Dynamic information retrieval and allocation flows in project teams with discontinuous membership

Michelle Shumate*, Rahinah Ibrahim, Raymond Levitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Project teams with discontinuous membership face unique knowledge management challenges. Team members in various roles create information during early project phases; however, certain of these roles may no longer be part of a project team during subsequent project phases when the knowledge needs to be applied. This research utilises instrumental role theory to examine the dynamics of information allocation and retrieval in a property development project team. We find that discontinuous membership significantly impacts information allocation and retrieval in project teams: continuous team members were more likely to be allocated information in tacit knowledge areas during earlier workflow phases, and they were more likely to retrieve both tacit and explicit information during later workflow phases. These results suggest that discontinuity of roles can result in the loss of key information in knowledge teams. Thus, managers should ensure that continuous team members recognise their role in compensating for such knowledge loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-575
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of International Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • discontinuous membership
  • instrumental role theory
  • knowledge management
  • property development
  • social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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