Cross-Boundary Teaming for Innovation: Integrating Research on Teams and Knowledge in Organizations

49 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2016 Last revised: 1 Mar 2017

Amy C. Edmondson

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit

Jean-François Harvey

HEC Montreal

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

Cross-boundary teaming, within and across organizations, is an increasingly popular strategy for innovation. Knowledge diversity is seen to expand the range of views and ideas that teams can draw upon to innovate. Yet, case studies of practice reveal that teaming across knowledge boundaries can be difficult, and innovation is not always realized. Two streams of research are particularly relevant for understanding this challenge: research on team effectiveness and research on knowledge in organizations. They offer complementary insights: the former stream focuses on group dynamics and measures team inputs, processes, emergent states, and outcomes, while the latter closely investigates dialogue and objects in recurrent social practices. Drawing from both streams, this paper seeks to shed light on the complexity of cross-boundary teaming, while highlighting factors that may enhance its effectiveness. We develop an integrative model to provide greater explanatory power than previous approaches to assess cross-boundary teaming efforts and their innovation performance.

Keywords: Teams; Knowledge; Innovation

Suggested Citation

Edmondson, Amy C. and Harvey, Jean-François, Cross-Boundary Teaming for Innovation: Integrating Research on Teams and Knowledge in Organizations (February 2017). Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 17-013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2817895

Amy C. Edmondson (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

Jean-François Harvey

HEC Montreal ( email )

3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montreal, Quebec H2X 2L3
Canada

Paper statistics

Downloads
218
Rank
114,774
Abstract Views
489