Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Complexity leadership in industrial innovation teams: A field study of leading, learning and innovating in heterogeneous teams
by DeLia, Emilio, Ph.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - Newark, 2011, 181; 3443409
Abstract (Summary)

Innovation teams comprised of heterogeneous specialists are prevalent in industrial company innovation systems because these teams are perceived to possess special learning and innovative capabilities. There has been insufficient research on how leadership can help create the dynamics advantageous to learning and innovating in heterogeneous teams. Complexity Leadership Theory endeavors to address this issue (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001; Uhl-Bien, Marion, & McKelvey, 2007; Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009). This study uses the insights from Complexity Leadership Theory and from research on team creativity, team innovation, small group process, group learning and team heterogeneity to develop and test a model of complexity leadership in innovation teams. Complexity leadership, which is examined with regard to the influence shared among the team leaders and the team members, is proposed to be positively linked to innovation team outcomes. The model is tested with quantitative data from a field study of 59 innovation teams from 25 industrial companies and informed as well by qualitative data on 5 teams from 3 companies. Complexity leadership was found to have a positive effect on collaborative learning, innovation enabling behaviors, and perceived performance. The analysis tested the mediation effects of collaborative learning and the existence of a heterogeneity norm on the relationship between complexity leadership and team outcomes. Collaborative learning was found to mediate this relationship and some support was found as well for a mediating effect of the existence of a heterogeneity norm. The expectation that complexity leadership would moderate the effects of job relevant heterogeneity on innovation enabling behaviors and perceived performance received only moderate limited evidence of support.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DiTomaso, Nancy
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - Newark
Department: Graduate School - Newark
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Collaboration, Complexity, Diversity, Heterogeneous teams, Innovation, Knowledge, Leadership, Learning
Publication Number: 3443409
ISBN: 978-1-124-48401-3
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