Moderating Effect of Team Distributedness on Organizational Dimensions for Innovation Project Success

Moderating Effect of Team Distributedness on Organizational Dimensions for Innovation Project Success

Mario Bourgault (Ecole Polytechnique, Canada), Nathalie Drouin (Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada), Hélène Sicotte (Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada) and Jaouad Daoudi (Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-465-9.ch014
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Abstract

This article addresses the issue of geographically distributed work teams that carry out new product development projects. These are task-oriented, goal-driven, temporary teams that use ICTs. This exploratory study measures the moderating affect of team distributedness on the relationships between organizational and workforce management best practices and two measures of project success (efficacy and effectiveness). Data were obtained from real teams working in Canadian companies in diverse high-tech industries. The results show a moderating effect of team distributedness, which is interesting in that the distributedness factor is examined from a different perspective, that is, as a moderating rather than an explanatory dimension.
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About Distributed Teams

Profound changes in international politics, combined with market globalization and the unprecedented development of information and communication technologies (ICTs), have fostered global competition and spurred companies to rethink their managerial practices (Arnison & Miller, 2002; Lipnack & Stamps, 1997). Similarly, due to the trend toward specialization, competencies and skills focus, there is an ongoing need for inter-organizational cooperation (Wehmeyer & Riemer, 2007). This need is manifested in the rise of dynamic company networks designed to overcome strategic challenges such as intense global competition and investment barriers (Cleland & Ireland, 2007; Pinto, 2002); operational challenges such as response time, risk management, and vertical and/or horizontal integration (Pinto, 2002; Wehmeyer & Riemer, 2007); and financial challenges (Kokko et al., 2007). Economic organizations and government institutions’ networks enable – if they do not require – the establishment of teams whose members are not necessarily located at a single site, known as distributed teams. For instance, a study conducted with 376 managers from different industrial branches in Germany revealed that 20% of full-time and almost 40% of temporary managers worked in distributed mode (AFW, 2002). Comparable numbers have been reported in other countries as well (Gibson & Cohen, 2003; Hertel et al., 2005).

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