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Article

Timothy Galpin, Rod Hilpirt and Bruce Evans

The central messages of the article are threefold. First, a summary of research testing the perception that cross‐functional organization designs provide key advantages

Abstract

Purpose

The central messages of the article are threefold. First, a summary of research testing the perception that cross‐functional organization designs provide key advantages and differentiators for firms in today's hypercompetitive business climate. Second, includes a multifaceted “body of evidence” (e.g. multiple data sources, a range of industries, and various levels of management). Third, pragmatic recommendations regarding how to advance elusive cross‐functional organization design constructs, which today's executives are increasingly seeking to implement.

Design/methodology/approach

The article addresses several key questions – are organizations today more like cross‐functional “symphonies” or do they still resemble the traditional, functional, manufacturing model? Are cross‐functional organizations really more effective than functional organizations? And, if cross‐functional organizations are more effective, why aren't they more prevalent? To answer these questions, information from three key sources was assembled to test a body of evidence: first, a Business Schools Programs Review: a comparison of “functional” versus “cross‐functional” business school programs, that included 61 schools offering Masters of Business Administration degrees, located across the USA; second, a scan of the business literature available from five key online sources; and third, a management survey that included 212 total respondents from 37 different industries.

Findings

The evidence presented supports five key conclusions: “Functionality” is still the prevailing organization design. Business schools are not functionally focused, but corporate training is. Functionality dominates the management literature. More managers manage functionally. Cross‐functional organizations appear to have several performance advantages over functional organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitation of the current research, and implication for future research, is that cross‐functional and functional organizational financial performance comparisons were not conducted. Financial performance comparisons should be addressed by future research.

Practical implications

The article provides a set of 12 pragmatic recommendations regarding how to implement cross‐functional organization design structures.

Originality/value

The content of the article is useful to executives and managers for several reasons, including: pragmatic recommendations regarding how to implement cross‐functional organization design structures, which today's executives are increasingly seeking to employ. Multifaceted evidence highlighting the differences between functional and cross‐functional structures. Research confirming the assumption that cross‐functional organization designs provide a key differentiator for firms in today's hypercompetitive business climate. Broad application to companies across multiple industries. An overview of available organization design literature and case examples.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article

Man Chen, Tanya (Ya) Tang, Siting Wu and Feng Wang

Although coopetition has been studied for decades, most prior studies shed light on interfirm coopetition across firms instead of intrafirm coopetition across functional…

Abstract

Purpose

Although coopetition has been studied for decades, most prior studies shed light on interfirm coopetition across firms instead of intrafirm coopetition across functional departments within a firm. To fill the research gaps, this study aims to investigate the differential effects of cross-functional coopetition on both product and service innovations and the moderating roles of environmental turbulence.

Design/methodology/approach

This study surveyed both senior and middle managers from 149 pharmaceutical firms in China.

Findings

This study discovers the opposite relationships of cross-functional coopetition on product and service innovations such that cross-functional coopetition enhances product innovation but hurts service innovation. Furthermore, market turbulence attenuates the positive effect on product innovation but strengthens the negative effect on service innovation. However, technological turbulence attenuates the negative impact of cross-functional coopetition on service innovation.

Originality/value

The effects of cross-functional coopetition have been ignored in the innovation literature. By identifying the double-edged sword of cross-functional coopetition, this study contributes to the literature by providing new insights into the differential effects of cross-functional coopetition on product and service innovations.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article

Debora Jeske and Thomas Stephen Calvard

Structural and technological changes are driving functional reorganization in many organizations. To date, there are very few articles that explicitly, consistently and…

Abstract

Purpose

Structural and technological changes are driving functional reorganization in many organizations. To date, there are very few articles that explicitly, consistently and cumulatively focus on cross-functional integration. This paper aims to review and explore the literature that does directly address cross-functional integration.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a literature review within the general management domain for the time frame 2010 to 2020 and identified 71 relevant articles that provide an overview of current practices and trends.

Findings

This conceptual paper reviews this identified literature and outlines key trends, noteworthy articles and a summary of relevant theories, and provides an overview of outcomes linked to cross-functional integration in the literature. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for practitioners and an outline of potential research areas for academic researchers, including a call for more theory integration, building and testing in the area of cross-functionality.

Originality/value

This paper is the first of its kind to attempt to summarize the literature on cross-functionality (published between 2010 and 2020), a currently very fragmented field of study spread out across different management disciplines.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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Article

Marlos Rocha de Freitas, Márcio Lopes Pimenta, Per Hilletofth, Daniel Jugend and Pedro Carlos Oprime

The purpose of this study is to investigate how cross-functional integration supports the execution of the demand-side processes and its effects on both the demand and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how cross-functional integration supports the execution of the demand-side processes and its effects on both the demand and supply-side processes.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was conducted including a Brazilian multinational manufacturer in the automobile industry and some of its suppliers and dealers. 17 interviews were conducted. A theoretical framework is proposed containing five basic elements, they are: characteristics of the demand/supply processes; involved functions; integration factors; context influencers and impacts of integration on demand and supply processes.

Findings

The findings present three demand-side processes (Product Launch, Marketing and Sales and Demand Planning) that demonstrated a greater need for cross-functional integration in the studied case, mainly through informal integration factors.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical results of this study have methodological limitations due to the use of the case study method. Future research should analyze the effects of other context influencers (e.g. natural catastrophes, civil wars and low level of unemployment) on cross-functional integration.

Practical implications

The results highlight that joint planning, willingness to work together, team spirit, adequate communication and cross-functional meetings helped the studied organizations to achieve competitive advantages and improve their performance.

Originality/value

This study provides a theoretical framework that helped to improve the understanding of the interrelationships between demand management constructs and cross-functional integration factors. There are indications that a political–economic crisis has stimulated the existence of a willingness to work together and group spirit among employees who remain in the organization after mass dismissals. This climate of cooperation helped to increase the agility and resilience of the studied supply chain, which is currently affected by a changing market.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article

Diane Irvine and G. Ross Baker

This paper outlines a theoretical framework for studying the integration of ethnically diverse workforces in public service organizations. Individual and work group…

Abstract

This paper outlines a theoretical framework for studying the integration of ethnically diverse workforces in public service organizations. Individual and work group characteristics are viewed as determinants of social identity and organizational identification. Social Identity theory suggests that individuals develop self‐concept through identification with salient groups, including ethnic groups and organizational roles. The extent to which these identifications are competitive or synergistic may depend upon organizational and work group characteristics and on organizational policies concerning selection, performance appraisal, and rewards. Cross‐functional teamwork may provide an integrative mechanism which can promote intergroup relations and encourage greater organizational commitment among an ethnically diverse workforce. Cross‐functional teams can contribute to reduced intergroup conflict and promote the development of organizational identification. The benefits of cross‐functional teams will be particularly important in situations where the workforce is diverse, but work groups are ethnically homogeneous.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Rebecca A. Proehl

Organizations are increasingly using cross‐ functional teams to address broad‐scale organizational problems, and the potential of such teams is undeniable. Bringing a…

Abstract

Organizations are increasingly using cross‐ functional teams to address broad‐scale organizational problems, and the potential of such teams is undeniable. Bringing a cross‐functional perspective to organizational problems help build understanding, problem‐solving capabilities, co‐ordination, communication and, ultimately, improved quality and productivity. While the benefits are many, this study highlights the challenges. Over one‐half of the participants viewed their cross‐functional team’s work as unsuccessful, and these same individuals felt less optimistic about cross‐functional teams than they had before participating in one. While it is apparent that organizational leaders, are enthusiastically embracing team efforts, calls for additional analysis to explore the unique challenges of cross‐functional teams so organizations can consistently benefit from their efforts. Examines those factors that contributed to the success of the teams in this study and offers recommendations for working with cross‐functional teams.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article

Marcio Lopes Pimenta, Andrea Lago da Silva and Wendy L Tate

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the cross-functional integration processes between marketing and logistics, while considering five basic elements: boundary…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the cross-functional integration processes between marketing and logistics, while considering five basic elements: boundary spanning activities, integration factors, level of integration, formality/informality and impacts of integration.

Design/methodology/approach

After an extensive literature review, five case studies were performed and in-depth interviews conducted. Both within-case and cross-case analysis was performed to better understand the cross-functional integration processes between marketing and logistics.

Findings

A characterization of cross-functional integration in the form of a managerial framework was proposed. This framework presents the elements in a process view, instead of disconnected parts of the integration processes. The framework and process perspective helps to explain the integration process, the roles and impacts of integration within organizations, while considering cultural formality and informality.

Research limitations/implications

Qualitative data collection and analysis methods cannot achieve amplitude with respect to sampling nor generalize results. In spite of this, the implications revealed by the propositions may be applied not only to Brazilian companies, but organizations in other countries as well, due to the high level of heterogeneity of the sample, and the fact that they represent multinational organizations. Therefore, further research using broad-based survey data could test the correlations between the elements of cross-functional integration processes.

Practical implications

The identification of the cross-functional integration processes within organizations can help managers to facilitate the efforts of integration between marketing and logistics, reducing conflicts and improving business performance.

Originality/value

Case studies focussing specifically on five Brazilian organizations help provide evidence for an initial definition of cross-functional integration processes by analyzing five key elements according to their characteristics and respective roles. This research provides a strong foundation for future broad-based survey research.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article

Timothy W. Aurand, Carol DeMoranville and Geoffrey L. Gordon

Well‐documented corporate demands for crossfunctionally competent employees have instigated a wide variety of efforts by the educational community to integrate business…

Abstract

Well‐documented corporate demands for crossfunctionally competent employees have instigated a wide variety of efforts by the educational community to integrate business curricula. Many colleges and universities struggle to functionally integrate business programs that historically have been delivered by well‐defined, and often well‐siloed, disciplines. Drawing from the numerous published and unpublished case studies of cross‐functional integration attempts, this study develops a framework of critical issues to consider when developing an integrated program. The framework develops five major categories of issues (strategic, leadership, administrative, faculty, and student) to help universities identify typical program decisions and potential roadblocks that may inhibit the development of a successful program.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

Keywords

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Article

Ricardo Santa, Mario Ferrer, Phil Bretherton and Paul Hyland

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of cross‐functional teams in the alignment between system effectiveness and operational effectiveness after the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of cross‐functional teams in the alignment between system effectiveness and operational effectiveness after the implementation of enterprise information systems (EIS). In addition, it aims to explore the contribution of cross‐functional teams to improvement in operational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, in a two‐stage methodological approach, to investigate the influence of cross‐functional teams on the alignment between system effectiveness and operational effectiveness and the impact of the stated alignment on the improvement in operational performance.

Findings

Initial findings suggest that factors stemming from system effectiveness and the performance objectives stemming from operational effectiveness are important and significantly well correlated factors that promote the alignment between the effectiveness of technological implementation and the effectiveness of operations. In addition, confirmatory factor analysis has been used to find the structural relationships and provide explanations for the stated alignment and the contribution of cross‐functional teams to the improvement in operational performance.

Research limitations/implications

The principal limitation of this study is its small sample size.

Practical implications

Cross‐functional teams have been used by many organisations as a way of involving expertise from different functional areas in the implementation of innovative technologies. An appropriate use of the dimensions that emerged from this research, in the context of cross‐functional teams, will assist organisations to properly utilise cross‐functional teams with the aim of improving operational performance.

Originality/value

The paper presents a new approach to measure the effectiveness of EIS implementation by adding new dimensions to measure it.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article

Shahla Ghobadi and John D'Ambra

This study aims to present a model that can be used for predicting effective knowledge sharing behaviors in cross‐functional project teams.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present a model that can be used for predicting effective knowledge sharing behaviors in cross‐functional project teams.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawn from the extant literature, a coopetitive model of knowledge sharing is postulated. Data from 115 project managers are used to test the proposed model, using partial least squares (PLS).

Findings

The findings confirm the applicability and predictive power of the proposed model. Three dimensions of cross‐functional cooperation (cooperative task orientation, cooperative communication, and cooperative interpersonal relationships) were proved to directly drive effective knowledge sharing behaviors. The results show that competition affects effective knowledge sharing behaviors through influencing cooperative behaviors. In addition, this study shows that different dimensions of competition generate mixed impacts. Competition for tangible resources was found to positively affect cooperative communication of individuals, whereas competition for intangible resources (political competition) had negative impacts on cooperative communication and task orientations.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the extant literature by presenting a model that predicts effective knowledge sharing practices in cross‐functional projects. In addition, the results advance the current understanding of the concept and modeling of coopetitive knowledge sharing.

Practical implications

The proposed model of this study can be used by managers in order to facilitate problematic knowledge sharing processes within cross‐functional teams.

Originality/value

This study stands as one of the first attempts in providing a model that explains the forces behind effective knowledge sharing behaviors in cross‐functional teams. The model explores coopetition effect in a systematic way, which has not been previously studied.

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