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Overcoming the challenge of exploration: How decompartmentalization of internal communication enhances the effect of exploration on employee inventive performance

Lin Jiang, Brent B. Clark and Daniel B. Turban

Technovation, 2023, vol. 119, issue C

Abstract: Drawing upon the notion of boundaryless organizations and upon the information processing perspective of organizational design, we investigate the decompartmentalization of internal communication as a unique organizational context that moderates the relationship between R&D employees’ exploration behaviors and their individual inventive performance. We test our hypotheses using a novel combination of survey and archival data. We find that R&D employees who explore more generate inventions that are more valuable only when in workplaces characterized by high communication decompartmentalization. Such workplaces have more frequent communication between R&D and other units, more employee mobility via cross-unit project rotations, or greater managerial support for decompartmentalization. Our findings suggest the importance of communication decompartmentalization, especially for companies that need employees to engage in exploration.

Keywords: Exploration; Decompartmentalization of internal communication; Boundary spanning; Inventor performance; Information processing perspective of organizational design; Social aspect of organizational context (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2022.102611

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