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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2017

Chitra Dey and Ganesh M.P.

The purpose of this paper is an examination of the literature on team boundary activity to trace how team boundary activity has evolved as a construct and examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is an examination of the literature on team boundary activity to trace how team boundary activity has evolved as a construct and examine the dimensions of team boundary activity and their relationships. It highlights the need for a deeper examination of the dimensions of buffering and reinforcement, and why buffering and reinforcement are required. It presents the case of why it is important to study this topic and maps out areas for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews conceptual and empirical papers published on team boundary activity in reputed journals between the years 1984 and 2016.

Findings

The focus of research in team boundary activity has been on external interactions of the team (boundary spanning), and very few papers have studied the activities through which the team defines and defends its borders (boundary strengthening). These boundary-strengthening activities can be equally important for innovation and learning in externally dependent teams. Further, there is a need to clearly distinguish these constructs from other variables like team identification. Another area that has here-to not been researched is the relationships between the dimensions of team boundary activity. Last, there is a need to consider a wider range of antecedents, outcomes and moderators of team boundary activity.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on past empirical and conceptual papers, identified using search terms such as team boundary activity, team boundary spanning and external communication. Other related areas can also be explored for identifying variables of interest.

Originality/value

As opposed to previous reviews which focused mainly on team boundary spanning, this paper considers all dimensions of team boundary activity, with special focus on buffering and reinforcement. It proposes a 2 × 2 framework to explain the effect of boundary-spanning and boundary-strengthening activities on the achievement of team objectives. It examines the cyclical nature of relationship between team boundary activity and team performance. It highlights measurement issues in the area of team boundary activity.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

Xiaosong (Jason) Wu, Wei (Wayne) Huang, James Jiang, Gary Klein and Shan Liu

Two challenges faced by automotive component design projects within contracted design agencies are (1) specification changes requested by the manufacturers and (2) product…

Abstract

Purpose

Two challenges faced by automotive component design projects within contracted design agencies are (1) specification changes requested by the manufacturers and (2) product information or core technology knowledge leakage to external actors. We examine the effects of targeted boundary activities that address these challenges under the contingencies of environmental uncertainty and project complexity.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on Boundary management theory, a bidirectional model of boundary buffering was conceptualized in the context of design agency teams developing automotive components. A survey is derived from the proposed model. Regression analysis is performed using empirical data from 234 auto component design projects in Chinese design agencies.

Findings

Boundary buffering activities that strengthen outside-in boundaries and inside-out boundaries directly improve the final design quality. Further, the magnitude of effect for outside-in buffering on design quality is enhanced under environmental uncertainty, while the impact of inside-out buffering on design quality is enhanced under project complexity.

Research limitations/implications

Boundary activities should consider differences in boundary targets, directional flow of information, and context of scope.

Practical implications

Automotive component design agents should attend to both outside-in and inside-out boundary buffering, especially under conditions of environmental uncertainty or project complexity.

Originality/value

The proposed bidirectional view on boundary buffering adds perspective to team boundary management theory. Specific contingencies include common risk elements of project complexity and environmental uncertainty not typically associated with the need for buffering activities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Junyeong Lee, Jinyoung Min and Heeseok Lee

As teams are built around specialized and different knowledge, they need to regulate their knowledge boundaries to exchange their specialized knowledge with other teams

Abstract

Purpose

As teams are built around specialized and different knowledge, they need to regulate their knowledge boundaries to exchange their specialized knowledge with other teams and to protect the value of such specialized knowledge. However, prior studies focus primarily on boundary spanning and imply that boundaries are obstacles to sharing knowledge. To fill this research gap, this study aims to indicate the importance of knowledge protection regulation, an activity that sets an adequate boundary for protecting knowledge, and investigate the factors that facilitate knowledge protection regulation and its consequences.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected empirical data from 196 teams in seven organizations. Through a validation of the measurement model, data from 138 teams are used for further analysis. The hypotheses effects are assessed using a structural equation model.

Findings

The analysis results indicate that both task uncertainty and task interdependency enhance knowledge protection regulation in teams, and that information technology support moderates the relationship between task uncertainty and knowledge protection regulation. The results also indicate that knowledge protection regulation improves inter-team coordination and team performance.

Originality/value

This study focuses on knowledge protection regulation by adopting communication privacy management theory at the team level. The findings imply that boundary management is the process of communication and depends on the role the teams play in accomplishing their tasks. The findings also provide a new way to understand knowledge flow of the teams as well as the entire organization.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Pascale Benoliel and Anit Somech

There has been an increasing trend toward the creation of senior management teams (SMTs) which are characterized by a high degree of functional heterogeneity. Although…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been an increasing trend toward the creation of senior management teams (SMTs) which are characterized by a high degree of functional heterogeneity. Although such teams may create better linkages to information, along with the benefits of functional heterogeneity comes the potential for conflicts that stem from the value differences among subcultures in an organization. These conflicts can adversely affect performance. The purpose of this paper is to examine how school leaders’ activities mediate the relationship of SMT functional heterogeneity to SMT effectiveness (in-role performance and innovation).

Design/methodology/approach

Data, which were obtained through a survey, was collected from a sample of 92 schools in Israel. Data were collected from two sources (principals and SMT members) to minimize problems associated with same source and common method bias. Data were aggregated at the team level of analysis.

Findings

The results of structural equation model indicated that principal’s internal activities enhanced SMT in-role performance whereas principals’ external activities enhanced SMT innovation. The results also showed that principal’s internal activities are full mediators of the relationship between functional heterogeneity and SMT in-role performance.

Originality/value

This study has implications for policies involving the design and implementation of leadership tools to effectively manage SMTs. The results of this study can help principals to establish priorities and allocate their time and resources more effectively, both inward and outward the SMT boundary so as to assist functionally heterogeneous SMTs translating the benefits of functional heterogeneity into significant achievements.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 22 July 2005

Melissa Marot, John W. Selsky, William Hart and Prasuna Reddy

The purpose of this paper is to examine how research teams serve as building blocks for collaboration at a field level, and how these building blocks are assembled by a…

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine how research teams serve as building blocks for collaboration at a field level, and how these building blocks are assembled by a network of interacting organizations. The field setting is a medical sciences consortium in Australia established to encourage collaborative and entrepreneurial research among government, industry, research centers and university units. This consortium is examined as a case study. The analysis demonstrates how collaboration evolved at three interacting levels: research team, organization and interorganizational field.

The main findings are: (1) Intellectual property (IP) acts as the key orienting agent in this field to align the behavior of various stakeholders and leverage collaborative and entrepreneurial activity. (2) Tensions between the different ways that the commercial and public sector actors value IP serve to structure the interfaces among the consortium, the member organizations and the research teams. (3) The consortium is a key infrastructural element in the creation of collaborative capital in the Australian biotechnology field studied. The main contribution of the study is to highlight the nature of collaborative capital at a field level and begin to explore its implications.

Details

Collaborative Capital: Creating Intangible Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-222-1

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Andreas Widmann and Regina H. Mulder

The purpose of this paper is to get deeper insight into the complex nature of the relationship between team learning conditions, team learning behaviours (TLBs) and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to get deeper insight into the complex nature of the relationship between team learning conditions, team learning behaviours (TLBs) and innovative work behaviour (IWB) by considering and combining different neglected aspects in research.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was filled out by 593 vocational educators of 117 interdisciplinary work teams in vocational colleges in Germany. Correlations were calculated and structural equation modelling at two levels was conducted.

Findings

The results indicate that TLBs, especially team reflexivity and boundary spanning, relate positively to IWB. Furthermore, team structure, task interdependence and group potency relate positively to TLBs. It means that TLBs can be fostered by establishing these team learning conditions and, thus, IWB can be fostered.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the study is that the data collection was cross-sectional. Longitudinal studies are required to capture the dynamic character of team learning and to identify causal relationships.

Practical implications

It is important to make all employees in vocational education aware of the importance of TLBs especially of team reflexivity and boundary spanning.

Originality/value

This study provides practical implications for organisations to foster IWB and indications for a better understanding of the relationship between team learning conditions, TLBs and IWB considering and combining different neglected aspects such as examining TLBs separated in one study.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Jing Han

The paper aims to propose a conceptualization of two types of team social capital: team-bonding and team-bridging social capital. Throughout the conceptual effort, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to propose a conceptualization of two types of team social capital: team-bonding and team-bridging social capital. Throughout the conceptual effort, the paper provides suggestions for future research avenues that link team social capital, as a distinct team-level construct, with other team research topics.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptualization of team social capital is based on a review and synthesis of prior research about social networks. The propositions about the relationships of team social capital with other team process and effectiveness variables are developed within the classical input-mediator-output framework.

Findings

The conceptualizations of team-bonding and team-bridging social capital and the common measures for each are provided. Moreover, a series of testable propositions regarding the associations between team social capital and team process, the influence of team social capital on team effectiveness and the antecedents of team social capital are made.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further.

Originality/value

This paper elaborates the concept of team social capital and specifies its implications to various team phenomena. With this conceptual effort, this paper has advanced our knowledge about the nature and role of team social capital in team research.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Ziad El-Awad, Jonas Gabrielsson and Diamanto Politis

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model that explains how learning processes at the team level connect with individual and organizational levels of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model that explains how learning processes at the team level connect with individual and organizational levels of learning in technology-based ventures, thereby influencing the evolution of innovation capabilities in the entrepreneurial process.

Design/methodology/approach

The 4I organizational learning framework is used as an overarching theoretical structure to acknowledge entrepreneurial learning as a dynamic process that operate on multiple levels in technology-based ventures. Embedded in this logic, research on team learning is integrated into this theorizing to examine how learning processes at the team level bridge and connect with learning processes operating at individual and organizational levels.

Findings

The conceptual model identifies different sets of team learning processes critical for the routinization and evolution of innovation capabilities in technology-based ventures. In this respect, the conceptual model advances the scholarly understanding of entrepreneurial learning as a dynamic process operating across multiple levels in technology-based ventures.

Originality/value

By conceptualizing how individual streams of experiences over time become institutionalized via interaction, conversation and dialogue, the paper provides novel insights into the critical role of team learning for bridging individual and organizational levels of learning in the entrepreneurial learning process.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Elisabeth Raes, Anne Boon, Eva Kyndt and Filip Dochy

This study aims to explore, as an answer to the observed lack of knowledge about actual team learning behaviours, the characteristics of the actual observed basic team

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore, as an answer to the observed lack of knowledge about actual team learning behaviours, the characteristics of the actual observed basic team learning behaviours and facilitating team learning behaviours more in-depth of three project teams. Over time, team learning in an organisational context has been investigated more and more. In these studies, there is a dominant focus on team members’ perception of team learning behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

A coding schema is created to observe actual team learning behaviours in interaction between team members in two steps: verbal contributions by individual team members are coded to identify the type of sharing behaviour and, when applicable, these individual verbal behaviours are build up to basic and facilitating team learning behaviours. Based on these observations, an analysis of team learning behaviours is conducted to identify the specific characteristics of these behaviours.

Findings

An important conclusion of this study is the lack of clarity about the line of demarcation between individual contributions and learning behaviours and team learning behaviours. Additionally, it is clear that the conceptualisations of team learning behaviour in previous research neglect to a large extend the nuances and depth of team learning behaviours.

Originality/value

Due to the innovative approach to study team learning behaviours, this study is of great value to the research field of teamwork for two reasons: the creation of a coding schema to analyse team learning behaviours and the findings that resulted from this approach.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Christoph Barmeyer, Volker Stein and Jenny Marie Eberhardt

This paper aims to investigate the central roles, functions and competences of third-country nationals (TCNs) in intercultural boundary spanning in multinational…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the central roles, functions and competences of third-country nationals (TCNs) in intercultural boundary spanning in multinational corporations (MNCs): Why are TCNs particularly important for reducing complexity at the overlapping functional, geographic and external boundaries of MNCs with their related interferences and which role do they play as boundary spanners in cross-boundary collaboration?

Design/methodology/approach

After introducing the theoretical background on boundary spanning and TCNs, the methodology applied in this paper is a theory-driven, qualitative approach based on 13 in-depth semi-structured interviews with TNCs conducted in 10 MNCs.

Findings

The authors aggregate TCNs’ activities into four roles: disembedded cosmopolitan, intermediary, third party and team-related boundary spanner. They show that TCNs tend to understand the complex intercultural context between headquarters and subsidiaries, balance power asymmetries, use their in-between neutrality to create trust, and act in an interculturally highly competent way by using a great variety of intercultural and linguistic skills. The TCNs’ meta-competence permits a higher level, intellectual and abstract perspective, enabling TCNs to consider structures, objects and interactions from an affective distance.

Research limitations/implications

The differences between TCNs and “regular” expatriates or other interface managers are examined and methodological limitations as well as research implications are critically discussed. MNCs can intentionally assign TCNs with their related competence profiles when expecting boundary-spanning tasks.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the few published that undergirds the TCN concept with empirical data and illustrates the suitability of specific role-takers such as TCNs for some complex challenges in international and intercultural management settings.

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