Coordination and collaboration within and across organizations: the role of experience and knowledge on innovation

Vural, Onal (2011) Coordination and collaboration within and across organizations: the role of experience and knowledge on innovation. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School. OPEN ACCESS


This thesis represents a conceptual and empirical investigation of how coordination problems are resolved in scientific teams and across organizations working in knowledge intensive environments. It takes a distinct view of coordination by bridging sociology of science, organizational learning and capability development perspectives. In the developed theoretical model, effective coordination mechanisms are associated with experience in joint work and learning as well as design choices in terms of complexity and knowledge relevance. In testing the theoretical constructs, the thesis uses a four study format; the first study analyzes resolution of coordination problems stemming from diversity at the team level. Drawing on the sociology of science and team work literatures, this study distinguishes between effects of task specific and domain specific expertise in resolving coordination problems in a context where familiarity with previous knowledge becomes detrimental. The aim of the second and third studies is to focus on the resolution of inter-organizational coordination problems stemming from complexity in project design and knowledge relevance in the distributed work environment. Through empirical analysis of clinical trials, these studies show that prior experience in collaboration fosters resolution of coordination problems. This effect is enhanced when the prior experience stems from the same knowledge base as the focal project and when prior experience is gained from working together in complex projects. The final study draws on 30 years of clinical trials in a well codified knowledge setting of Type II Diabetes trials. Focusing on the effect of complexity on delegation of distributed work, the study analyzes how collocation enhances resolution of coordination problems in a setting where work distribution is becoming increasingly international. On the overall, this thesis focuses on the resolution of inter-personal and inter-organizational coordination issues in joint work at two levels of analysis and outlines a number of theoretical contributions, directions for future research, and implications for practice.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 16:33
Date of first compliant deposit: 10 Feb 2022
Subjects: Organisational development
Project management
Work groups
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 13:12

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