ABRI Lunch Seminar Mary Beth Watson-Manheim


12:00 - 13:00


How Many is Too Many? Investigating Multiple Team Membership

Prof. Mary Beth Watson-Manheim (University of Illinois)

Amsterdam Business Research Institute

Business and Organisation

Conference / Symposium / Seminar

ABRI would like to invite you to an ABRI lunch seminar given by Professor Mary Beth Watson-Manheim (University of Illinois) - “How Many is Too Many?  Investigating Multiple Team Membership”.

The lunch seminar will take place on Tuesday, January 29, from 12:00 – 13:00 in room OZW-6B04.

To register for this event, please send an e-mail to Mariana Stori (m.t.stori@vu.nl), latest on Friday, January 25.
In today’s hyper-competitive and increasingly digital work environment, employees are often concurrently working on multiple project teams. These teams may be comprised of geographically dispersed members who work for different organizations or work in non-standard employment relationships such as independent contracting. We refer to this work arrangement as Multiple Team Membership (MTM). This work arrangement has advantages in that employees can leverage knowledge across projects and use gaps in time and tasks in one project to accomplish tasks related to other projects. Despite these advantages, working across different projects and teams with varying cognitive demands beyond a certain point can take a toll on an individual’s ability to focus, solve problems, and be creative.
The goal of this research is two-fold. First, we examine the effect of working across concurrent projects on individual performance and creativity.  Specifically, we ask –at what point do the benefits of MTM cease to become beneficial and begin to hinder individual performance and creativity?  We report preliminary results of a field study underway examining the effects of differences in projects.
Individuals working in MTM face a complex work landscape where they must constantly adjust to different communication practices and technologies, different work practices, cultural norms as well as the different work objectives and commitments of team members. We next consider other aspects of an individual’s work experience from an MTM perspective and discuss future research.

Mary Beth Watson-Manheim is Professor of Information Systems in the Information and Decision Sciences Department, College of Business Administration, and in the Communication Department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was named a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar to India in 2009. She is actively involved in research on the implications of a global and ICT–intensive workplace for individuals and organizations. Her research has been published in many leading journals and conferences and has received national and international awards, including winner of the AIS 2012 Best Publication of the Year in Information Systems Discipline. She holds a number of conference and journal editorial positions, including Senior Editor of Information Systems Journal.  She served as Division Chair (2016-17) of the Academy of Management’s OCIS (Organizational Communication and Information Systems) Division and as Program chair for this Division in 2015.