University of Twente Student Theses


Inter-organisational teams working at the boundary : how collaboration objects influence boundary work

Tijman, A. (2020) Inter-organisational teams working at the boundary : how collaboration objects influence boundary work.

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Abstract:Organisations are forming inter-organisational teams with the goal to stimulate transfer of knowledge and innovation. Professionals with different roles and who come from different organisations are working within the same team. The combination of professionals from differing organisations leads to a greater diversity in backgrounds, cultures, understandings, routines and processes which means that many boundaries are encountered within these inter-organisational teams. These team members thus engage in boundary work, either to stress their differences or to minimise them and reach collaboration. However, boundaries can also be influenced by different collaboration objects, which are categorised as material artefacts, boundary objects and epistemic objects. This qualitative, ethnographic-inspired cross case research studied how inter-organisational teams engage boundary work and what role collaboration objects have on the accomplishment of effective boundary work. The two teams that were studied engaged in collaborative and competitive boundary work and focussed most on collaboration. To structure their interactions and translate differences, team members used collaboration objects. Collaboration objects used by the teams included examples, pre-existing visuals and comparisons. Collaboration objects were found to be elastic in their use; this elasticity became visible when team members used a model either to stress differences or to minimise them.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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