Examining the Effects of Team Unethical Behavior on Boundary Spanning Activities in Multiteam Contexts: A Conservation of Resources Approach
AdvisorEllis, Aleksander P.J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractWhile recent research indicates that engaging in unethical behavior as a team can have positive effects on internal team processes, the relationship between unethical behavior and interactions with those outside the team is less clear. Research on boundary spanning suggests that teams with positive interpersonal relationships should be more motivated and effective at working interdependently with other teams. However, due to illicit foundations of these relationships, unethical teams may be apprehensive about exposure and sanctions, and seek to withdraw in multiteam contexts. Acknowledging this tension, the purpose of this dissertation was to model and test the positive and negative effects of team unethical behavior on boundary spanning in multiteam contexts. Utilizing conservation of resources theory (Hobfoll, 1989), I proposed that team unethical behavior increases both perceptions of team support and reputation maintenance concerns in teams, which in turn affect boundary spanning behavior in the form of interteam coordination and guard behavior. I then introduced a contextual moderator, interteam monitoring, to qualify these offsetting indirect effects; strengthening unethical behavior’s effects through reputation maintenance concerns and weakening its effects through perceived team support. I then tested my hypothesized model in a lab experiment with 108 teams engaged in a highly interdependent multiteam task. Results did not support the hypothesized model. I conclude by discussing the potential explanations for the results and several limitations and directions for future research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College