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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2016

Rajesh Kumar and Jens Gammelgaard

We demonstrate the role of regulatory fit and moral emotions, that is, contempt and anger, in influencing conflict resolution between the headquarters and subsidiary…

Abstract

We demonstrate the role of regulatory fit and moral emotions, that is, contempt and anger, in influencing conflict resolution between the headquarters and subsidiary boundary spanners. We develop a theoretical framework, which integrates literature on international business and headquarters-subsidiary relationships with regulatory focus, moral emotions, and conflict resolution. The chapter outlines the relationships between the regulatory focus of a headquarters’ boundary spanner, and his or her manner of engagement, conflict sensitivity, violation of code, moral emotions, and the way conflicts are resolved. The theoretical framework developed here provides a starting point for future research on bargaining processes between boundary spanners of a multinational corporation (MNC). This chapter is the first one to discuss regulatory focus, and moral emotions, in the contexts of a MNC headquarters-subsidiary relationship.

Details

Perspectives on Headquarters-subsidiary Relationships in the Contemporary MNC
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-370-2

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

Tingting Cao, Giorgio Locatelli, Nigel Smith and Lianying Zhang

Megaprojects present an intricated pattern of leadership activities, which evolve over their planning and delivery and comprises several stakeholders. A framework is…

Abstract

Purpose

Megaprojects present an intricated pattern of leadership activities, which evolve over their planning and delivery and comprises several stakeholders. A framework is useful to navigate this complexity; it allows to identify and cluster the key elements. This paper aims to introduce a novel framework based on boundary spanners to describe the structural pattern of shared leadership in megaprojects.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review about boundary spanning and shared leadership is used to identify and cluster the key elements of shared leadership in megaprojects. The systematic literature review provides a rich theoretical background to develop the novel shared leadership framework based on boundary spanners.

Findings

There are three key dimensions characterizing shared leadership topology in megaprojects: stakeholders, boundary spanning leadership roles and project phases. The novel framework shows how project leadership dynamically transfers among different stakeholders, showing the importance of shared leadership as a leadership paradigm in megaprojects.

Research limitations/implications

The novel framework epitomizes shared leadership in megaprojects by exploring its antecedents with social network metrics. This paper stresses that shared leadership is the envisaged form of leadership in megaprojects. By modeling complex project leadership in a simple, yet effective way, the framework fosters critical thinking for future research. The modeling introduced by this framework would also benefit practitioners in charge of megaprojects.

Originality/value

The paper moves the project leadership research to the network-level by taking boundary spanners as shared leadership roles in megaprojects. It shows how shared leadership is a valuable management tool for planning and delivery megaprojects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Mehmet Chakkol, Antonios Karatzas, Mark Johnson and Janet Godsell

Solutions provision depends on effective and efficient supply chains. Existing discourse within servitization has remained at the organisational or inter-organisational…

Abstract

Purpose

Solutions provision depends on effective and efficient supply chains. Existing discourse within servitization has remained at the organisational or inter-organisational level with a limited emphasis on the role of individuals. However, supply chains are not just relationships between organisations, they are complex, inter-personal relationships that span organisational boundaries. The limited focus on boundary spanners and their interactions means that managerial roles critical for the provision of solutions remain unidentified. The purpose of this paper is to identify the functions, roles and practices of boundary spanners that connect organisations and enable the effective provision of solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study comprising 61 interviews in 11 firms was conducted in the UK network of a commercial vehicles manufacturer, to investigate boundary spanning for product and solutions provision.

Findings

The functions of boundary spanners move from communicating product and price features in product provision towards strategic communication, dissonance reduction, professional education, consultation and leveraging offerings in solutions provision. The study also identifies the boundary spanning roles and practices that form these functions for solutions provision.

Originality/value

This is the first study in servitization that identifies and describes the boundary spanning functions, roles and practices. By adopting the lens of boundary spanning, the research addresses the lack of empirical managerial-level enquiry within servitization research. It extends the theoretical discussion on the differences between supply chain management in servitized vs product contexts.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2020

Jori Pascal Kalkman

Crisis management increasingly requires coordination and collaboration between multiple organizations. This means that inter-organizational boundaries have to be spanned…

Abstract

Purpose

Crisis management increasingly requires coordination and collaboration between multiple organizations. This means that inter-organizational boundaries have to be spanned by dedicated organizational members (i.e. boundary spanners). This paper aims to describe which features facilitate the work of boundary spanners in crisis management.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study, consisting of 26 interviews, has been conducted in the Netherlands to explore how civilian and military representatives effectively spanned inter-organizational boundaries.

Findings

Five features are identified that enable boundary spanners to improve crisis management coordination and collaboration. Boundary spanners are likely to be successful when they (1) serve long terms, (2) are sensitive to partners' concerns, (3) have considerable discretion, (4) are politically skilled and (5) prove influential in their own organization.

Practical implications

Crisis organizations can extend boundary spanners' term length, broaden their discretionary space and give them more influence to facilitate their work. Additionally, in the selection process, it would be well to choose organizational members who display a sensitivity to the interests of crisis partners and possess political skill.

Originality/value

Multiple studies have reiterated the key role of boundary spanners in enabling crisis management coordination and collaboration. Yet, this study is the first to provide a systematic analysis of key features that help boundary spanners to reach this goal.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2013

Paul Williams

The aim of this paper is to discuss the roles and competencies of boundary spanners in the context of collaboration. It aims to examine the problematic nature of these…

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3255

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to discuss the roles and competencies of boundary spanners in the context of collaboration. It aims to examine the problematic nature of these roles, and to consider the communalities between different types of boundary spanner. It then seeks to interrogate the extent to then seeks which managing in collaboration is different from managing in single organizations, and to question whether it should be undertaken by a dedicated cadre of actors or mainstreamed into all professional, leadership and management practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an exploratory paper that draws both on a critical review of the literature and contemporary research by the author.

Findings

The paper suggests that there are different types of boundary spanner pursuing different roles, but argues that there is a considerable degree of communality between them and the competencies required to undertake them especially in relation to reticulism, communication, co-ordination and entrepreneurial skill. Boundary spanners face considerable challenges in dealing with tensions and ambiguities arising from complexity, multiple accountabilities and governance forms. The question of whether managing in collaboration is different to managing in hierarchies remains contested.

Practical implications

The paper has direct implications for the training and development of boundary spanners either as dedicated actors or as an integral part of professional, managerial and leadership roles.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in its focus on the role of agency within collaboration, its identification of different types of boundary spanner, and its critical analysis of the competencies and challenges they face in contemporary public management.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Aurore Haas

– This paper aims to contribute to defining the concepts of boundary spanner, gatekeeper and knowledge broker.

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2405

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to defining the concepts of boundary spanner, gatekeeper and knowledge broker.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature covering more than 100 sources.

Findings

A review of past research leads to proposing a set of new definitions and also to the detection of six research avenues.

Originality/value

The ability of organizations to recognize, source and integrate key information or knowledge is important for their strategy, innovation and performance over time. Three types of individuals have information gathering and knowledge dissemination roles at the frontier of organizations and groups: boundary spanners, gatekeepers and knowledge brokers. Although research on these individuals is well-developed, we found that in practice, the definitions of the concepts overlap and still need a clarification. So far, no systematic comparison of these roles has been undertaken.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Siu Loon Hoe

The organizational behavior and management literature has devoted a lot attention on processes and technology in organizational learning. There has been little work to…

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2314

Abstract

Purpose

The organizational behavior and management literature has devoted a lot attention on processes and technology in organizational learning. There has been little work to examine the role of boundary spanners in organizational learning. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of boundary spanners in enhancing organizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The existing boundary spanning literature was reviewed and the salient points on their role in organizational learning discussed.

Practical implications

The paper offers a view on tapping the hidden potential of boundary spanners in organizations in order to enhance the organization's learning capacity form the external environment. Practicing manager would then be able to design knowledge processes to better support these boundary spanners that in turn promotes organizational learning.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the existing organizational learning literature by introducing the role of boundary spanners in organizational learning.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2011

Paul Williams

The purpose of this paper is to explore, in some depth, the role and nature of boundary spanners – a dedicated cadre of people who operate within collaborative arenas; to…

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1180

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore, in some depth, the role and nature of boundary spanners – a dedicated cadre of people who operate within collaborative arenas; to identify the particular skills and competencies that they exhibit; and to reflect on the tensions and ambiguities that they face in their everyday work.

Design/methodology/approach

The author presents an analysis of the recent history of UK health and social care in relation to the role “boundary spanners” – a valuable and distinctive class of “actor”, operating within intra‐ and inter‐sectoral collaborative environments, including partnerships, alliances, networks, consortia and forms of integration.

Findings

Boundary spanners have a distinct role to play in managing the highly interdependent and collaborative arenas that are designed to manage health and social care, and they undertake this by deploying a range of competencies, supported by relevant knowledge, experience and personal attributes. The valuable role that boundary spanners play must be reflected in appropriate investment in their training and development.

Originality/value

Reflections are directed towards the training and development of boundary spanners as an important role in health and social care.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-726-1

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Matthew A. Hawkins and Mohammad H. Rezazade M.

This paper seeks to advance the study of knowledge boundary spanning by approaching spanning as a process that involves four spanning mechanisms.

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1908

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to advance the study of knowledge boundary spanning by approaching spanning as a process that involves four spanning mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the insights from practice‐based view of knowledge and knowledge management literature more generally, the authors formalize and articulate two spanning mechanisms (boundary practice and boundary discourse), in addition to two other previously established spanning mechanisms (boundary object and boundary spanner).

Findings

The paper formalizes two further spanning mechanisms and suggests an integrative framework for examining the mutual and compounding effect between the four spanning mechanisms. Building on the suggested framework, the process of spanning is analysed as a time‐based combination of various mechanisms which evolve over time. The framework opens new windows to look at the projective and emergent mode of spanning mechanisms as a duality, rather than a dualism.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are freed to explore the deployment order of the spanning mechanisms and the conflicting or synergistic effects. Practitioners would benefit from tracing successful spanning processes for replicating in similar contexts to advance collaboration efforts.

Originality/value

Boundary practice and boundary discourse are introduced as well as synthesizing the mechanisms into a coherent framework. Viewing boundary spanning as a process that includes dynamic combination of four spanning mechanisms is a particularly novel insight that can stimulate future research avenues.

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