College of Computing and Digital Media Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Computing

First Advisor

Linda V Knight, PhD


This dissertation focuses on implicit knowledge transfer in virtual information systems project teams in the healthcare industry and the association of such knowledge transfer with successful projects. The use of virtual teams is expected to continue to increase, particularly because of the passage of the HITECH Act of 2009, calling for the computerization of medical records in the United States. Although the healthcare industry has had experience with virtual teams and the use of those teams is expected to increase, there has been little research done on how implicit knowledge transfer is linked to successful projects.

A successful IT project is one that completes on time, on budget, meets requirements and user specifications, and satisfies stakeholders. This study identified and evaluated implicit knowledge transfer techniques, determining which forms of knowledge transfer were most often associated with successful projects. Four techniques were studied: communities of practice (CoP), after action reviews (AAR), mentoring and storytelling. Of these techniques, CoP and storytelling were most often associated with project success in four of the five success measures (ie. on time, meets requirements and user specifications, satisfies stakeholders). Additionally, the study evaluated when implicit knowledge transfer techniques were used (ie. “initiate”, “plan”, “execute”, “control”, “close” project phases) and project participant types (ie. team members, team leads, project managers and vendors). The study is the first to examine all these project dimensions (ie. project success, project type, project phase, and project participant types) and consider the interrelationships among these dimensions, as well as project success.



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