Agile innovation: the role of team climate in rapid research and development

2017-06-05T03:23:30Z (GMT) by Pirola-Merlo, Andrew
The impact of team dynamics (as distinct from project management techniques) on speed of R&D project completion was studied in a sample of 35 R&D teams. West's (1990) model of team climate for innovation was measured and analyzed in relation to ratings of project progress over the following nine-month period. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to analyse the longitudinal data, and results show that team climate was a significant predictor of project progress. Teams with more positive team climates for innovation progressed significantly faster towards project completion than teams with less positive climates. This result still held after controlling for the initial (pre-survey) estimates of expected project duration, suggesting that project scope (complex, long term vs simpler, short term projects) was not a confound. The results complement previous research that has linked team climate with levels of team innovation. These results support Nonaka’s (1990) argument that when multifunctional teams establish positive team processes and interpersonal dynamics, obstacles can be overcome and projects completed much faster.