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:
- Which learned relational characteristics influence information sharing in academia?
- How do individual knowledge sharing attitudes influence information sharing in academia?
Contributions by: Eetu Lillrank (master thesis, 2014) and Steffen Sande (master thesis, 2014)
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: The Future of Business Schools
With Professor Jos Lemmink, Assistant Professor Ben Lukas, and Guy Simons we are working on the future of business schools. At least this is the goal. We are analyzing publicly available information to explore 1) what skills do students have when they leave a specific business school, 2) what skills are necessary to work for an ‘innovative’ new-economy organization compared to those that work for a ‘traditional’ organization. The driver behind this project are the technological changes that created new business models and jobs. These stand in contrast to business education, often still lacking relevance and connection to the business world.
Project 4: Expertise Distribution in Twitter Teacher Communities (#acps)
Research on online teacher communities often focuses on network structure and position. It provides evidence for mechanisms that (should) stimulate learning. I’m aiming to develop a different approach by analyzing the breath and depth of topics discussed in these networks to establish the expertise distribution in the teacher community. In essence I’m trying to find out if the community is a generalist or a specialist company, and how the discussion changed over time.
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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).
But, firstly, 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:
- How should team and occupational identity be combined to optimally benefit information sharing and team performance?
- 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?
- What interpersonal characteristics influence the creation and maintenance of knowledge sharing ties in teams?
- How to combine Team and occupational identity
- How to measure Adaptive Expertise
- 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)