یکپارچه سازی تنوع دانش از طریق فرایندهای مرزگستری - مورد تیم های پروژه ای چند رشته ای
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21599||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6515 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 27, Issue 3, April 2009, Pages 206–215
It has been previously argued that knowledge heterogeneity compiled with geographic separation of team members hinder effective sharing and use of a team’s knowledge. The paper explores how multidisciplinary teams interact to overcome the barriers and take advantage of their ‘built in’ knowledge diversity. The findings of the research suggest that successful integration of multidisciplinary knowledge can be achieved through team’s boundary spanning activities and reaching to multiple professional and social communities. Three project boundaries have been identified, project action boundary, project knowledge boundary and project social boundary, which facilitate team members in articulating diverse knowledge perspectives. The findings suggest a need to reconceptualise the boundaries of multidisciplinary teams and to consider the processes of sharing diverse knowledge in a wider professional and social context.
With the intensification of globalisation and expansion in the use of information technology, particular attention is being focused on the opportunities and difficulties associated with sharing knowledge. The exponential growth of knowledge has made it nearly impossible for any organisation to exist in isolation. Thus, the networked organisation or alliance is becoming an increasingly common structural form . Previous studies refer to such new organisational arrangements as ‘virtual organisations’, ‘spider’s webs’, ‘holonic enterprise’ and ‘smart organisations’. Although, all describe new ways of organising which enable people and teams to work across conventional boundaries there are apparent variations in key characteristics. A key component of the virtual organisations, for example, is that they are information computer technology (ICT) enabled  and based on computer-mediated communications (CMC) . CMC, therefore, is a powerful tool to overcome time and distance barriers and a key feature of virtual organisations. It has been recently argued, however, that virtual organisational forms emphasise only one element of what is required from organisations in the digital economy . To be able to respond to the challenges of the new global marketplace, the organisations have to be not only technologically enabled, but more importantly ‘smart’ in their abilities to enter into virtual collaborations with other partner organisations and share diverse occupational and cultural knowledge. The main building blocks of such organisations are the multidisciplinary teams working from different locations and team members belonging to different organisations. While the potential advantages of multidisciplinary teams, in terms of creative potential and effectiveness, are theoretically attainable, empirical evidences suggest that knowledge diversity constrains effective sharing , , , ,  and . These constraints have both occupational and contextual origins. Differences in perspectives, priorities, typical approach to problem solving and professional language can hinder understanding and team cohesion . The difficulties of managing these knowledge exchanges amongst team members can become a major barrier to any successful multidisciplinary operation. While previous studies on knowledge processes have examined a variety of settings, most have focused on the work practices of individuals  or that of focal groups proximate in time and space  and . Little is known about the process of knowledge building within complex organisations, with more limited information on how this knowledge is geographically distributed. The paper explores how geographically distributed multidisciplinary teams interact to overcome the communication and occupational barriers and take advantage of their ‘built in’ knowledge diversity. Dealing with such challenges requires more than just balanced team composition of experts in different fields, it also requires developing competences in distributed organising. The focus of the paper, therefore, is on the processes of distributed knowing as emerging from the ongoing and situated actions of team members. The author adopts the view that understanding the intra-teams’ dynamics requires considering teams in a wider context and acknowledges relationships with various external stakeholders. The empirical data for this study was gathered through multi-method field research of five dispersed multidisciplinary teams. The findings indicate that teams often lack common background knowledge at the beginning of the projects and members are accustomed to different working practices. Therefore, in order to resolve differences members rely for support on their external intellectual and social communities. The findings establish a need to reconceptualise the boundaries of multidisciplinary teams and to consider the processes of sharing diverse knowledge in a wider social context. Three project boundaries have been identified, project action boundary, project knowledge boundary and project social boundary, which facilitate team members in articulating diverse knowledge perspectives.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The author argues that the most important distinction between geographically distributed multidisciplinary teams and other types of teams is epistemological. Therefore, the successful functioning of such teams depends not just on a blur of professional boundaries, but more importantly on the creation of new ways in working which can only emerge and develop through intense interaction. The findings of the research suggest that the complexity which underlines knowledge diversity requires these intense interactions to expand beyond the confined boundaries of the project team. While team members are responsible for the organisation of relevant knowledge, in a way enabling the accomplishment of the project goals, the articulation and integration of essential knowledge might take place beyond the predefined team’s boundaries. Therefore, the intellectual, virtual and co-located communities of which members are part of will become an integral part of the thinking and discovery processes and fill knowledge gaps by contributing timely and efficient access to broad expertise, practical assistance and emotional support. However, if a wider intellectual community is involved, potential difficulties could arise from insuring and protecting knowledge ownership, an issue which requires further careful consideration. The issue of boundaries, in relation to project work, has been previously given only limited attention and mainly in relation to overcoming boundaries, which arise from preexisting divisions of practice amongst team members. These boundaries, however, have been considered as internal, within the team, and regarded as barriers which have to be overcome in order to integrate diverse knowledge rather than expand the team’s knowledge . This study identifies that project teams engage in two main boundary- spanning interaction processes, beyond the initial team’s boundaries, which facilitate more efficient knowledge integration. Further, the extended boundaries facilitate not only the articulation of diverse knowledge, but also enable tapping into additional expertise when required. Hence, designing a team, members of which encompass from inception the whole spectrum of required specialist knowledge, becomes less important. The first boundary-spanning interactions take place early in the development of the project aiming to identify and tap into additional expertise. The second enable articulation of diverse perspectives and alleviate differences resolution. Developing an in-depth understanding about the boundary spanning activities in which teams engage, will require further empirical support. This research highlights a number of practical challenges in terms of managing such teams. So far, for example, issues such as team’s leadership and team’s efficiency have been addressed and solutions identified within defined team’s boundaries. Acknowledging that the boundaries around multidisciplinary teams are fluid will pose new challenges for managers. A question which needs to be explored further is: Can teams be managed or only directed? What constitutes to ‘manage a team’ will call for adopting new managerial practices, moving away from managing a team as an entity, towards managing project/knowledge boundaries. Managing boundaries, however, will pose difficulties for monitoring and intervening into the project progress, as the team accomplishing it spans organisational and social boundaries and therefore members subordinate and report to different authorities. It can be expected that in such extended boundaries, the core team members and others loosely associated with the project will have different personal objectives and motivations for participation, which do not align with the project’s or organisational objectives. Managing expectations would be of paramount importance for successfully accomplishing a project. Project teams, therefore, will be required to adopt a much wider set of responsibilities beyond the immediate technical aspects of the project and be given greater autonomy. It is recommended that future research in this area investigates further how team’s boundaries are formed, maintained and managed.