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Curvilinear relationship between intra-team trust and team innovation: the moderating role of task complexity

Hidajat Hendarsjah (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Surakarta, Indonesia)
Ely Susanto (Department of Public Policy and Management, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
Bambang Riyanto Lies Sugianto (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
Tarsisius Hani Handoko (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the relationship pattern between intra-team trust and team innovation and the influence of moderating variable task complexity on the relationship. It also describes why and how intra-team trust is a unique antecedent for team innovation, as too much or too less influence of the variable can have detrimental effects on team innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses survey research. The data were collected by distributing questionnaires to work teams. After the individual-level data were aggregated into team-level data, hierarchical linier regression was conducted to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The paper provides empirical findings that (1) intra-team trust and team innovation have a curvilinear relationship pattern, (2) task complexity does not influence curvilinear relationship (3) and the increase in task complexity improves the possibility of team innovation to occur.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has two limitations. First, as intra-team trust was also represented by aggregated perception of team members’ trust for outside parties (not only members’ perception for their teams), the future research is expected to include the representation in the instrument. Second, recent research studies have shown that contextual factor of task interdependence, instead of task complexity, also had an effect on the relationship pattern between intra-team trust and team performance (i.e. team innovation). Therefore, for future researchers, it is suggested that the use of task interdependence would be an alternative moderating variable on the relationship between intra-team trust and team innovation.

Practical implications

The paper discusses the strategy to enhance team innovation by revealing strategies to manage interplay among intra-team trust, team complexity and the desired team innovation.

Originality/value

The paper identifies the need to conduct empirical research on how an interplay among intra-team trust, task complexity and team innovation could be enabled.

Keywords

Citation

Hendarsjah, H., Susanto, E., Lies Sugianto, B.R. and Handoko, T.H. (2019), "Curvilinear relationship between intra-team trust and team innovation: the moderating role of task complexity", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 472-487. https://doi.org/10.1108/JABS-12-2016-0180

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited