals with weak network support. Finally, contrary to our expectation, network centrality moderated the relationship between polychronicity and the measures of work to family enrichment (affect, development, and capital) but in the opposite direction of proposed hypotheses. Specifically, central individuals who are low in polychronicity reported higher levels of work-family enrichment (all three dimensions) than central individuals who are high in polychronicity.


2010 - Work-related Identities, Virtual Work Acceptance, and the Development of Glocalized Work Practices in Globally Distributed Teams [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

Technological advances and economic changes have enabled distant collaboration between knowledge workers, and contributed to the increased use of globally distributed teams to accomplish knowledge-intensive work. This paper presents exploratory research that aims to improve our understanding of the interplay between multiple work identities and their effect on globally distributed teams' outcomes. We compare two globally distributed teams in Western organizations offshoring R&D activities towards emerging countries. Our grounded model shows that acceptance of virtual work is facilitated when the perception of different professional identities across sites is moderated by a shared organizational identity; when managerial support promotes cultural integration and diffused knowledge about the strategic objectives of virtual work; and when glocalized work practices are promoted and sustained over time. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.


2009 - Are you a good member of our organization? Multiple identifications, prototipicality assessment, and the transfer of work practices [Working paper]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

This paper investigates how multiple salient work-related identities influence the way highly identified individuals appraise their coworkers’ degree of prototypicality with the primary target of identification and, as a consequence, their willingness to engage in extra-role behaviors toward prototypical members. Through a field study in a hospital unit where members belonging to four different professional groups (doctors, technicians, physicists, and nurses) operate jointly, we show that when both organizational and professional identities are salient, highly identified individuals, while complying with the prototype of the most salient identity—in this case the organization—are also influenced by the prototypical behaviors of their professional identity. This interplay leads to the development of different priorities of prototypical behaviors with the primary target for different professionals such that behaviors of the organizational prototype that acquire most relevance are those overlapping with the core prototypic behaviors of the professional prototype. Professional prototypes therefore act as ‘prisms’ through which organizational prototypes are interpreted and coworkers evaluated. Our findings show that only coworkers perceived as prototypical become worthy recipients of extra-role behaviors. Specifically, the extra-role behaviors we observed include practice sharing between members of different professional groups. More generally, the study contributes to research on multiple identities and the outcomes that their interplay generates as well as to research on the role of interpersonal dynamics in identification processes within organizational contexts.


2009 - INVESTIGATING REMOTE COLLABORATION OVER TIME: THE CASE OF A U.S. TELEMEDICINE NETWORK [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; S., Weisband
abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors that influence the continuous use of collaborative technologies over time. We conducted a case study on a major U.S telemedicine network in the US. The analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data suggests that integration with the regular workflow, stable availability of professionals at remote locations, and the emergence of spontaneous knowledge diffusion are associated with the success of telemedicine practices over time. Moreover, it shows that the limited awareness of the coordinating staff about the activities performed remotely reduces the use of telemedicine. However, this effect is mitigatedby the activation of telemedicine collaborations with other organizations, which belong to the same sub-networks. Based on the findings, we derive theoretical and practical implications for telemedicine and work at distance.


2009 - If you sleep with dogs you will wake up with flies: the Impact of Scientific Collaboration Network Structure and Evolution on Researcher Performance [Working paper]
Vignoli, Matteo; Bertolotti, F.; Mattarelli, Elisa; Grandi, A.
abstract

This paper examines the evolution of a scientific collaboration network in order to investigate the process underlining the patterns of new researchers’ attachment, the extent to which the performance of a researcher is positively related to the network’s evolution and the process explaining the researcher’s performance evolution. We applied the Discrete-Time Network Visualization and the Actor Oriented Modeling to study the researchers’ co-evolution of network and performance in four departments of a major Italian University from 1996 to 2007. Results show that homophily is the main mechanism of attachment to a research group. Researchers’ performance is influenced by the groups the researcher belongs to, the strength of the tie to the principal investigator, and the researcher’s capabilities. To predict future good performance, the co-evolution mechanism requires strong ties inside the group and weak ties outside. Results do not support the hypothesis that performance is positively correlated with network growth. Theoretical and practical implications, together with future research directions, are discussed.


2009 - Offshore-onsite subgroup dynamics in globally distributed teams [Articolo su rivista]
Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Gupta
abstract

Purpose: The increased use of distributed work arrangements across organizational and national borders calls for in-depth investigation of subgroup dynamics in globally distributed teams (GDTs). This paper focuses on the social dynamics that emerge across subgroups of onsite-offshore teams and affect the process of knowledge sharing.Methodology/Approach: We conducted a qualitative study of eight GDTs working around the clock. These GDTs were part of organizations involved in offshoring of knowledge intensive work. Findings: Our evidence shows that the specific status cue of being onsite drives status differentials across subgroups; these differentials are reduced when the client is directly involved with the activities of the team. The negative effect of high status differentials on knowledge sharing is mitigated by the presence of straddlers, who assist in the transfer of codified knowledge. Conversely, when status differentials are low, straddlers hamper spontaneous direct learning between onsite members and offshore members.Practical implications: Our work has practical implications for organizations that want to use GDTs to achieve a faster (and cheaper) development of products and services. Managers should carefully design the organizational structures of GDTs and consider upfront the trade offs related to client involvement in teamwork and the use of straddlers across sites.Originality/value of paper: The paper contributes to the literature on subgroup dynamics, applying and extending the theory of status characteristics theory.


2009 - THE INFLUENCE OF PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY ON NEW OPPORTUNITY RECOGNITION IN OFFSHORING PROCESSES [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
R., Grimaldi; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

This work examines how offshoring processes within organizations unfold over time, placing emphasis on the generation of new business ideas by offshore members. Previous literature on the antecedents of new opportunity recognition has stressed individual-level characteristics (e.g. prior knowledge), but has scarcely explored individuals’ cognitive properties. In particular, no work has mentioned the role played by professional identity, that is, the way individuals define themselves in the workplace. With the aim of filling this gap, we present two case studies of Italian organizations offshoring high-value activities to Tunisia and India. Our findings indicate that unsatisfied professional values of some individuals at the offshore captive centers triggered the recognition of new business opportunities within the company, with the potential of furthering offshoring activities. We discuss theoretical contributions to opportunity recognition, professional identity, and offshoring, and we highlight managerial implications.


2009 - The interplay between work identity and polychronicity in R&D professionals' social networks [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; J., Dukerich; Mattarelli, Elisa; Macri', Diego Maria
abstract

Individual work identity, or the way individuals define themselves in the workplace, is composed of a combination of organizational, professional, and other identities. Such identities, and the related patterns of identification, shape the roles individuals enact and the corresponding ways they behave in the workplace, e.g. their social networks. In this paper, drawing on recent contributions on identity in organizations, we interpret the preference or desire to work on different tasks at the same time (polychronicity) as part of individuals’ work identity and we explore how polychronicity, and professional and organizational identification are related to the patterns of interactions in the workplace. Specifically, we test a moderated mediated model where the relationship between individual polychronicity and network centrality is mediated by the perception of organizational polychronicity and moderated by the strength of professional and organizational identification. Adopting a mixed methods approach, we collected qualitative and quantitative data for R&D professionals employed in a world-leading company of the alternative energy industry. Theoretical and practical implications, together with future research directions, are discussed.


2009 - Use of collaborative technologies and knowledge sharing in co-locatedand distributed teams: Towards the 24-h knowledge factory [Articolo su rivista]
A., Gupta; Mattarelli, Elisa; S., Seshasai; J., Broschak
abstract

The relocation of knowledge work to emerging countries is leading to an increasing use of globally distributed teams (GDT) engaged in complex tasks. In the present study, we investigate a particular type of GDT working ‘around the clock’: the 24-h knowledge factory (Gupta, 2008). Adopting the productivity perspective on knowledge sharing (Haas and Hansen, 2005, 2007), we hypothesize how a 24-h knowledge factory and a co-located team will differ in technology use, knowledge sharing processes, and performance. We conducteda quasi-experiment in IBM, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, over a period of 12 months, on a GDT and a co-located team. Both teams were composed of the same number of professionals, provided with the same technologies, engaged in similar tasks, and given similar deadlines. We found significant differences in their use of technologies and in knowledge sharing processes, but not in efficiency and quality of outcomes. We show how the co-located team and the GDT enacted a knowledge codification strategy and a personalization strategy, respectively; in each case grafting elements of the other strategy in order to attain both knowledge re-use and creativity. We conclude by discussing theoretical contributions to knowledge sharing and GDT literatures, and by highlighting managerial implications to those organizations interested in developing a fully functional 24-h knowledge factory.


2009 - Work and family: Do multi-tasking and social networks help or hurt? [Working paper]
J., Bagger; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Multitasking is becoming quite distinctive of modern organizations. The increased use of work teams and job rotation, the need for continuous learning and development of complementary skills, the direct participation of employees in decision making on multiple issues seem to drive organizations towards more ‘polychronic’ scenarios (Lindbeck and Snower, 2000; Milgrom and Roberts,1990). Individuals who are high in polychronicity tend to do better in these environments than individuals who do not naturally engage in multi-tasking. While employees struggle to do many things at once in the workplace, at the same time, they have demands from their families as well. This struggle may be eased by the capacity of individuals and organizations to build positive interactions in the workplace. In this paper we explore the interplay between the preference of individuals to do many things at once (polychronicity); their centrality in the workplace social networks and the level of support they are able to gain from such networks; and their ability to enrich their family domain from the experiences gained in the work domain (work family enrichment). The paper is structured as follows: we introduce the literature on polychronicity and work family enrichment and propose hypotheses on their relationships; we describe our data collection in a University department and the methodology that we followed; finally we illustrate and discuss some preliminary results.


2008 - ADJUSTING VIRTUAL WORK PRACTICES: A QUALITATIVE STUDY IN KNOWLEDGE INTENSIVE OFFSHORING [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

Technological advances and economic changes have increasingly enabled distant collaboration between knowledge workers across boundaries and contributed to the reconfiguration of work into hybrid workspaces. This paper presents a qualitative exploratory research that aims at better understanding distributed work in hybrid workspaces. We compare two globally distributed teams in organizations offshoring knowledge-intensive work. Our empirical evidence shows that, while both globally distributed teams are considered successful by their respective management, the individual adjustment to virtual work was perceived by group members as smooth in one case and cumbersome in the other. We built a grounded theory that shows what factors facilitate the acceptance of virtual work among knowledge workers engaged in offshoring activities: integration with regular workflow, sensemaking of offshoring activities, and perception of differences in competences and professional identity. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.


2008 - An ethnography on process conflict in a hospital unit: insights for information systems design [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Macri', Diego Maria; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

This work brings new evidence to how the process of information systems design can be integrated with an analysis of organizational variables and a multi-stakeholders perspective. We conducted an ethnographic study in a hospital unit, collecting data from observations, interviews and focus groups. The discussion about emergent themes with the actors in their natural context allowed us to identify a diffused discomfort perceived by personnel and to code it as process conflict, that is, a particular type of conflict caused by inefficiencies in the organization of work activities. In co-evolution with the actors, we defined the characteristics of a new management information system to confront and manage conflict within the organization. We adopted a socio-technical perspective to conform the new information system to the actual organizational characteristics. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical, methodological, and practical implications.


2008 - Identità professionali e riconoscimento di nuove opportunità di business nei processi di offshoring [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
R., Grimaldi; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

This work examines how offshoring processes within organizations unfold over time, placing emphasis on the generation of new business ideas by offshore members. Previous literature on the antecedents of new opportunity recognition has stressed individual-level characteristics (e.g. prior knowledge), but has scarcely explored individuals’ cognitive properties. In particular, no work has mentioned the role played by professional identity, that is, the way individuals define themselves in the workplace. With the aim of filling this gap, we present two case studies of Italian organizations offshoring high-value activities toTunisia and India. Our findings indicate that unsatisfied professional values of some individuals at the offshore captive centers triggered the recognition of new business opportunities within the company, with the potential of furthering offshoring activities. We discuss theoretical contributions to opportunity recognition, professional identity, and offshoring, and we highlight managerial implications.


2008 - Multiple Work Identities and R&D professionals’ networks [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; J. M., Dukerich; Macri', Diego Maria; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Individual work identity, or the way individuals define themselves in the workplace, is composed of a combination of organizational, professional, and other identities. Such identities, and the related patterns of identification, shape the roles individuals enact and the corresponding ways they behave in the workplace, e.g. their social networks. In this paper, drawing on recent contributions on identity in organizations, we interpret the preference or desire to work on different tasks at the same time (polychronicity) as part of individuals’ work identity and we explore how polychronicity, professional and organizational identification affect the patterns of interactions in the workplace. Specifically, we test a model where the relationship between individual polychronicity and network centrality is mediated by the perception of organizational polychronicity and moderated by the strength of professional and organizational identification. Adopting a mixed methods approach, we collected qualitative and quantitative data on R&D professionals employed in a world-leading company of the alternative energy industry. Theoretical and practical implications, together with future research directions, are discussed.


2008 - Multiple professional identities: One big happy family? [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Damiano, Russo; Mattarelli, Elisa; MARIA RITA, Tagliaventi
abstract

In light of the frequency with which modern workers switch to different organizations, professional identity is bound to become a strong reference for workers’ self-definition. Our field study in a nanotechnology research setting explores the issue of the coexistence of multiple professional identities within a single group. Through the use of open interviews and diaries, we show how group members, who are physicists, chemists, engineers, and material scientists, first and foremost define themselves as researchers. Their interpretation of being a researcher differs, however, in terms of vision of science, vision of a researcher’s role in relationships, and vision of work. We provide a categorization of emerging professional identity profiles as ‘factory worker’, ‘integrator’, ‘administrator’, and ‘lone rider’. Different meanings of being a researcher are mirrored in work practices, interaction patterns, and use of time. Unlike theoretical expectations on the potential for competition that multiple identities entail, few conflicts were recorded in the setting under study. We trace the lack of conflicts back to the following conditions: the availability of slack resources that decouple group members; the rotation of junior researchers across projects that weakens the boundaries between identity profiles; the perception of a shared group identity that encompasses values of each of the different identity profiles. We argue that, when the above conditions intervene, multiple identities not only can coexist over time, but even benefit organizational adaptability and favor the retention of temporary workers.


2008 - Offshore-Onsite Subgroup Dynamics in Globally Distributed Teams [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; A., Gupta
abstract

Purpose: The increased use of distributed work arrangements across organizational and national borders calls for in-depth investigation of subgroup dynamics in globally distributed teams (GDTs). Here we study GDTs where individuals work “around the clock” or operate as a “24 hour knowledge factory”. Our research question is: “How do subgroups dynamics unfold when individuals share knowledge during the hand-off process?”Methodology/Approach: We conducted a qualitative study of 8 GDTs working around the clock, in Indian organizations involved in offshoring of knowledge intensive work. Findings: Our evidence shows that the process of knowledge sharing during hand-offs is hampered by the emergence of status differentials across subgroups whose members hold similar expertise, position, organizational affiliation, and ethnicity. The negative effect of status differentials is mitigated by the perception of closeness with an external party – the client. Practical implications: Our work has practical implications for organizations that want to use GDTs to achieve a faster (and cheaper) development of products and services. To make a GDT work around the clock, an organization should not only place attention to technical issues (e.g., sophisticated and rich collaborative technologies), but also to potentially disrupting subgroup dynamics (e.g., the role played by the client in team identification processes).Originality/value of paper: Overall, this work contributes to a better understanding of the interplay between status differentials, synchronization of work practices, and knowledge transfer in GDTs.Paper classification: Research paper


2008 - The influence of polychronicity and identification processes on interactions in the workplace [Working paper]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; J., Dukerich; Macri', Diego Maria; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Individual work identity, or the way individuals define themselves in the workplace, is composed of a combination of organizational, professional, and other identities. Such identities, and the related patterns of identification, shape the roles individuals enact and the corresponding ways they behave in the workplace, e.g. their social networks. In this paper, drawing on recent contributions on identity in organizations, we interpret the preference or desire to work on different tasks at the same time (polychronicity) as part of individuals’ work identity and we explore how polychronicity, professional and organizational identification affect the patterns of interactions in the workplace. Specifically, we test a model where the influence of individual polychronicity on interactions is mediated by the perception of organizational polychronicity and moderated by the strength of professional and organizational identification. Adopting a mixed methods approach, we collected qualitative and quantitative data on R&D professionals employed in a world-leading company of the alternative energy industry. Theoretical and practical implications, together with future research directions, are discussed.


2008 - What if I need you in order to be me? Identity boundary work among scientists in a nanotech laboratory [Working paper]
Mattarelli, Elisa; D., Russo; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

The issue of multiple professional identities is gaining relevance in organizational studies, as collaboration between heterogeneous and temporary workers has been increasingly characterizing organizations. Literature on identity boundary work has thus far explored how single individuals manage their multiple identities in the workplace, on one hand, and how different groups and subunits negotiate identities at their boundaries, on the other. Largely overlooked is the perspective on how individuals enact their interpretation of selves in their day-to-day interactions with co-workers. Through a field study in a nanotechnology laboratory, we investigated the emergence of scientists’ different professional identities as the recurrent combinations of different visions of science, work, and interactions. Individuals interpreting their profession in different ways engage in a continuous process of identity boundary work. In particular, some definitions of self as scientists tend to be more resilient and obtrusive than others, or in other words, they need other identities in order to be enacted. The reactions to identity intrusions are twofold: some identities reaffirm their practices, while other identities become blurred.


2007 - An Experiment on the Effects of Interruptions on Individual Work Trajectories and Performance in Critical Environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
S., Weisband; K. J., Fadel; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Interruptions are a central characteristic of work in critical environments such as hospitals, airlines, and security agencies. Often, interruptions occur as notifications of some event or circumstance that requires attention. Notifications may be delivered actively as disruptions requiring immediate attention, or passively as unobtrusive background messages. This research hypothesizes that the way notifications are delivered can have an impact on how work unfolds over time, which in turn can affect performance. Based on theories of interruption and observations in an actual operating room, a computer-based role-playing game simulating the scheduling of surgeries in an operating room unit was developed. An experiment was conducted using the game to examine the effects of different types of notification delivery on work trajectories and performance. Results indicate that the way notifications are delivered can indeed influence work trajectories and, consequently, performance.


2007 - An experiment on the effects of interruptions on work trajectories and performance in critical environments’ [Working paper]
Weisband, S. P.; Fadel, K. J.; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Operating rooms are characterized by the interdependence of multiple professionals working on multiple tasks. The multiple agendas that drive various professionals mean that team goals are ill defined and conflicted. Emergencies, cancellations, unprepared or absent patients create continually dynamic conditions. These emergent needs can upset plans at any moment. Performance in these contexts depends not only on the professionalism of each team, but also on the ability to support coordination and collaboration across teams, tasks, and resources. Drawing on an ethnographic study of hospital work in an operating room (OR), we developed a web-based role-playing application of a master schedule. The goal is to simulate the coordination mechanisms and trajectories of hospital personnel as they move patients in and out of OR.In the complex hospital environment, there are at least three key types of trajectories: (a) patient trajectories (e.g., the patient moves from admission, through testing, surgery, post-op, and discharge), (b) resource trajectories (e.g., the operating room is used for a series of surgeries through the day), and (c) staff trajectories (e.g., an MD participates in morning rounds, afternoon patient visits, discharge consultations, and the like). Although scheduling algorithms can be used as a starting point for coordination, the dynamic nature of medical work makes preset schedules untenable. Surgeries can last longer or shorter than anticipated, requiring on-the-fly adjustment of the surgical schedule. Patients can experience setbacks that affect their planned trajectory, and doctors, nurses and other staff can experience interruptions that affect their work trajectories.We developed a web-based role-playing game to simulate a master schedule in an OR, and to understand how different types of interruptions affect coordination, trajectories, and performance. In this game, we ask three players to take on the role of charge nurse (CN), anesthesiologist in charge (AIC), and surgeon coordinator (SC) with the goal of attending to OR scheduling dynamics, as they manage their individual trajectories and objectives in the face of interruptions. Figure 1 depicts the flow of a patient through the system, and denotes the role of each player in this flow. Throughout the patient flow, various types of interruptions can occur (shown as lightning bolts). For example, a patient may fail to arrive at the appointed time, a surgeon could be late arriving for surgery, a surgery could take longer than expected, or the cleaning staff could be too busy to clean the operating room in time for the next surgery. These types of interruptions affect trajectories by requiring players to quickly converge on a problem that requires an immediate response.


2007 - Epoca - Eccellenza nei Processi Organizzativi e nella Corporate Analysis [Spin Off]
Macri', Diego Maria; Vignoli, Matteo; Bisi, Olmes; Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Zambonelli, Franco; U., Cantarelli; E., Lodolo; G., Nigro; F., Pavoncelli; V., Poliandri; M., Storchi; P., Veroni
abstract


2007 - Interdipendenze tra partecipazione a reti di pratiche, identità e identificazione organizzativa ed effetti sugli scambi di conoscenza tra gruppi professionali [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

L’attenzione per le comunità di pratiche ha evidenziato la condivisione di valori tra simili come presupposto per attivare scambi di conoscenza. Identità di gruppo forti favoriscono flussi di conoscenza all’interno di gruppi omogenei per competenze detenute e attività svolte dai membri, ma limitano i flussi tra gruppi diversi, riducendo l’esposizione a nuovi stimoli e opportunità. Il ruolo dell’identificazione organizzativa nei processi di trasferimento di conoscenza tra gruppi non è stato finora esplorato in letteratura e a questo si rivolge la nostra ricerca esplorativa. Le evidenze raccolte in un reparto ospedaliero nel quale convergono più gruppi professionali mostrano come trasferimenti volontari di conoscenza inter-gruppo siano riconducibili a comportamenti di cittadinanza organizzativa innescati congiuntamente da alti livelli di identificazione individuale e dalla percezione di equivalenti livelli di identificazione negli interlocutori.


2007 - L'uso di evidenze etnografiche per favorire il cambiamento organizzativo: il caso della progettazione del sistema informativo gestionale di una unità ospedaliera [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; Macri', Diego Maria
abstract

In questo lavoro proponiamo l’utilizzo di un approccio etnografico partecipativo per favorire il cambiamento organizzativo in un’unità ospedaliera. La ricerca e’ stata condotta raccogliendo evidenze tramite osservazioni, interviste e focus group. La discussione con gli attori del contesto dei temi emersi dal campo ha permesso di ricondurre il disagio diffuso nell’unita’ a un particolare tipo di conflitto legato all’organizzazione del lavoro (conflitto process). Abbiamo proposto come modalità per affrontare la gestione del conflitto lo sviluppo di un sistema informativo gestionale, il quale, coerentemente con la prospettiva sociotecnica e’ stato conformato alla situazione organizzativa e sviluppato congiuntamente agli attori del contesto. Concludiamo discutendo le implicazioni teoriche, metodologiche e applicative.


2007 - Professional identity, individual work practices, and patterns of interaction in a research organization [Working paper]
D., Russo; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

Enlightenment on how the individual’s image of who s/he is as a professional affects his/her work practice is the contribution that we wish to make to the discussion about the waltz of practice and practicing. Professional identity is coming to fore in organizational studies literature, beside organizational identity. To echo Morgan Roberts and Barker Caza’ introduction to the 2006 Academy of Management symposium dedicated to this topic, individuals are likely to change organizations far more frequently than in the past, whereas they remain member of a same professional community for a long time. Accordingly, the comprehension of one’s self-definition as a professional, and how it can benefit or harm organizations, is relevant and meaningful, but needs further elucidation. Thus far, the scarce research on this subject has focused on the identity construction process when taking on a new role in career transitions (e.g. in professional service firms, Ibarra, 1999) or starting a profession (e.g. medical residents, Pratt et al., 2006). In other words, ‘what you do’ shapes ‘who you are’. Conversely, we are interested in grasping whether, under what circumstances, and how ‘who you are’ shapes what you do’, and, in addition to that, whom you interact with in the workplace. The idea that professional identity inspires individuals’ work practices and their patterns of interactions calls into question job crafting (Wrzesniewski and Dutton, 2001). Job crafting implies that workers autonomously alter the physical, cognitive, and relational boundaries of their tasks to change the meaning of their work as well as their identity. In this perspective, however, workers engage in job crafting to modify their identity: it is not identity that triggers changes in tasks. Exploring this under-investigated link constitutes our research aim.Qualitative research is the most suitable way to investigate identity-related subjects (Wrzesniewski and Dutton, 2001; Pratt et al., 2006). We therefore conducted a field study in a public research centre situated in Northern Italy and internationally renowned. Here, 39 researchers engage in projects to create systems, consisting of nanostructured materials. Research activity is organized into three distinct and financially independent research lines. Researchers have diversified skills and educational backgrounds, like Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Physics, Materials Science, and Engineering. The staff comprises temporary contract workers as well as permanent workers, with different organizational tenure and overall working experience.Our data collection started with in-depth interviews to understand what people do, how they make sense of their work, and what being a researcher means to them. Interviews lasted about one hour and a half on average. After that, we asked our informants to record qualitative diaries for 20 weeks (Symon and Cassel, 1998). We chose this data collection tool for two reasons. First, though in a basic format, the diary was already familiar to our informants who used to fill in a weekly journal (or ‘lab book’) specifying what activities they performed and what outcomes they produced. Second, diaries allow informants to describe their individual work content, their interactions, and the effects of interactions upon their own and their co-workers’ working activities. By doing so, we believe that we brought work back into our research, as Barley and Kunda (2001) recommended. Building on the lab books and Perlow’s diary format (1999), we asked our informants to record (i) every phenomenon (event, activity, interaction) occurring during a specific workday; (ii) the time length of the phenomenon; (iii) whether it was expected or unexpected; and (iv) how the phenomenon affected their work in progress. After the completion of each weekly diary, we asked the informant to comment upon every reported phenomenon through an in-depth interview lasting 4


2007 - Towards the 24 hours kwowledge factory [Abstract in Rivista]
A., Gupta; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Offshoring – the process of migration of productive tasks to low-cost countries – is understood as the evolution of international sourcing strategy: a multi-phased development process, which reflects a gradual evolution of sourcing from domestic purchasing to global sources (Monckca and Trent, 1991). Traditionally, offshoring has been confined to manufacturing tasks and simple tasks such as back office (order processing, billing accounts, payroll processing) and customer service (call centers, on-line customer service, telemarketing). More recently, Western firms have extended this practice to more complex, knowledge-intensive tasks (e.g. R&D, new product development, product design, tele-radiology, diagnosis, clinical trials) delivered by skilled professionals. The aim of the symposium is to illustrate the organizational and strategic implications of the offshoring of intangibles. As the shift from simple tasks to complex, knowledge-intensive tasks entails a redefinition of firm’s sourcing strategies in terms of division of labor for innovation, presenters will illustrate and discuss (a) the geography of offshoring, (b) organizational capabilities that firms develop to effectively manage offshoring of intangibles, and (c) the contingencies (context- and task-specific) that affect offshoring processes. The symposium will benefit from discussion from an industry practitioner as well as academics.


2006 - Design of a Role-Playing Game to Study the Trajectories of Medical Care Providers in an Operating Room [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
K., Fadel; Mattarelli, Elisa; S. P., Weisband
abstract

Drawing on an ethnographic study of hospital work in an operating room, we present the design and implementation of a web-based role-playing application of a master schedule. We show how we simulate the coordination mechanisms and trajectories of hospital personnel as they move patients in and out of OR. Experiments are proposed to show how active and passive notification systems (interruptions) are expected to affect trajectory management and performance over time.


2006 - Exploring Telemedicine Success Over Time: A Case Study of the Arizona Telemedicine Program [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; S., Weisband
abstract

This study presents the results from a case study on a major U.S telemedicine network in Arizona. Our findings provided us with a grounded theory on the successful use of telemedicine activities at remote organizations. The analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data suggests that integration with the regular workflow, stable availability of professionals at remote locations, and the promotion of spontaneous knowledge diffusion are associated with the success of telemedicine practices over time. Moreover, it shows that the limited awareness of the Arizona Telemedicine Program staff about the activities performed remotely reduces the use of telemedicine. However, this effect is mediated by the activation of telemedicine collaborations with other organizations, which belong to the same sub-networks. Based on the findings, we derive theoretical and practical implications for telemedicine and work at distance.


2006 - La sostenibilità della collaborazione a distanza nelle reti di telemedicina: Il caso dell’Arizona Telemedicine Program [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Weisband, S.
abstract

This study presents the results from a case study on a major U.S telemedicine network in Arizona. Our findings provided us with a grounded theory on the successful use of telemedicine activities at remote organizations. The analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data suggests that integration with the regular workflow, stable availability of professionals at remote locations, and the emergence of spontaneous knowledge diffusion are associated with the success of telemedicine practices over time. Moreover, it shows that the limited awareness of the Arizona Telemedicine Program staff about the activities performed remotely reduces the use of telemedicine. However, this effect is moderated by the activation of telemedicine collaborations with other organizations, which belong to the same sub-networks. Based on the findings, we derive theoretical and practical implications for telemedicine and work at distance.


2006 - The Development of a Role-Playing Simulation to Investigate Coordination of an OR Master Schedale [Abstract in Rivista]
K. J., Fadel; Mattarelli, Elisa; S. P., Weisband
abstract

The structure of many hospitals is team-based. Safety, efficiency, and performance depend on the ability of the organizations to support coordination and collaboration across teams, tasks, and resources. To develop adequate technologies to support these processes we need a deeper understanding of how different professionals manage multiple tasks and interruptions. The goal of this research is to simulate the coordination mechanisms and trajectories of hospital personnel as they move patients in and out of OR.In the complex hospital environment, there are at least three key types of trajectories: (a) patient trajectories , (b) resource trajectories, (c) staff trajectories. We developed a web-based role-playing game to simulate a master schedule in an OR.We ask three players to take on the role of charge nurse (CN), anesthesiologist in charge (AIC), and surgeon coordinator (SC) with the goal of attending toORscheduling dynamics, as they manage their individual trajectories and objectives in the face of interruptions.The tasks that each player is responsible for performing can be classified into three types: (1) Facilitating patient flow through the OR, (2) Coordinating the master schedule, and (3) Managing resources.Figure 1 depicts the flow of a patient through the system, and denotes the role of each player in this flow. Throughout the patient flow, various types of interruptions can occur(shown as lightning bolts). For example, a patient may fail to arrive at the appointed time, a surgeon could be late arriving for surgery, a surgery could take longer than expected, or the cleaning staff could be too busy to clean the operating room in time for the nextsurgery. These types of interruptions affect trajectories by requiring players to quickly converge on a problem that requires an immediate response.We expect that trajectories will be influenced in part by the type and frequency of interruptions encountered by the players. By superimposing the interruptions on the reconstructed trajectories, we will be able to discern how different types of interruptionsaffect trajectories and, ultimately, performance. Moreover, by manipulating the perceived importance of competing objectives, we can also observe how these perceptions moderatethe effect of interruptions on trajectories.The design of the game was guided by the following considerations:COLLABORATIVE COMPLEXITY: Collaborations should be sufficiently complex to reasonably represent a real OR unit, but simple enough to ensure that the game is playable.GAME TIME: The game should represent a full 8-hour shift of OR unit surgeries. Game time is, therefore, accelerated over real time by a factor of 8. This allows an 8-hour shift to be “played” in one hour of real time.EASE OF USE: We chose to use a Web-based interface to leverage players’ prior experience with Web technologies. This novel method of studying trajectories and interruptions will yield new insights into the processes that underlie collaborative work in critical environments.CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Authors indicated they have nothing to disclose.


2006 - The Influence of Organizational Identification and Identity-Congruent Behaviors on Knowledge Sharing [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

This paper advances the perspective that the individuals' willingness to perform extra role behaviors directed at coworkers, like knowledge sharing, is simultaneously influenced by the former's strength of organizational identification and by their evaluation of the strength of identification of the potential recipients of such behaviors. Through an ethnography in a hospital unit where four professional groups operate jointly, we show how highly identified actors appraise the level of identification of the members of different professional groups on the basis of the observations of the extra-role behaviors that colleagues enact. Only when highly identified individuals perceive congruence between the level of identification expected and that displayed by colleagues are they motivated to devote time and effort to share knowledge with them. Moreover, our findings show that knowledge transfer between different professional groups can be interpreted as an unexplored type of organizational citizenship behavior. In fact, knowledge transfer implies the unrequired sharing of operational practices specific to a professional group with members of different professionals groups, which enables these latter to perform, in their turn, extra role behaviors to support the organization. More generally, our study suggests extensions to the model of organizational identification. It also contributes to research on knowledge transfer by highlighting how the processes of organizational identification can promote knowledge flows between heterogeneous groups.


2006 - The role of networks of practice, value sharing, and operational proximity in knowledge flows between professional groups [Articolo su rivista]
M. R., Tagliaventi; Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

This article investigates the process of knowledge sharing between individuals in different professional groups. Through an ethnographic study in a hospital unit, we examine the individuals' involvement in networks of practice, their sharing of organizational values, and their operational proximity. Recent attention to networks of practice has led to a view of organizations as crossroads of networks; accordingly, boundary relations between different networks of practice are of core relevance to ensure knowledge diffusion in organizations, but empirical evidence is still lacking. Our grounded theory supports the idea that working side-by-side and having common organizational values are important bases for knowledge transfer between professional groups which belong to different networks of practice. Boundary knowledge transfer evokes new kinds of organizational citizenship behaviours. Professionals who initiate the transfer exhibit extra-role behaviours which, in turn, require the recipient to perform extra-role behaviours as well. Implications of knowledge sharing between professional groups are discussed together with recommendations for managerial action.


2005 - Effettuare scelte in presenza di vincoli [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mattarelli, Elisa
abstract

Il capitolo descrive come effettuare scelte tra alternative economiche di breve periodo in presenza di vincoli interni ed esterni


2005 - How Networks of Practice and Organizational Identification Affect Inter-Group Knowledge Transfer [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

The increasing attention paid to communities of practice underlines the sharing of common values among peers as a premise to trigger knowledge exchanges. Strong group identities can favor knowledge flows within groups characterized by homogeneous competencies and activities performed, while they can limit the knowledge flows between different groups, thus reducing the exposure to new opportunities and stimula. The role played by organizational identification in the processes of knowledge transfer between professional groups has not been deeply explored so far and it represents the focus of our exploratory study. The evidence, collected in a hospital department where different professional groups operate jointly, show how voluntary inter-group transfer of knowledge can be traced back to organizational citizenship behaviors triggered both by high level of organizational identification and by the perceptions of equal level of organizational identification of coworkers.


2004 - Knowledge Transfer between Groups: Involvement in Networks of Practice and Operational Proximity [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

This paper aims at investigating the process of knowledge transfer and generation between professional groups in terms of opportunities of contact with networks of practice and operational proximity through an ethnography conducted in a hospital unit. Communities and networks of practice as tools for knowledge management have caught growing attention in organizational studies, leading to a view of organizations as ‘communities of communities of practice’ and crossroads of networks of practice. However, on one hand boundary relations between different communities and networks have not been deeply explored so far; on the other hand empirical evidence is still largely lacking, since knowledge remains a construct difficult to operationalize. The grounded theory presented supports the idea that sharing practices through day-by-day joint activities is the main vehicle for transferring knowledge between professional groups, thus bridging the gap between networks of practice characterized by different values and repertoires, whereas intense relations with networks of practice play a key role in injecting new knowledge into the organization. Positive implications of knowledge transfer and combination between professional groups are empirically shown. Finally this paper brings new insights on the role of information systems in knowledge flows and provides management with hints on how to promote knowledge diffusion in organizations.


2004 - Work proximity, networks of practice, and knowledge transfer between professional groups [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

In both academic and managerial literature knowledge management has gained an increasing attention and recently a new analytic category has been proposed: the community of practice. The community of practice is a spontaneous and self-managing system with three distinctive features: first, the sharing of working practices as a basis for the transfer and generation ofknowledge; second, the awareness of belonging to a group possessing unique, distinctive and lasting values, which can themselves be directly linked to practices; and third the emergence of mutual and regular interactions among members. Given the vital importance that knowledge be operational, there is a need for research that can capture the ways in which interactions among individuals construct, extend, and transfer knowledge. Practices are also the means for transferring knowledge within networks of practice, i.e. spontaneous groupings of peers with similar skills and positions, albeit mostly in relation to different organizations and therefore withlinks weaker than those pertaining to communities. Of particular importance, and as yet unexplored empirically, are the kind of relations between heterogeneous communities and networks of practice that cut across an organization, as viewed from the perspective of an organization as a ”community of communities”. The present research is explorative in nature and aimed at anunderstanding of exchanges of knowledge between groups of professionals belonging to different networks of practice within a context characterized by a high level of task interdependence.We examine the main issues in the literature, focusing on the object of research and the analytic category adopted: respectively, knowledge, and communities and networks of practice. A series of research questions are formulated and the process of generation and transfer of knowledge is studied by means of an ethnography realized in the radiotherapy unit of a major hospital in Northern Italy.


2003 - Gestione della conoscenza, comunità di pratiche e sviluppo delle imprese: interdipendenze e linee di intervento [Capitolo/Saggio]
Bertolotti, Fabiola; A., Grandi; Mattarelli, Elisa; M. R., Tagliaventi
abstract

La crescente attenzione per la gestione della conoscenza nelle organizzazioni ha posto l’enfasi sulla creazione e diffusione di conoscenza all’interno di comunità: comunità spontanee di professionisti che condividono pratiche di lavoro all’interno di un’organizzazione e tra organizzazioni diverse e comunità strategiche formalmente progettate dal management per trasmettere conoscenze e generare innovazione. Pur nelle diverse forme, un aspetto rilevante che accomuna i contributi teorici ed empirici sulle comunità è che esse vadano adeguatamente promosse attraverso azioni manageriali coerenti, che variano dal riconoscimento e supporto a comunità già spontaneamente costituite all’incentivazione alla loro costituzione. Un altro aspetto rilevante riguarda le scelte manageriali di bilanciamento fra conoscenza trattenuta all’interno di un’organizzazione come suo patrimonio distintivo e conoscenza che filtra tra organizzazioni diverse contribuendo alla sviluppo di più ampi sistemi di organizzazioni. Obiettivo di questo lavoro è approfondire ruolo ed esiti della progettazione formale di comunità di pratiche e relazioni fra la conoscenza generata all’interno di comunità di pratiche e la conoscenza trasferita attraverso reti di pratiche. Nella prima parte viene analizzata la letteratura su gestione della conoscenza, comunità di pratiche e reti di pratiche. Nella seconda parte sono esaminate tre organizzazioni orientate alla conoscenza (una società di consulenza, il reparto di un ospedale e la comunità on line di Linux) diverse per meccanismi formali a supporto delle comunità di pratiche e per incentivi alla partecipazione a reti di pratiche. Nelle conclusioni vengono discussi i risultati empirici, evidenziando alcuni paradossi insiti nella gestione della conoscenza nelle organizzazioni, implicazioni manageriali e temi che necessitano di ulteriore ricerca.


2003 - Processi di trasferimento di conoscenza tra comunità di pratiche: riflessioni teoriche ed evidenze empiriche [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mattarelli, Elisa; Tagliaventi, M. R.
abstract

Negli ultimi 30 anni è cresciuto l’interesse accademico e manageriale nei confronti di un tema ormai riconosciuto centrale per lo sviluppo e il successo delle organizzazioni: la gestione della conoscenza, in termini di apprendimento, creazione e trasmissione del sapere (Daft, 2001; Miner e Mezias, 1996). Questo tema si arricchisce dei contributi provenienti da diverse aree di studio (psicologia, scienze manageriali, strategia, operations management, antropologia culturale) e dalle applicazioni manageriali (Easterby-Smith, Snell e Gherardi, 1998).Recentemente è stata proposta una nuova unità di analisi per gli studi sulla conoscenza nelle organizzazioni: la comunità di pratiche. La comunità di pratiche è un sistema spontaneo e auto-gestito che trascende i confini tradizionali dell’organizzazione ed è caratterizzato da due elementi distintivi: la condivisione di pratiche di lavoro come base per il trasferimento e la generazione di conoscenza e la consapevolezza e volontà di appartenere a un gruppo con valori unici, distintivi e duraturi, collegabili direttamente alle stesse pratiche (Wenger, 2000). La centralità della pratica e dell’operatività per la generazione e trasmissione di conoscenza rende necessaro studi che possano cogliere come le interazioni tra individui costruiscano, accrescano, mutino queste comunità, così creando e trasferendo conoscenza (Engestrom e Middleton, 1996). Particolarmente rilevanti, e ancora inesplorate dal punto di vista empirico, sono le relazioni tra comunità di pratiche eterogenee che attraversano, nella prospettiva di organizzazione come “comunità di comunità” proposta da Brown e Duguid (1991), un’organizzazione. La ricerca esposta in questo articolo, tuttora in corso di svolgimento, è di natura esplorativa ed è indirizzata a comprendere le relazioni fra comunità di pratiche in un contesto caratterizzato da elevata interdipendenza dei compiti svolti dai membri delle diverse comunità. La prima parte esamina i principali temi della letteratura che trattano rispettivamente dell’oggetto e dell’unità di analisi della ricerca: la conoscenza e le comunità di pratiche. Vengono successivamente formulati i quesiti di ricerca e il processo di generazione e trasferimento di conoscenza tra comunità eterogenee viene studiato attraverso un’etnografia nel reparto di radioterapia oncologica di un grande ospedale del Nord Italia. Alcune prime evidenze empiriche sono quindi riportate. Nella sezione conclusiva sono discussi punti di forza e di debolezza della ricerca e sono formulate indicazioni per futuri sviluppi della riflessione sul tema della conoscenza nelle comunità di pratiche.