April 24, 2019
An article co-written by Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson and HEC Montréal Professor Jean-François Harvey, published in the Human Resource Management Review (HRMR) in December 2018, has received high praise.
A committee of six editors and reviewers from this leading theoretical journal in the field management declared the article one of the three best published in 2018.
The article, Cross-boundary teaming for innovation: Integrating research on teams and knowledge in organizations, was also the most consulted and most cited in 2018, according to statistics compiled by the review. It has been downloaded over 20,000 times to date!
Its authors suggest a new theoretical model to better understand the challenges facing teams with members from different disciplines or organizations.
The model emphasizes three levels of challenges for such work teams. These challenges may be related to language (e.g., some members may use terms not understood by everyone), interpretation (e.g., members may evaluate the project in different ways) or interests (e.g., members may want to see the project evolve in diverging ways). These all affect the team members’ behaviours and the climate they create.
According to Professor Harvey, the article stands out because it combines a perspective on teamwork rooted in psychology with a perspective on collaboration rooted in sociology.
“Our model offers a more in-depth view of what has been presented before from each of these two perspectives. Multidisciplinary teams are more common today, but also more complex than ever. For instance, designers, programmers and healthcare practitioners from different organizations may collaborate on a given project. That’s something new! Our article calls for greater efforts to better understand this complexity,” he explains.
Professors Harvey and Edmondson regularly collaborate on research projects. In October 2017 they published a book, Extreme Teaming: Lessons in Complex, Cross-Sector Leadership.
The co-authors will be honoured at the HRMR editorial board meeting during the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in August 2019, in Boston.