Innovation and cross-functional teams: Analysis of innovative initiatives in a Brazilian public organization

Daniel Marasquini Stipp (Federal University of Uberlândia, Uberlandia, Brazil)
Márcio Lopes Pimenta (Federal University of Uberlândia, Uberlandia, Brazil)
Daniel Jugend (Department of Production Engineering, Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho, Bauru, Brazil)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Publication date: 12 March 2018



The aim of this paper is to characterize how innovation may happen through cross-functional teams (CFT) in an organization of the public sector.


A case study helped to characterize several behavior patterns, team structures and respective links with generating innovation in internal processes and public answering contexts.


The results highlight that formal-temporary teams present a higher capacity to generate incremental innovation in products, whereas permanent-informal teams have a higher capacity to generate innovation in the internal processes and public answering contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research relate to the fact that this is a single case study, and although it is an important case to examine innovation and CFTs, by its very nature, it is not possible to extend and generalize the obtained data to other organizations. The evaluation of its propositions was merely qualitative, and future research is needed to validate its characteristics.

Practical implications

Several settings of CFTs are presented, as well as their ability to generate different types of innovation, such as the computerization of documents, petitions and papers, which decreases the time to answer the taxpayer. Moreover, CFTs can help to create products, such as computer programs that can be used not only locally but also in several public organizations related to tax management.


The field research provides the perceptions of the respondents regarding CFT characteristics that can lead to specific types of innovation, as well as the types of products or services that can be generated by these processes.



The authors thankfully acknowledge financial support from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) through the project APQ 02518-15.


Stipp, D.M., Pimenta, M.L. and Jugend, D. (2018), "Innovation and cross-functional teams: Analysis of innovative initiatives in a Brazilian public organization", Team Performance Management, Vol. 24 No. 1/2, pp. 84-105.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.