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Better together: antecedents and consequences of perceived expertise dissimilarity and perceived expertise complementarity in teams

17 April 2008

PhD ceremony: A. Oosterhof, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen 

Thesis: Better together: Antecedents and consequences of perceived expertise dissimilarity and perceived expertise complementarity in teams 

Promotors: prof. G.S. van der Vegt, prof. E. van deVliert en prof. K. Sanders

Faculty: Behavioral and Social Sciences


Perceived complementarity in expertise is critical for team effectiveness  

Organizations increasingly rely on teams composed of a diverse set of people. Examples include multidisciplinary teams, project teams, and research & development teams. Organizational managers implement these teams with the implicit premise that effectiveness can be enhanced when members combine and employ their differences. However, practice reveals that team members often prove ineffective at capitalizing on the potential benefits of their differences.

Aad Oosterhof examined why some team members cooperate effectively, whereas others experience cooperation problems. Results suggest that the effectiveness of work relations depends on how team members perceive their differences with other team members. To the extent that team members perceive that other team members have dissimilar complementary expertise, teams perform better. Team members experience more complementarity in expertise to the extent that they have more work experience and when another team member has a different type of expertise and a similar level of expertise.

Aad Oosterhof (Dokkum, 1976) studied organizational psychology at the University of Groningen. He conducted his research at the department of Social and Organizational Psychology of the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the Kurt Lewin Institute, research school for social and organizational psychology. Currently, he works at Artefaction as a management consultant.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.38 p.m.

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