Innovation projects conducted by distributed teams: the impact of key team characteristics on collaboration

Par Mario Bourgault, Jaouad Daoudi

Innovation and collaboration are strongly tied to the prevailing economic conditions. Accordingly, few enterprises can initiate innovative projects without drawing on complementary resources and skills provided by a number of external actors. Even multinational companies adopt this strategy by developing and producing new products and services through specialized subsidiaries. In most cases, these project actors are geographically distributed, exacting a toll on the collaborative spirit that should reign in teams. This article investigates the effect of key project team characteristics on team collaboration in terms of three dimensions: participation in decision making, quality of communication and quality of coordination. Data were gathered on 253 teams of specialists operating mainly in the telecommunication and electronics sectors. In addition to revealing strong explanatory relationships between certain team characteristics and collaboration, the results highlight the moderating effect of intersite rivalry.
JEL codes: O31, O32


  • innovation
  • distributed teams
  • project management
  • collaboration
  • teamwork
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