Welcome to another issue of Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ)! In this issue of PIQ, edited by Ingrid Guerra-López, PhD, we focus on a variety of influences of performance improvement factors. However, Dr. Guerra-López sums it up best with her well-delivered editor’s notes. “Performance Improvement Quarterly focuses on a range of performance factors that are greatly under management’s sphere of influence. Our collection of articles explores topics ranging from how the nature of a change (for example, a performance solution) in and of itself can affect how the change is received and therefore how it should be managed to how value systems can affect sales and, in turn, sales performance management. Also in this issue is an article that explores knowledge management as a set of organizational dynamics that affects knowledge management effectiveness; and you will find a study that explores the effects of a particular type of performance support system: electronic health records (EHRs). In our final article, the author presents a strategic model for technical talent management primarily driven to address problems in attracting, developing, retaining, and transferring the knowledge of engineers.” (Guerra-López, 2014)

The contributing authors are organized as follows:

Change Factors Influencing the Diffusion and Adoption of Green Building Practices
Anthony W. Marker, Susan G. Mason, and Paul Morrow

This study aims to improve how human performance improvement (HPI) practitioners manage attributes of change. While there have been numerous studies addressing various aspects of change management, few have examined how the characteristics of the change itself contribute to adoption. This study addresses a change scenario of current importance and interest. Researchers coded applicable survey responses from a previous study and performed factor analysis to identify barriers and incentives to green building, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, for construction industry professionals in the Pacific Northwest, and how those professionals feel about adopting “green” building practices—among them, the LEED rating system. Findings suggest that (a) the qualities of some changes have far more influence on adoption than others, such as difficulty of transition, and (b) other characteristics combine to exert their influence in concert with one another. Finally, a user’s perception of the value of the change was significant. The article’s conclusion addresses how HPI practitioners can integrate the findings into green building adoption specifically, as well as within the greater context of change management and implementation practices in general.

The Mediating Effect of Knowledge-Sharing Processes on Organizational Cultural Factors and Knowledge Management Effectiveness
Hanna Moon and Chan Lee

This study explored the extent to which knowledge-sharing processes mediate organizational cultural factors and knowledge management effectiveness among Korean organizations. The findings show that knowledge-sharing processes play as mediators in the effect of trust, collaboration, and learning on knowledge management effectiveness. Employees from knowledge management practicing companies in Korea were surveyed. Results from mediation analysis show that knowledge-sharing processes have both practical and statistical significance to enhance knowledge management effectiveness. Trust and a learning culture are also significant to increase knowledge management effectiveness. We discuss the implications of these findings to facilitate knowledge sharing and make suggestions for future research.

Sales Teams or Salespersons: Performance Implications for Embracing Individualistic and Collectivistic Cultural Values in a Global Marketplace
Lawrence E. Ross, Katie P. Desiderio, Michael Knudstrup, and Michael G. Frino

Identifying antecedents of salesperson performance is a long-standing objective in the sales management research field. The purpose of this article is to outline how the practical understanding of, and the willingness to embrace, sales employees’ cultural value-systems adds value while considering performance drivers, individualistic versus collectivistic values, and performance outcomes. The cultural dimensions under consideration, individualism and collectivism, cannot be approached as a dichotomy. As is the case for all cultural dimensions, they represent a continuum and not absolutes. In this study, the work preferences and predispositions of participants were compared using an international data set. Respondents were culturally classified based on research (i.e., Americans and Australia s as individualists and Japanese and South Koreans as collectivists). Specifically, it was found that individualists were less attached to their current work situation; collectivists indicated less work/family conflict; and individualists valued independent work more while collectivists valued deciding work time. This is important because of the need to understand how to effectively connect with the values of people to encourage positive performance outcomes. The reality is that value holds differing degrees of  emphasis; the performance formula is the theoretical framework to guide this research. The implications of the results for sales management professionals are discussed.

“I Don’t Have Time to Dig Back Through This”: The Role of Semantic Search in Supporting Physician Information Seeking in an Electronic Health Record
Andrew A. Tawfik, Karl M. Kochendorfer, Dinara Saparova, Said Al Ghenaimi, and Joi L. Moore

The purpose of the study was twofold: to understand how usability affected physicians’ performance as they used an electronic health record (EHR) and to ascertain whether use of a semantic search feature would better support physician performance during an information-seeking task. Participants (n =10) were asked to complete two search tasks to find pertinent patient information. In the first task, participants located the information as they normally would (through browsing the EHR). In the second task, participants employed a semantic search tool. Upon task completion, participants were interviewed to further understand their perceptions and information-seeking behavior in an EHR. Statistically significant results confirmed that participants were able to more efficiently navigate through an EHR in terms of time and number of clicks when using the semantic search feature. Moreover, participants were more confident in the accuracy of their answers when using semantic search compared with the browsing method. Implications for practice are discussed.

A Strategic Model for Technical Talent Management: A Model Based on a Qualitative Case Study
Yeonsoo Kim, Rachele Williams, William J. Rothwell, and Paul Penaloza

One critical challenge for organizations today is building and sustaining a strong talent pipeline through effective management of human assets. Talent management focuses on developing talent that is strategically important for an organization’s future. Research in talent management typically focuses on managerial or leadership talents, yet there are other important career tracks within an organization. Although preparing employees for promotion into management remains critically important, technical expertise such as engineering is often the key competitive advantage in the global knowledge economy. Research has repeatedly emphasized that technical workers look for different things. But most of the studies concerning technical talent management focus on the management of technical professionals and experts in isolation. This study was undertaken to address unique problems in attracting, developing, retaining, and transferring the knowledge of engineers, whose abilities are critical in a knowledge or innovation economy. Through in-depth interviews with selected best practice companies on how they operate their technical talent management system and programs, the study examined shared characteristics of selected organizations with programs geared to engineers. The results are summarized in a systematic model that describes common elements of effective technical talent management programs.

Guerra-López, I. (2014). Managing the performance system. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(4), 5

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