University Rank of the Team Members and Team Performance

Research Proposal

This study proposes to research the effects of team composition of member academic pedigree training and country reputation on cross-cultural team dynamics and team performance.

The paper will explore the effects of individual member university ranking (academic pedigree) and reputation and how this influences subjective outcomes such as team communication, team identity, conflict and objective outcomes such as the quality of team deliverables (performance).  While the effects of obtaining a pedigree degree on individual performance and outcomes have been well documented, less is known about the effects of pedigree training as a group composition variable and its effect on group outcomes.  This research will attempt to unpack this relationship.  The research will include the influence of the country of team members and whether this plays a role in the outcomes.

Research Questions

  1. Does pedigree university education of individual members (team composition) of a virtual, cross-cultural team improve group performance? Do groups with more members having pedigree academic training bring about higher levels of group communication, identity, and conflict resolution? Do groups with more members having pedigree academic training bring about higher levels of group deliverables / performance? Is there a minimum number of pedigree academic trained members required (tipping point) to affect group performance?
  2. Are team outcomes affected by the reputation of country of team members? In the absence of university name recognition, does country play a more significant role? Can country reputation proxy for university pedigree?

Constructs / Variables

  • University Rank / Pedigree; Name Recognition; Country Ranking
  • Team Functionality – communication, conflict, integration
  • Team Expectations: Confidence, motivation, (over time, longitudinal).
  • Team Outcomes: Draft Report, Final Report, Plagiarism, Creativity
  • Controls: Team Diversity; Average Member competencies (English, Readiness)

Expected Research Outcomes

The goals of this research are to better understand the effects and influence of university pedigree on cross-cultural, virtual team performance.  As more individuals are required to work in global, virtual teams, this research would contribute to existing literature on teams through better understanding of  whether and how team members with pedigree academic training can improve team level outcomes.  The expected outcomes are that pedigree academic training does affect team performance expectations and outcomes.  However, it is likely that the country of the team member will also play a critical role in team performance and therefore, can mediate the relationship between pedigree academic training and team outcomes.

Research team:

Seema Pissaris, Florida International University (lead author:

Vas Taras, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Bill Newbury, Florida International University