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Title: Do I really need you? : a team-centred analysis of task interdependence in innovation systems
Author: Es-Sajjade, Abdelghani
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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The innovation-era has seen firms adopting a variety of organisation designs with teams as their basic building blocks. The increasing competitive importance of innovation and the prevalence of team-based organisation designs have confronted firms with the challenge to manage complex task interdependence configurations. Firms therefore resort to structural linking to integrate dispersed innovation activities across a multitude of teams. I find that structural linking in innovation-led firms occurs by means of linking teams: i.e. teams which are created by top managers to support or manage the innovation process across other teams. Within this context, I have set out to answer the central question of this study: how and why do teams shape the development of task interdependence? I examined how teams shape task interdependence over time through an inductive, longitudinal study of four high-technology firms. 122 interviews were conducted over a period of 24 months including a 3 month ethnographic stage. My central contribution is a model of how teams shape the development of task interdependence. Overall, I present the conjunction of task and social interdependence as a dynamic, cyclical, process, which is shaped by the collective agency of teams. This study proposes that studying task interdependence from the perspective of teams requires the inclusion of social interdependence because teams form different perceptions of the designed task interdependence which can be positive, negative, or individualistic. These perceptions emerge in response to perceived goal structures between teams and as a response to how task interdependence relates to the identity and autonomy of the involved teams. These perceptions produce distinct patterns of interaction between teams in innovation systems, which subsequently instigate reconfigurations of both task and social interdependence.
Supervisor: Pandza, Krsto Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available