Patterns of Aggressive Behavior in Experimentally Created “Social Climates”

Author(s): Lewin K, Lippitt R, White RK


Previous research considering a normative perspective for fostering knowledge integration at the team level of analysis underscores that teams are often reluctant to share important knowledge among their members. In the attempt to provide a wider perspective on team knowledge integration, we take a different perspective, basing our arguments on team climate theoretical framework. Specifically, we argue that an autonomy and experimental climate (i.e. shared perception that the team supports autonomous action and experimentation and risk taking) can favor the team's ability to integrate members’ knowledge. Indeed, focusing on members’ willingness to contribute to team well-being, team autonomy and experimental climate may enhance the team's capability to integrate knowledge enabled by the IT infrastructure (IT knowledge integration capability). We tested our research model on a sample of 410 members and leaders of 69 organizational work teams. Results show the critical role played by team climate in favoring IT knowledge integration capability, which in turn affects team outcomes.

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