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Special Boundary Roles in the Innovation Process

Michael L. Tushman
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 587-605
DOI: 10.2307/2392402
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392402
Page Count: 19
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Special Boundary Roles in the Innovation Process
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Abstract

The research described in this article focuses on one important aspect of the innovation process - the need for the innovating system to gather information from and transmit information to several external information areas. Special boundary roles evolve in the organization's communication network to fulfill the essential function of linking the organization's internal network to external sources of information. These boundary roles occur at several organizational boundaries, and their distribution within the organization is contingent on the nature of the organization's work. This research supports literature on boundary spanning in general and highlights the importance of boundary roles in the process of innovation.

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