Background

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Expertise: information exchange, social network analysis, team processes, online learning, transactive memory system, expertise development, innovation

I’m a researcher at Maastricht University, Educational Research and Development Department (of the School of Business and Economics and the School of Health Professions Education). Years ago I got interested in the topic of team’s and how they work (or don’t). In addition to teams, my research focuses on online learning, expertise development, and innovation.

I think in networks. This means that I’m thinking about how people connect with each other. In the physical world bridges have the function to connect otherwise disconnected places and to transport goods and people from one place to another. When talking about social networks, we, the people, are the islands, and when we interact with others we are building bridges. Each bridge we have is a source of inspiration and support (but also anger and frustration). Emotions and information travel between the places.

I’m currently involved in two large projects. Next to that I have some smaller research adventures.

Project 1: Knowledge Sharing in Universities to create Innovations

With a group of colleagues (Amber Dailey-Hebert, Martin Rehm, Karen Könings), we analyze the knowledge sharing networks of academic entrepreneurs, academic staff who are eager to innovate their teaching. Using social network analyzes we are investigating the following questions:

  1. Which learned relational characteristics influence information sharing in academia?
  2. How do individual knowledge sharing attitudes influence information sharing in academia?

Contributions by: Eetu Lillrank (master thesis)  and Steffen Sande (master thesis)

Project 2: Innovations in Universities: How to Design Learning Experiences

Together with Professor Amber Dailey-Hebert (Park University), we discuss how universities can solve the wicked problem they face. This research began while working on the Learning and Working project and our common desire to change the status quo of how knowledge is transmitted from experts to novices.

Contribution by: Marian Svensen (master thesis)

Project 3: Future of Business Schools

While the business world is changing, new processes are becoming established (e.g., circular economy, platform-as-business, remote workers), business schools often remain static, research is not always relevant or accessible for managers, and students lack the skills for the workplace. Our aim in this project is to provide data to demonstrate the need for change and to make recommendation for how to change it. The project is executed together with Jos Lemmink, Ben Lucas, and Guy Simons (Maastricht University).

Contribution by: Filip Vencovsky (PhD student, text mining expert), Anh Tran (bachelor student, internship), Ivan (master student, internship), Louisa Bolz (bachelor honors student), Vincent Gambini (master thesis), Nicholas Hendrickx (master thesis)

Project 4: (Organizational) Learning in Twitter Teacher Communities

The Virginia School district decided some years ago to use twitter as an informal teacher community. The goal was to empower teacher to be in charge of their own learning by creating a community of teachers that support each other. I am tracking the discussion in this community with the goal to analyze information sharing over time. Preliminary findings have been presented at the European Social Network Conference 2017 (Mainz, Germany).

All materials on this site (text, video, images) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. I have taken care to provide credits for materials used by others, but I'm human. Please contact me if I have not given appropriate credit where it is due.

Past Projects

Dissertation

In my dissertation I analyze the role adaptive expertise and social identity play in the communication networks in teams. The “problem” with individuals is that we like to stick to people we know and content we know. Things which don’t fit in the box are “scary”. This is roughly what social identity research would argue. It is also confirmed by social network research (Birds of the same feather flock together).

Butfirstly, at in multidisciplinary teams, professionals have at least 2 social identities: Team identity and Occupational identity. While the former would push team members to act in unison and reject outside ideas (ideas not developed by the team), the latter will push professionals to act according to the standards of their profession. Thus, it is through different occupational identity that team members will not all act the same. This can be good or bad for performance.

Secondly, team’s which have at least one team member who possess high levels of adaptive expertise are buffered against the negative consequences multiple occupational identities can bring to a team’s performance. Individuals with high levels of adaptive expertise possess the ability to connect divergent ideas and actively search for new information. They are seeking the unknown.

In my dissertation, I’m aiming to answer the following questions:

  1. How should team and occupational identity be combined to optimally benefit information sharing and team performance?
  2. What is adaptive expertise, how can it be measured, and how much of it needs to be present to achieve optional levels of information sharing?
  3. What interpersonal characteristics influence the creation and maintenance of knowledge sharing ties in teams?

Answers:

  1. How to combine Team and occupational identity
  2. How to measure Adaptive Expertise
  3. What influences information sharing in emergency care teams

Contributions by: Lubomira Nikolova (master thesis, 2013, TOP thesis), Nara Aline (master thesis, 2015), Jasmijn Coppens (Coding of video observations; 2014-2015), Louisa Spaans (Coding of video observations, 2014-2015; Coding of Delphi Study), Chrissie Aben (research assistant, 2013), Sanne van Wetten (transcribing video data, 2013), Burcu Tigli (research assistant, 2012) 

View the defense of my dissertation (It starts at 4:00)

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