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Psychology Colloquium Series/ Kristie L. McAlpine, Ph.D.

From site: Psychology Department

Kristie L. McAlpine, Ph.D. gives her talk "Don’t abandon the water cooler yet"

Date: Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Time: 4:00 pm

Duration: 1 hour

Location: Olmsted Room

Contact: Brenda Westra, 269-337-7331

Kristie L. McAlpine, Ph.D. gives her talk "Don’t abandon the water cooler yet: Flexible work arrangements and the unique effect of face-to-face informal communication on idea generation and innovation."

As many organizations have begun to scale back on flexible work arrangements (e.g., flextime, telework) out of concern for their potential negative impact on team coordination and innovation, there remains very limited scholarly research that tests the assumptions behind these decisions. The purpose of this research is to investigate the team dynamics associated with flexibility in an effort to understand whether such concerns may be merited. Using data collected from 99 teams in a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company, I develop and test a model that examines the effects of team location flexibility on multiple forms of team communication and their subsequent impact on idea generation and innovation. Specifically, I investigate whether informal “water cooler” communication is a uniquely important predictor of idea generation and, critically, whether teams in which members work more flexibly are at a greater risk of missing out on these types of interactions.  


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