Dyadic Decision-Making: A Grounded Theory of Top Level Team Decision and Exchange Behavior

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Parry, Ken

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Jordan, Peter

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This dissertation is a report on a program of research study about top level behaviour in the context of organisational relationships. The aims of the research study were two-fold. First, the research sought to make an original contribution to the theory about the effect of top level team decision-making behaviour on exchange relationships between organisational units. Second, in response to a call in the extant literature for greater understanding of exchange behaviour in an applied sense within organisations, the current program of research also sought to explore the contribution that a grounded theory-based methodology could make to the understanding of this phenomenon. The broad substantive setting for the research was knowledge industries, and the specific focus was on large Australian universities. A basic social process of Dyadic Decision-Making emerged from this program of research. This basic social process was found to be central to top level team behaviour during decisionmaking, especially where matters concerned other organisational areas. This research identifies that top level team decision-making activity serves the practical purpose of dealing with strategic and operational issues at the organisational unit level. Moreover, the current program of study finds that top level team decision-making serves an important role in shaping the longer term exchange relationships which organisational units develop between each other. In this context, Dyadic Decision-Making represents a basic social process by which top level teams build exchange dyads between their own, and other organisational units. This research program identifies that the level of emphasis on relationship considerations within top level teams is a key determinant of decision-making behaviour and, by extension, the messages which organisational units send about the way they wish to exchange with other organisational units. For team leaders, relationship emphasis manifests in the leadership style which they adopt within their teams. For team members, relationship emphasis manifests in the perspectives they exhibit during team discussions, and is shaped inter alia by the definition of their day to day job roles.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Griffith Business School

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Dyadic decision making

Organisational behavior

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