How teams progress through the innovation process
Citation:Michelle MacMahon, 'How teams progress through the innovation process', University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Business School, 2019
Michelle MacMahon ethesis2019.pdf (PhD thesis, examined and approved) 4.539Mb
The work of any innovation-project team working on an innovation project is a process within a process. The innovation-project team is a group of individuals whom may be working on one of several innovation projects at any one time. Among many other responsibilities and challenges, they must individually and collectively navigate the labyrinth of internal social relations - manage the complexities associated with their structural position within the team, their relationships with others in the team, and their cognitive capacity to recognise and manage themselves, others and tasks in the process. Separately, individual and team level knowledge, skills and abilities are significant to performing innovation-relevant tasks. All the while, the team is engaged in a process with no definitive road-map of the innovation-project but guided by a more-or-less clear conception of the intended outcome. This study gathered data on nine innovation-project teams, averaging five members, engaged in the complex process involved in pursuing an innovation project. The data from each team was gathered on three separate occasions, roughly two months apart, over a ten-month period. A hypothetical conceptual framework guided the empirical investigation while the choice of abduction as an analytical tool allowed the inclusion of data within and beyond the initial theoretical framework. Following an extensive analysis of the data, the original theory was reconceptualised to find that teams progress through the innovation process by complex and at times non-linear learning processes. Teams cycle between the strategic learning phases of exploration and exploitation within and across stages of the innovation process. Each stage of the innovation process begins with a phase of exploration and ends with a phase of exploitation. Within each of these phases are nested phase related activities that separately display exploration and exploitation learning behaviours. In addition, the dialogue between team members reference either task or relationships. Task relevant dialogue between team members enables progress by team members either disagreeing with a certain thought, action, or plan and exploring alternative options, or agreeing and exploiting shared knowledge. Relationship relevant dialogue between team members seeks to make a personal judgement either positive or negative.
Author: MacMahon, Michelle
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available