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Research on teams with multiple boundaries

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4 Author(s)
Espinosa, J.A. ; Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Cummings, J.N. ; Pearce, B.M. ; Wilson, J.M.

The main purpose of the paper is to discuss: (a) types of boundaries found in field research on teams; (b) methodological challenges encountered when examining teams that cross boundaries; and (c) possible research design solutions. Based on our own field research at three companies (a software development organization, a telecommunications firm, and a financial institution), we outline four different types of boundaries (geographical, functional, identity, and organizational) and discuss methodological issues in distinguishing the effects of one boundary where multiple boundaries existed. We suggest solutions to help: (a) isolate the effects of distance, (b) assess functional similarities within and across teams, (c) identify and control for the impact of multiple project affiliations, and (d) distinguish organizational level influences. Only though careful attention to measurement can we properly assess the effects of team boundaries and draw accurate conclusions about these changing forms of organization.

Published in:

System Sciences, 2002. HICSS. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

7-10 Jan. 2002