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Developing Innovative Capabilities in Teams (Team Innovation)
Start date: Oct 1, 2011, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

To maintain and enhance their effectiveness within rapidly changing environment, organizations need to continuously develop creative products processes and services and implement them within budget and quality constraints. To achieve this goal, organizations increasingly rely on teams, consisting of members with different knowledge, skills and perspectives. Paradoxically, the processes leading to idea creation and implementation may contradict each other. Idea creation requires flexibility, out-of-the-box thinking, exploration, risk taking and tolerance of mistakes. Idea implementation, in contrast, happens within organizational constraints and includes promoting the idea through the acceptable channels, prototyping, testing, and assuring that the products, processes or services are reliable and meet customers’ requirements. The first objective of the proposed project is to examine whether teams can improve their innovation capabilities by learning how to reconcile the contradictory requirements, inherent in the innovation process. The second objective is to distinguish between different types of organizational constraints (i.e., structural vs. process constraints) and test their effect on team innovation. The third objective is to compare three managerial approaches for managing strategic contradictions (i.e., ambidexterity, sequential and hybrid) and test their effect on team innovation. The suggested project will be conducted in a laboratory setting using a product development simulation. In Phase 1, three-member teams will be asked to develop a creative product while adhering to cost and/or quality constraints. In Phase 2, three-member teams will be trained to manage contradictory requirements using one of three managerial approaches, and then will perform the product development task. The primary dependant variables will be creativity and adherence to constraints. In addition, possible mediating team processes will be examined.
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