Author

Xing Liu

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Moore School of Business

First Advisor

Sherry M. B. Thatcher

Abstract

The current literature has demonstrated the importance of newcomers’ information seeking on their socialization in teams and the consequences of newcomers on team outcomes such as team creativity. However, there is limited knowledge on the antecedents of newcomer information seeking and team creativity in diverse teams after the entry of a newcomer. In this dissertation, with a focus on newcomers in diverse teams, I investigated two phenomena at the individual level and team level, respectively. At the individual level, I explored the influence of newcomers’ subgroup identification on information seeking via their feelings of psychological safety and the role of their perceived established faultlines and conflict that exist among team incumbents. I investigated these relationships using longitudinal data over three time periods on a sample of 72 newcomers in multiple organizations in various industries in the U.S. Results of data analyses showed that newcomers’ subgroup identification and team identification jointly impact their psychological safety. Additionally, I demonstrated that task-related information seeking and social information seeking are two separate processes that may have distinct antecedents.

At the team level, I explored the relationship between established faultlines, information elaboration between incumbents and newcomers, and team creativity. Specifically, I investigated the direct relationships between established faultlines, incumbents’ knowledge sharing with the newcomer, incumbents’ reflective reframing on the newcomer’s ideas, and team creativity. Additionally, I examined the indirect effects of established faultlines on team creativity via incumbents’ knowledge sharing and reflective reframing. I collected data through conducting an experiment with a sample of 197 undergraduate students composing 40 teams from the business school at a large university in the U.S. I found that team incumbents’ knowledge sharing with the newcomer and their reflective reframing on the newcomer’s unique insights were positively related to team creativity. This finding provides support to the idea that a key to team creativity upon the entry of a newcomer is team incumbents’ interaction with the newcomer. This dissertation contributes to the literatures on newcomer information seeking, member change associated with newcomers in teams, and team faultlines by building our knowledge on newcomers’ information seeking and team creativity.

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