Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Dorothy M. Hanson
Business teams have been losing millions of dollars every year in cost and schedule over-runs from incomplete or failed projects. The purpose of this single case study was to explore the strategies that business managers use to determine team fit when selecting employees for assignment to cross-functional project teams. The participants for this study were 3 senior management personnel and a 6-member employee focus group, all from midsized, nonprofit organizations located within 200 miles of the tri-state region of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The conceptual framework for this study was Werbel and Gilliland's theory of person-group fit, McCrae's and John's 5-factor model of personality, and Tuckman's theory of personality and group behaviors. Data collection was a triangulation of data from 3 sources: 3 semistructured interviews, a 6-member focus group, and a review of organizational documents. A manual thematic data analysis following the basic principles of Yin's 5-step data analysis process was first used to analyze the data, followed by a second analysis using a qualitative data analysis application. Three primary themes emerged from the data: the use of personality traits, the use of skills or job experience, and the importance of diversity were all evident as factors relating to team member selection strategies. A 4th emergent theme was leadership. The leadership theme was important in creating a positive team environment during the team implementation stage. One of the primary implications of social change could be a reduction in social biases and prejudices. As business managers and other employees learn to accept diversity among team members, they may carry these new social attitudes further into their personal lives.