Temporary Organizations
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Temporary Organizations

Prevalence, Logic and Effectiveness

Edited by Patrick Kenis, Martyna Janowicz-Panjaitan and Bart Cambré

This important and timely book provides a systematic treatment of temporary organizations – an increasingly prevalent organizational form in which organizations work together on a joint task – for example, a movie production, a rescue operation, development of a new product – for an ex ante limited period of time.
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Chapter 9: Turning a Negative into a Positive: How Innovation Management Moderates the Negative Impact of TO Complexity on the Effectiveness of Innovative Interorganizational Temporary Collaborations

Leon A.G. Oerlemans and Marius T.H. Meeus


Leon A.G. Oerlemans and Marius T.H. Meeus INTRODUCTION The main question of this chapter is how to manage interorganizational TOs effectively in generating innovation outcomes. We choose innovation outcomes as specifically indicative of TO effectiveness because findings in Chapter 2 revealed that in the Dutch project market, TOs are often innovation oriented. In this chapter we will focus on the following factors: TO complexity, its impacts on TO effectiveness in terms of generating innovation outcomes, and the ways in which this relation can be affected by appropriate innovation management of the TO. The empirical underpinnings of the effects of TOs’ complexity on innovative outcomes are far from unproblematic and this generates quite a challenge for this chapter. We break it up into two related but different parts. The first part is a literature review and answers our first research question: how are project complexity and effectiveness defined in the literature and how does project complexity affect effectiveness in terms of innovation outcomes? The second part builds on the literature review but zooms in on the management of TOs from a temporal and managerial perspective. Our literature review reveals that both the complexity and the effectiveness concepts are multidimensional, which means that there is not just one single, but many distinct relationships between complexity and effectiveness. As will be explained later in this chapter, the consequence of this is that the cause–effect scheme of TOs’ success is multifaceted and counterintuitive. In that sense, the review opens up a far too...

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