Perspectives on knowledge integration in cross-functional teams in information systems development

P (Pascal) Dussart, L.A. van Oortmerssen, B.J. Albronda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into cross-functional team (CFT) members’ points of view on knowledge integration.

Design/methodology/approach
This study was conducted using Q methodology. The 22 respondents were members of CFTs in information systems development within 7 agencies of the Flemish Government administration.

Findings
The study resulted in three distinct perspectives. To the CFT player, the benefits and added value of information and knowledge diversity of CFTs outweigh the challenges of knowledge integration. By contrast, the CFT sceptic is doubtful that knowledge integration in CFTs can ever work at all. Finally, the organization critic highlights the lack of support from the organization for efficient and effective knowledge integration in CFTs.

Research limitations/implications
The findings of this study suggest that CFT configurations have important implications for the development of shared team mental models and for teams’ cognitive performance.

Practical implications
Making CFT members aware of their peers’ mental models, ways of working and priorities could help strengthen knowledge integration. To improve knowledge integration in teams, managers should reduce knowledge boundaries that are the result of organizational structuring and power play between departments.

Originality/value
By focusing on daily experiences with knowledge integration, this study reveals that members of CFTs in information systems development hold contrasting perspectives on, and diverging attitudes towards, knowledge integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-331
Number of pages16
JournalTeam Performance Management
Volume27
Issue number3/4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Information systems development
  • Knowledge integration
  • Team cognition
  • Knowledge boundaries
  • Team mental models
  • Cross-functional teams

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