Leadership, behavioral context, and the performance of work groups in a knowledge-intensive setting

Abraham Carmeli, David Waldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


The behavioral work context in which members of groups interact with each other is crucial for facilitating knowledge exchange and combination (Nonaka in Great minds in management: the process of theory development, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005; Nonaka et al. in Long Range Plan 33:5-34, 2000). Yet little is known about the ways leaders, by signaling expectations and exhibiting supportive behaviors, facilitate such a behavioral context, which may then enhance performance. This study aims to contribute to the literature by examining how leader expectations and supportive behaviors facilitate behavioral integration and enhance the performance of work groups engaging in the development of advanced technological products. Data collected from management teams of 102 work groups indicate significant and positive relationships between: (1) leader expectations and leader supportive behaviors, (2) leader supportive behaviors and group behavioral integration, and (3) behavioral integration and group performance. In addition, the results indicate that leader supportive behaviors partially mediate the relationship between leader expectations and group behavioral integration, and the latter partially mediates the link between leader supportive behaviors and group performance. No significant link was found between leader expectations and group performance. In so doing, this study contributes to research on the way leaders, by shaping a behavioral context, facilitate knowledge exchange and combination, thereby enhancing group performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-400
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Behavioral context
  • Defense industry
  • Knowledge management
  • Leadership
  • Work groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • Engineering(all)

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