Factors Associated with Continuance Commitment to FAA Matrix Teams
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Factors Associated with Continuance Commitment to FAA Matrix Teams

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      Several organizations within the FAA employ matrix teams to achieve cross-functional coordination. Matrix team members typically represent different organizational functions required for project accomplishment (e.g., research and development, engineering, quality assurance, legal, acquisition, and customers). The matrix team strategy decentralizes decision-making to the level of a project leader, so that knowledge relevant to the decision can be collected and outcomes closely monitored.

      While there are several factors that influence productivity of matrix teams, member turnover can have a substantial impact. Thus, identifying the factors that affect a productive member's continued membership to the team is important. This report summarizes data gathered as part of a research task initiated at the request of the Associate Administrator for NAS Development (AND-1). Questionnaires were developed to evaluate how well existing AND matrix teams were functioning. These data will also serve as a baseline against which to gauge future development of the matrix team program. The present paper examined two issues: (i) the relationship between perceptions of the quality of member-team interactions and individual member commitment to remain on the team (continuance commitment) and, (ii) whether or not that relationship might be influenced by the degree to which a member identified with the team as opposed to his/her individual office, function, or profession.

      Results from 141 members of 22 FAA matrix teams indicated a significant relationship between the quality of member-team interactions and continuance commitment. Moreover, team identification moderated the magnitude of the relationship between interaction quality and continuance commitment. Specifically, regardless of team identification, when members perceived member-team interactions to be of high quality, they also reported commitment to continuing on the team. However, this relationship was particularly critical for those members whose identification with the team was weak. For them, the quality of interactions among team members was strongly related to continuance commitment. Based on these results, efforts by project leaders to increase the number of and quality of interactions between matrix team members and to encourage member identification with the team are likely to reduce unwanted turnover behaviors.

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