WORKING ACROSS BOUNDARIES: How the Interplay of Leadership and Culture Influences Cross-Functional Collaboration
Abstract: Research question: How do the interdependencies of leadership and organizational culture influence cross-functional collaboration? Methodology: This single case study is of a qualitative nature, entailing an inductive stance bearing traces of deduction. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews among three departments within the case company and analyzed by applying the grounded theory approach deriving from Gioia et al. (2012). Theoretical perspectives: The main theoretical concept this thesis revolves around is cross-functional collaboration, deriving from the field of knowledge sharing. More specifically, focus is laid on the antecedents of cross-functional collaboration, revealing two additional theoretical concepts relevant for the study: Leadership and organizational culture. As leadership and organizational culture seem to coexist in a symbiotic state of constant interaction and reciprocal influence, this study focuses on clarifying this interrelationship and its implications in the context of cross-functional collaboration. Conclusions: The research indicates that specific leadership styles enhance the emergence of distinct cultural characteristics. Furthermore, it suggests how the combination of specific leadership styles and cultural characteristics create facilitators and barriers for cross-functional collaboration. Additionally, the results indicate that besides cross-functional collaboration in the context of new product development, there is an additional form of cross-functional collaboration, serving the sole purpose of completing operative tasks.
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