Amy C. Edmondson

Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. The Novartis Chair was established to enable the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful business enterprises for the betterment of society. 

Edmondson is the author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (Jossey-Bass, 2012), Teaming to Innovate (Jossey-Bass, 2013), and more than seventy articles on leadership, teams, innovation, and organizational learning.  Number 15 on the 2013 Thinkers50 list of the worlds’ most influential management thinkers, Edmondson teaches on topics including leadership, teamwork, and innovation at HBS and around the world.

She has received numerous awards, including the Cummings Award for mid-career achievement from the Academy of Management in 2006, the Accenture Award for significant contribution to improving the practice of management in 2004, for her article with Anita Tucker, “Why hospitals don't learn from failures,” and selection as one of the 20 Most Influential International Thinkers in Human Resources (#7) by HR Magazine in 2013. 

Before her academic career, she was Director of Research at Pecos River Learning Centers, where she worked with founder and CEO Larry Wilson to design change programs in large companies. In the early 1980s, she worked as Chief Engineer for architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller, and her book A Fuller Explanation: The Synergetic Geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller (Birkauser Boston, 1987) clarifies Fuller's mathematical contributions for a non-technical audience. Edmondson received her PhD in organizational behavior, AM in psychology, and AB in engineering and design, all from Harvard University.   

 

 


Books

  1. Teaming to Innovate

    Innovation requires teaming. (Put another way, teaming is to innovation what assembly lines are to car production.) This book brings together key insights on teaming, as they pertain to innovation. How do you build a culture of innovation? What does that culture look like? How does it evolve and grow? How are teams most effectively created and then nurtured in this context? What is a leader's role in this culture? This little book is a roadmap for teaming to innovate. We describe five necessary steps along that road: Aim High, Team Up, Fail Well, Learn Fast, and Repeat. This path is not smooth. To illustrate each critical step, we look at real-life scenarios that show how teaming to innovate provides the spark that can fertilize creativity, clarify goals, and redefine the meaning of leadership.

    Keywords: Innovation Leadership; Groups and Teams; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C. Teaming to Innovate. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2013. View Details
  2. Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

    Continuous improvement, understanding complex systems, and promoting innovation are all part of the landscape of learning challenges today's companies face. I show that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. In most organizations, the work that produces value for customers is carried out by teams, and increasingly, by flexible team-like entities. The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures mean that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming. 'Teaming' shows that organizations learn when the flexible, fluid collaborations they encompass are able to learn. The problem is teams, and other dynamic groups, don't learn naturally. I outline the factors that prevent them from doing so, such as interpersonal fear, irrational beliefs about failure, groupthink, problematic power dynamics, and information hoarding. With 'Teaming,' leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Further, they can use practical management strategies to help organizations realize the benefits inherent in both success and failure. Based on years of research, this book shows how leaders can make organizational learning happen by building teams that learn.

    Keywords: Change; Interpersonal Communication; Learning; Values and Beliefs; Innovation and Invention; Management; Performance Improvement; Groups and Teams; Research; Strategy; Complexity; Value;

Journal Articles

  1. Preface

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Hannes Leroy. "Preface." In Leading in Health Care Organizations: Improving Safety, Satisfaction and Financial Performance. Vol. 14, edited by Tony Simons, Hannes Leroy, and Grant T. Savage, xv–xxii. Advances in Health Care Management. Emerald Group Publishing, 2013. View Details
  2. Psychological Safety: The History, Renaissance, and Future of an Interpersonal Construct

    Psychological safety describes people's perceptions of the consequences of taking interpersonal risks in a particular context such as a workplace. First explored by pioneering organizational scholars in the 1960s, psychological safety experienced a renaissance starting in the 1990s and continuing to the present. Organizational research has identified psychological safety as a critical factor in understanding phenomena such as voice, teamwork, team learning, and organizational learning. A growing body of conceptual and empirical work has focused on understanding the nature of psychological safety, identifying factors that contribute to it, and examining its implications for individuals, teams, and organizations. In this article, we review and integrate this literature and suggest directions for future research. We first briefly review the early history of psychological safety research and then examine contemporary research at the individual, group, and organizational levels of analysis. We assess what has been learned and discuss suggestions for future theoretical development and methodological approaches for organizational behavior research on this important interpersonal construct.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Safety; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Zhike Lei. "Psychological Safety: The History, Renaissance, and Future of an Interpersonal Construct." Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior 1 (2014). View Details
  3. Informal Peer Interaction and Practice Type as Predictors of Physician Performance on Maintenance of Certification Examinations


    Context: Physicians can demonstrate mastery of the knowledge that supports continued clinical competence by passing a Maintenance of Certification exam. Exam performance depends on professional learning and development, which may be enhanced by informal routine interactions with colleagues. Some physicians, such as those in solo practice, may have less opportunity for peer interaction, negatively influencing their exam performance.

    Objective: To determine the relationship between level of peer interaction, group and solo practice and maintenance of certification exam performance.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: Longitudinal cohort study of 568 physicians taking the 2008 maintenance of certification exam. Survey responses reporting level of physicians' peer interactions and practice type were related to maintenance of certification exam scores, controlling for initial Qualifying Exam scores, practice type and personal characteristics.

    Main Outcome Measure: Maintenance of certification exam scores and exam pass-fail status.

    Results: Of the 568 physicians in the study sample, 557 (98%) passed the exam. Higher levels of peer interaction were associated with a higher score (β, 0.91, 95% CI 0.31-1.52) and higher likelihood of passing the exam (OR 2.58, 95% CI, 1.08-6.16). Physicians in solo practice (vs. group practice) had fewer peer interactions (β, -0.49, 95% CI, -0.64 to -0.33), received lower scores (β -1.82, 95% CI, -2.94- -0.82) and were less likely to pass the exam (OR 0.22, 95% CI, 0.06-0.77). Level of peer interaction moderated the relationship between solo practice and maintenance of certification exam score: solo practitioners with high levels of peer interaction achieved maintenance of certification exam performance on par with group practitioners.

    Conclusion: Physicians in solo practice had poorer maintenance of certification exam performance. However, solo practitioners who reported high levels of peer interaction performed as well as those in group practice. Peer interaction is important for professional learning and quality care.

    Keywords: Training; Health Care and Treatment; Performance; Social and Collaborative Networks; Learning; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Valentine, Melissa A., S. Barsade, Amy C. Edmondson, A. Gal, and R. Rhodes. "Informal Peer Interaction and Practice Type as Predictors of Physician Performance on Maintenance of Certification Examinations." JAMA Surgery (forthcoming). View Details
  4. Leadership Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue

    Three years ago, when a cave-in at the San José mine in Chile trapped 33 men under 700,000 metric tons of rock, experts estimated the probability of getting them out alive at less than 1%. Yet, after spending a record 69 days underground, all 33 were hoisted up to safety. The inspiring story of their rescue is a case study in how to lead in situations where the stakes, risk, and uncertainty are incredibly high and time pressure is intense. Today executives often find themselves in similar straits. When they do, many feel torn. Should they be directive, taking charge and commanding action? Or should they be empowering, enabling innovation and experimentation? As the successful example of André Sougarret, the chief of the mine rescue operation, shows, the answer is yes—to both. The choice is a false dichotomy. Implementing this dual approach involves three key tasks. Each has directive and enabling components. The first task is envisioning, which requires instilling both realism and hope. The second task is enrolling, which means setting clear boundaries for who is on and off the team, but inviting in helpful collaborators. The third task is engaging—leading disciplined execution while encouraging innovation and experimentation. The authors of this article describe how Sougarret ably juggled all of these tasks, orchestrating the efforts of hundreds of people from different organizations, areas of expertise, and countries in an extraordinary mission that overcame impossible odds.

    Keywords: Leadership; Crisis Management; Learning; Mining; Mining Industry; Chile;

    Citation:

    Rashid, Faaiza, Amy C. Edmondson, and Herman B. Leonard. "Leadership Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue." Harvard Business Review 91, nos. 7/8 (July–August 2013): 113–119. View Details
  5. Measuring Teamwork in Health Care Settings: A Review of Survey Instruments

    Background: Teamwork in health care settings is widely recognized as an important factor in providing high quality patient care. However, the behaviors that comprise effective teamwork, the organizational factors that support teamwork, and the relationship between teamwork and patient outcomes remain empirical questions in need of rigorous study.

    Objective: To identify and review survey instruments used to assess dimensions of teamwork, so as to facilitate high quality research on this topic.

    Research design: We conducted a systematic review of articles published before September 2012 to identify survey instruments used to measure teamwork and to assess their conceptual content, psychometric validity, and relationships to outcomes of interest. We searched the ISI Web of Knowledge database and identified relevant articles using the search terms team, teamwork, or collaboration in combination with survey, scale, measure, or questionnaire.

    Results: We found 39 surveys that measured teamwork. Surveys assessed different dimensions of teamwork. The most commonly assessed dimensions were communication, coordination, and respect. Of the 39 surveys, 10 met all of the criteria for psychometric validity, and 14 showed significant relationships to non-self-report outcomes.

    Conclusions: Evidence of psychometric validity is lacking for many teamwork survey instruments. However, several psychometrically valid instruments are available. Researchers aiming to advance research on teamwork in health care should consider using or adapting one of these instruments before creating a new one. Because instruments vary considerably in the behavioral processes and emergent states of teamwork that they capture, researchers must carefully evaluate the conceptual consistency between instrument, research question, and context.

    Keywords: Teamwork; psychometric properties; survey instruments:; Measurement and Metrics; Surveys; Groups and Teams; Health Care and Treatment; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Valentine, Melissa, Ingrid M. Nembhard, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Measuring Teamwork in Health Care Settings: A Review of Survey Instruments." Medical Care (forthcoming). View Details
  6. Teamwork on the Fly

    In a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, traditional teams aren't always practical. Instead, companies increasingly employ teaming: gathering experts in temporary groups to solve problems they may be encountering for the first and only time. This flexible approach was essential to the completion of the Water Cube, the building that hosted swimming and diving events during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and to the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners. More and more people in nearly every industry now work on teams that vary in duration and have constantly shifting membership. Teaming presents technical and interpersonal challenges: people must get up to speed quickly on new topics and learn to work with others from different functions, divisions, and cultures. Several project management principles-scoping out the challenge, structuring the boundaries, and sorting tasks for execution-help leaders facilitate effective teaming. Leaders can also foster cross-boundary collaboration by emphasizing purpose, building psychological safety, and embracing failure and conflict. Individuals who learn to team well acquire knowledge, skills, and networks. Organizations learn to solve complex, cross-disciplinary problems, build stronger and more unified cultures, deliver a wide variety of products and services, and anticipate and manage unexpected events. Teaming helps companies and individuals execute and learn at the same time.

    Keywords: teaming; cross-functional integration; organizational learning;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C. "Teamwork on the Fly." Harvard Business Review 90, no. 4 (April 2012). View Details
  7. CEO Relational Leadership and Strategic Decision Quality in Top Management Teams: The Role of Team Trust and Learning from Failure

    In this study, we examine a complex pathway through which CEOs, who exhibit relational leadership, may improve the quality of strategic decisions of their top management teams (TMTs) by creating psychological conditions of trust and facilitating learning from failures in their teams. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses of survey data collected from 77 TMTs indicate that the relationship between CEO relational leadership and team learning from failures was mediated by trust between TMT members; and team learning from failures mediated the relationship between team trust and strategic decision quality. Supplemented by qualitative data from two TMTs, these findings suggest that CEOs can improve the quality of strategic decisions their TMTs make by shaping a relational context of trust and facilitating learning from failures.

    Keywords: Leadership Development; Decisions; Management Teams; Trust; Learning; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Managerial Roles; Failure;

    Citation:

    Carmeli, Abraham, Asher Tishler, and Amy C. Edmondson. "CEO Relational Leadership and Strategic Decision Quality in Top Management Teams: The Role of Team Trust and Learning from Failure." Strategic Organization 10, no. 1 (February 2012). View Details
  8. Implicit Voice Theories: Taken-for-granted Rules of Self-censorship at Work

    This article examines, in a series of four studies, the nature and impact of implicit voice theories-largely taken-for-granted beliefs about when and why speaking up at work is risky or inappropriate. In Study 1, qualitative data from 190 interviews conducted in a knowledge-intensive multinational corporation suggest that reluctance to speak up, even with pro-organizational suggestions, is driven by specific implicit theories about speaking up in hierarchies. Study 2 uses open-ended survey responses, with data from 185 working adults, to examine the generalizability of the implicit voice theories identified in Study 1. Studies 3 and 4 develop and test survey measures for five implicit voice theories, using additional samples comprised of more than 300 adults. The analyses establish psychometric properties of the new measures, including showing their discriminant validity from voice-related individual and organizational factors and their incremental predictive validity on workplace silence. Collectively, the results from the four studies indicate the prevalence of implicit voice theories and suggest that they are an important addition to extant explanations of workplace silence. We discuss implications of these results for theory and practice and suggest directions for future research.

    Keywords: Spoken Communication; Interpersonal Communication; Employees; Managerial Roles; Organizational Culture; Risk and Uncertainty; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Detert, J. R., and Amy C. Edmondson. "Implicit Voice Theories: Taken-for-granted Rules of Self-censorship at Work." Academy of Management Journal 54, no. 3 (June 2011): 461–488. View Details
  9. Strategies for Learning from Failure

    Many executives believe that all failure is bad (although it usually provides lessons)--and that learning from it is pretty straightforward. The author, a professor at Harvard Business School, thinks both beliefs are misguided. In organizational life, she says, some failures are inevitable and some are even good. And successful learning from failure is not simple: It requires context-specific strategies. But first leaders must understand how the blame game gets in the way and must work to create an organizational culture in which employees feel safe admitting or reporting on failure. Failures fall into three categories: preventable ones in predictable operations, which usually involve deviations from spec; unavoidable ones in complex systems, which may arise from unique combinations of needs, people, and problems; and intelligent ones at the frontier, where "good" failures occur quickly and on a small scale, providing the most valuable information. Strong leadership can build a learning culture--one in which failures large and small are consistently reported and deeply analyzed, and opportunities to experiment are proactively sought. Executives commonly and understandably worry that taking an understanding stance on failure will create an "anything goes" work environment. They should instead recognize that failure is inevitable in today's complex work organizations.

    Keywords: Learning; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Leadership; Business Processes; Organizational Culture; Failure; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C. "Strategies for Learning from Failure." Harvard Business Review 89, no. 4 (April 2011). View Details
  10. Organizational Errors: Directions for Future Research

    The goal of this paper is to promote research about organizational errors—i.e., the actions of multiple organizational participants that deviate from organizationally specified rules and can potentially result in adverse organizational outcomes. To that end, we advance the premise that organizational errors merit study in their own right as an organizational-level phenomenon of growing theoretical and managerial significance. We delineate organizational errors as a construct that is distinct from but related to individual-level errors and draw attention to its multi-level antecedents, mediating processes, and outcomes. We also discuss error management processes such as prevention, resilience, and learning and call for research to expand our currently limited understanding of how these processes unfold over time, i.e., before, during, and after the occurrence of organizational errors. Further, in the light of a recurring critique of prior error-related organizational studies as being narrowly context-bound and therefore of limited interest to organizational researchers in general, we elaborate on the critical need for future research to explicitly take into account the role of contextual features. We conclude with a discussion of key themes, unresolved issues, and promising research directions.

    Keywords: Research; Organizations; Interests; Managerial Roles; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Management Practices and Processes; Learning;

    Citation:

    Goodman, Paul S., Rangaraj Ramanujam, John S. Carroll, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Organizational Errors: Directions for Future Research." Research in Organizational Behavior 31 (2011): 151–176. View Details
  11. Product Development and Learning in Project Teams: The Challenges are the Benefits

    Keywords: Product; Research and Development; Learning; Projects; Groups and Teams; Problems and Challenges;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A. C., and I. Nembhard. "Product Development and Learning in Project Teams: The Challenges are the Benefits." Journal of Product Innovation Management 26, no. 2 (March 2009): 123–138. View Details
  12. Silenced by Fear: The Nature, Sources, and Consequences of Fear at Work

    In every organization, individual members have the potential to speak up about important issues, but a growing body of research suggests that they often remain silent instead, out of fear of negative personal and professional consequences. In this chapter, we draw on research from disciplines ranging from evolutionary psychology to neuroscience, sociology, and anthropology to unpack fear as a discrete emotion and to elucidate its effects on workplace silence. In doing so, we move beyond prior descriptions and categorizations of what employees fear to present a deeper understanding of the nature of fear experiences, where such fears originate, and the different types of employee silence they motivate. Our aim is to introduce new directions for future research on silence as well as to encourage further attention to the powerful and pervasive role of fear across numerous areas of theory and research on organizational behavior.

    Keywords: Organizations; Working Conditions; Research; Emotions; Employees; Motivation and Incentives; Theory; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Kish Gephart, Jennifer, James R. Detert, Linda K. Trevino, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Silenced by Fear: The Nature, Sources, and Consequences of Fear at Work." Research in Organizational Behavior 29 (2009): 163–193. View Details
  13. Is Yours a Learning Organization?

    This article includes a one-page preview that quickly summarizes the key ideas and provides an overview of how the concepts work in practice along with suggestions for further reading. An organization with a strong learning culture faces the unpredictable deftly. However, a concrete method for understanding precisely how an institution learns and for identifying specific steps to help it learn better has remained elusive. A new survey instrument from professors Garvin and Edmondson of Harvard Business School and assistant professor Gino of Carnegie Mellon University allows you to ground your efforts in becoming a learning organization. The tool's conceptual foundation is what the authors call the three building blocks of a learning organization. The first, a supportive learning environment, comprises psychological safety, appreciation of differences, openness to new ideas, and time for reflection. The second, concrete learning processes and practices, includes experimentation, information collection and analysis, and education and training. These two complementary elements are fortified by the final building block: leadership that reinforces learning. The survey instrument enables a granular examination of all these particulars, scores each of them, and provides a framework for detailed, comparative analysis. You can make comparisons within and among your institution's functional areas, between your organization and others, and against benchmarks that the authors have derived from their surveys of hundreds of executives in many industries. After discussing how to use their tool, the authors share the insights they acquired as they developed it. Above all, they emphasize the importance of dialogue and diagnosis as you nurture your company and its processes with the aim of becoming a learning organization. The authors' goal--and the purpose of their tool--is to help you paint an honest picture of your firm's learning culture and of the leaders who set its tone.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Learning; Surveys; Leading Change; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Garvin, David A., Amy C. Edmondson, and Francesca Gino. "Is Yours a Learning Organization?" Harvard Business Review 86, no. 3 (March 2008). View Details
  14. Methodological Fit in Management Field Research

    Methodological fit, an implicitly valued attribute of high-quality field research in organizations, has received little attention in the management literature. Fit refers to internal consistency among elements of a research project--research question, prior work, research design, and theoretical contribution. We introduce a contingency framework that relates prior work to the design of a research project, paying particular attention to the question of when to mix qualitative and quantitative data in a single research paper. We discuss implications of the framework for educating new field researchers.

    Keywords: Education; Framework; Projects; Quality; Research;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A. C., and S. E. McManus. "Methodological Fit in Management Field Research." Academy of Management Review 32, no. 4 (October 2007). View Details
  15. Implementing New Practices: An Empirical Study of Organizational Learning in Hospital Intensive Care Units

    Keywords: Practice; Organizations; Learning; Health; Information; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Tucker, A. L., I. Nembhard, and A. C. Edmondson. "Implementing New Practices: An Empirical Study of Organizational Learning in Hospital Intensive Care Units." Management Science 53, no. 6 (June 2007): 894–907. View Details
  16. Making It Safe: The Effects of Leader Inclusiveness and Professional Status on Psychological Safety and Improvement Efforts in Health Care Teams

    Keywords: Leadership; Health; Safety;

    Citation:

    Nembhard, Ingrid Marie, and A. Edmondson. "Making It Safe: The Effects of Leader Inclusiveness and Professional Status on Psychological Safety and Improvement Efforts in Health Care Teams." Special Issue on Healthcare: The problems are organizational not clinical. Journal of Organizational Behavior 27, no. 7 (November 2006): 941–966. (Award for Best Paper in Positive Organizational Scholarship, Ross School of Business, University of Maryland.) View Details
  17. Failing to Learn and Learning to Fail (Intelligently): How Great Organizations Put Failure to Work to Innovate and Improve

    Keywords: Failure; Learning; Organizations; Labor; Innovation and Invention; Performance Improvement;

    Citation:

    Cannon, M. D., and A. C. Edmondson. "Failing to Learn and Learning to Fail (Intelligently): How Great Organizations Put Failure to Work to Innovate and Improve." Long Range Planning 38, no. 3 (June 2005): 299–319. View Details
  18. Why Hospitals Don't Learnfrom Failures: Organizational and Psychological Dynamics That InhibitSystem Change

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Tucker, A., and A. Edmondson. "Why Hospitals Don't Learn from Failures: Organizational and Psychological Dynamics That Inhibit System Change." California Management Review 45, no. 2 (winter 2003). (Winner of Accenture Award For the article published in the California Management Review that has made the most important contribution to improving the practice of management.) View Details
  19. Speaking up in the Operating Room: How Team Leaders Promote Learning in Interdisciplinary Action Teams

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Leadership; Learning; Groups and Teams; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A. "Speaking up in the Operating Room: How Team Leaders Promote Learning in Interdisciplinary Action Teams." Journal of Management Studies 40, no. 6 (September 2003): 1419–1452. View Details
  20. A Dynamic Model of Top Management Team Effectiveness: Managing Unstructured Task Streams

    Keywords: Management; Groups and Teams; Performance Effectiveness;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., Michael A. Roberto, and Michael Watkins. "A Dynamic Model of Top Management Team Effectiveness: Managing Unstructured Task Streams." Leadership Quarterly 14, no. 3 (June 2003): 297–325. View Details
  21. Learning How and Learning What: Effects of Tacit and Codified Knowledge on Performance Improvement Following Technology Adoption

    Keywords: Learning; Knowledge; Performance; Technology;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy, Gary P. Pisano, Richard Bohmer, and Ann Winslow. "Learning How and Learning What: Effects of Tacit and Codified Knowledge on Performance Improvement Following Technology Adoption." Decision Sciences 34, no. 2 (spring 2003): 197–223. View Details
  22. When Problem Solving Prevents Organizational Learning

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Organizations; Learning;

    Citation:

    Tucker, Anita L., Amy C. Edmondson, and Steven Spear. "When Problem Solving Prevents Organizational Learning." Journal of Organizational Change Management 15, no. 2 (2002). (Best paper proceedings, Academy of Management Conference, Healthcare Management Division.) View Details
  23. Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

    Keywords: Organizations; Learning; Health Care and Treatment; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Pisano, Gary P., Richard Bohmer, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery." Management Science 47, no. 6 (June 2001): 752. View Details
  24. Confronting Failure: Antecedents and Consequences of Shared Beliefs About Failure in Organizational Work Groups

    Keywords: Failure; Values and Beliefs; Organizations; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Cannon, M., and A. Edmondson. "Confronting Failure: Antecedents and Consequences of Shared Beliefs About Failure in Organizational Work Groups." Journal of Organizational Behavior 22 (March 2001). View Details
  25. Incidence and Preventability of Adverse Drug Events in the Nursing Home Setting

    Keywords: Health; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Gurwitz, J. H., T. S. Field, J. Avorn, D. McCormick, S. Jain, M. Eckler, M. Benser, A. Edmondson, and D. W. Bates. "Incidence and Preventability of Adverse Drug Events in the Nursing Home Setting." American Journal of Medicine 109 (2000): 87–94. View Details
  26. Preventable Adverse Drug Events in Hospitalized Patients: A Comparative Study of Intensive Care and General Care Units

    Keywords: Health; Information;

    Citation:

    Cullen, D. J., J. Sweitzer, D. W. Bates, E. Burdick, A. Edmondson, and L. L. Leape. "Preventable Adverse Drug Events in Hospitalized Patients: A Comparative Study of Intensive Care and General Care Units." Critical Care Medicine 25, no. 8 (August 1997): 1289–1297. View Details
  27. Learning from Mistakes Is Easier Said than Done: Group and Organization Influences on the Detection and Correction of Human Error

    Keywords: Learning; Groups and Teams; Organizations;

Book Chapters

  1. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research

    Selecting the appropriate method for a given research question is an essential skill for organizational researchers. High-quality research involves a good fit between the methods used and the nature of the contribution to the literature. This article describes a contingency framework that relates the state of prior theory and research to the design of a current research project, paying particular attention to when to mix qualitative and quantitative data. Whereas contributions to mature literatures are best made with quantitative methods, and contribute to nascent literature's call for qualitative data, intermediate research is best served by a mix of both approaches.

    Keywords: Mathematical Methods; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Tiona Zuzul. "Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research." In The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, edited by Mie Augier and David J. Teece. Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming. (Published online October 2013.) View Details
  2. The Contribution of Teams to Organizational Learning

    Organizational learning theorists have proposed that teams play a critical role in organizational learning (Senge, 1990; Edmondson, 2002). Indeed, as organizations become increasingly more global, teams are formed to leverage knowledge, to increase efficiency, and to streamline work processes. However, little empirical research clarifies the link between team and organizational learning. In this chapter, we explore three streams of literature on team learning as a way to understand how organizations learn. In particular, we suggest that in order to fully understand organizational learning, research on team learning should be expanded from understanding how learning occurs within teams to understanding how learning occurs across teams. One way learning occurs across teams is when individuals are simultaneously members of more than one team. Through multiple team membership, team learning can cross-fertilize across teams, building organizational learning. Therefore, we propose that studying multiple team membership can serve as a promising avenue for drawing connections between team and organizational learning.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Groups and Teams; Learning;

    Citation:

    Roloff, Kathryn S., Anita W. Woolley, and Amy C. Edmondson. "The Contribution of Teams to Organizational Learning." In Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. 2nd ed. Edited by M. Easterby-Smith and M. Lyles, 249–272. London: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. View Details
  3. Beyond Platinum: Making the Case for Titanium Buildings

    Buildings are the nation's greatest energy consumers. Forty percent of all our energy is used for heating, cooling, lighting, and powering machines and devices in buildings. And despite decades of investment in green construction technologies, residential and commercial buildings remain stubbornly energy inefficient. This book looks beyond the technological and material aspects of green construction to examine the cultural, social, and organizational shift that sustainable building requires, examining the fundamental challenge to centuries-long traditions in design and construction that green building represents. The contributors consider the changes associated with green building through a sociological and organizational lens. They discuss shifts in professional expertise created by new social concerns about green building, including evolving boundaries of professional jurisdictions; changing industry strategies and structures, including the roles of ownership, supply firms, and market niches; new operational, organizational, and cultural arrangements, including the mainstreaming of environmental concerns; narratives and frames that influence the perception of green building; and future directions for the theory and practice of sustainable construction. The essays offer uniquely multidisciplinary insights into the transformative potential of green building and the obstacles that must be overcome to make it the norm.

    Keywords: Buildings and Facilities; Energy; Attitudes; Environmental Sustainability; Construction Industry; Green Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Herron, J., Amy C. Edmondson, and Robert G. Eccles. "Beyond Platinum: Making the Case for Titanium Buildings." Chap. 4 in Constructing Green: The Social Structures of Sustainability, edited by Rebecca Henn and Andrew Hoffman, 77–100. MIT Press, 2013. View Details
  4. Risky Trust: How Multi-entity Teams Develop Trust in High Risk Endeavors

    Citation:

    Rashid, Faaiza, and Amy Edmondson. "Risky Trust: How Multi-entity Teams Develop Trust in High Risk Endeavors." Chap. 6 in Restoring Trust in Organizations and Leaders: Enduring Challenges and Emerging Answers, edited by Roderick Kramer and Todd Lowell Pittinsky, 129–150. Oxford University Press, 2012. View Details
  5. Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron or the Shape of the Future?

    Two trends are likely to define the 21st century: threats to the sustainability of the natural environment and dramatic increases in urbanization. This paper reviews the goals, business models, and partnerships involved in eight early "ecocity" projects to begin to identify success factors in this emerging industry. Ecocities, for the most part, are viewed as a means of mitigating threats to the natural environment while creating urban living capacity by combining low carbon and resource-efficient development with the use of information and communication technologies to better manage complex urban systems.

    Keywords: Environmental Sustainability; City; Urban Development; Infrastructure; Housing; Urban Scope; Business Ventures; Business Model; Green Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Annissa Alusi, Amy C. Edmondson, and Tiona Zuzul. "Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron or the Shape of the Future?" Chap. 18 in Infrastructure Sustainability and Design, edited by Spiro Pollalis, Andreas Georgoulias, Stephen Ramos, and Daniel Schodek, 247–265. New York: Routledge, 2012. View Details
  6. Psychological Safety: A Foundation for Speaking Up, Collaboration, and Experimentation

    Keywords: Social and Collaborative Networks; Attitudes;

    Citation:

    Nembhard, Ingrid M., and Amy C. Edmondson. "Psychological Safety: A Foundation for Speaking Up, Collaboration, and Experimentation." In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, edited by Kim S. Cameron and Gretchen M. Spreitzer. Oxford University Press, 2011. View Details
  7. Crossing Boundaries to Investigate Problems in the Field: An Approach to Useful Research

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Boundaries;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C. "Crossing Boundaries to Investigate Problems in the Field: An Approach to Useful Research." In Useful Research: Advancing Theory and Practice, edited by Susan Albers Mohrman and Edward E. Lawler III. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011. View Details
  8. Teams and Team Effectiveness in Health Services Organizations

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Performance Effectiveness; Health; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Fried, Bruce J., Sharon Topping, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Teams and Team Effectiveness in Health Services Organizations." In Shortell and Kaluzny's Health Care Management: Organization Design and Behavior. 6th ed. Edited by Lawton Burnes, Elizabeth Bradley, and Bryan Weiner. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2011. View Details
  9. Collaboration Across Knowledge Boundaries within Diverse Teams: Reciprocal Expertise Affirmation as an Enabling Condition

    We review research on expertise diversity, psychological safety, team collaboration, and role identity to propose a model in which reciprocal affirmations of expertise identity among team members—a feature of the team environment that we conceptualize as a dimension of team psychological safety—moderates the relationship between expertise diversity and collaboration across disciplinary or knowledge-based boundaries. We argue that mixed expertise teams in which members must work together across knowledge boundaries to accomplish challenging goals will be more likely to collaborate effectively if each individual member perceives that his or her expert identity, defined broadly to encompass disciplinary and other primary sources of role identification within the work context, is validated and valued by other team members. Reciprocal expertise affirmation is further hypothesized to be necessary but not sufficient for collaboration across expertise divides within diverse teams. We propose that conceptualizing reciprocal expertise affirmation as a dimension of psychological safety is a promising avenue through which to integrate positive identity with existing theory on interpersonal collaboration. Psychological safety is expected to reduce identity threats that may otherwise arise in diverse expertise contexts, encouraging open discussion of uncertainty, confusion, and mistakes and supporting learning across disciplinary boundaries. This lens on positive identity and collaboration exposes new opportunities for research on the role of positive identity as a moderator of multidisciplinary work processes within defined task groups.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Experience and Expertise; Learning; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Groups and Teams; Familiarity; Identity; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Kate Roloff, and Lucy H. MacPhail. "Collaboration Across Knowledge Boundaries within Diverse Teams: Reciprocal Expertise Affirmation as an Enabling Condition." In Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation, edited by Laura M. Roberts and Jane E. Dutton, 311–332. Psychology Press, 2009. View Details
  10. Overcoming Barriers to Collaboration: Psychological Safety and Learning in Diverse Teams

    We review research on psychological safety and team learning to identify core ideas and findings in these closely related literatures and to propose a model in which a negative relationship between team member diversity and team collaboration is moderated by psychological safety. We argue that when team members with diverse backgrounds must work together to accomplish challenging goals, psychological safety will facilitate their ability to overcome barriers to communication created by their differences. Although psychological safety may be of intrinsic value for all employees because it allows them to voice ideas, concerns, and questions at work, this chapter emphasizes the especially critical role of psychological safety in diverse teams. We hypothesize that the—potentially negative—effects of diversity on team collaboration and performance are mitigated by psychological safety.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Groups and Teams; Social and Collaborative Networks; Performance Improvement; Learning; Diversity Characteristics;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., and Kate Roloff. "Overcoming Barriers to Collaboration: Psychological Safety and Learning in Diverse Teams." In Team Effectiveness in Complex Organizations: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives and Approaches, edited by E. Sales, G. G. Goodwin, and C. S. Burke.Organizational Frontiers Series. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008. View Details
  11. When Learning and Performance Are at Odds: Confronting the Tension

    This chapter explores complexities of the relationship between learning and performance. We start with the general proposition that learning promotes performance and then describe several challenges for researchers and managers who wish to study or promote learning in support of performance improvement. We also review psychological and interpersonal risks of learning behavior, suggest conditions under which exploratory learning and experimentation are most critical, and describe conditions and leader behaviors conducive to supporting this kind of learning in organizations. We illustrate our ideas with examples from field studies across numerous industry contexts, and conclude with a discussion of implications of this complex relationship for performance management.

    Keywords: Learning; Leadership; Organizational Culture; Performance Improvement; Behavior;

    Citation:

    Singer, Sara Jean, and A. C. Edmondson. "When Learning and Performance Are at Odds: Confronting the Tension." In Learning and Performance Matter, edited by Prem Kumar and Phil Ramsey. Singapore: World Scientific, 2008. View Details
  12. Three Perspectives on Team Learning: Outcome Improvement, Task Mastery, and Group Process.

    The emergence of a research literature on team learning has been driven by at least two factors. First, longstanding interest in what makes organizational work teams effective leads naturally to questions about how members of newly formed teams learn to work together and how existing teams improve or adapt. Second, some have argued that teams play a crucial role in organizational learning. These interests have produced a growing and heterogeneous literature. Empirical studies of learning by small groups or teams present a variety of terms, concepts, and methods. This heterogeneity is both generative and occasionally confusing. We identify three distinct areas of research that provide insight into how teams learn to stimulate cross-area discussion and future research. We find that scholars have made progress in understanding how teams in general learn, and propose that future work should develop more precise and context-specific theories to help guide research and practice in disparate task and industry domains.

    Keywords: Learning; Organizational Culture; Performance Improvement; Practice; Groups and Teams; Research; Adaptation; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., James R. Dillon, and Kate Roloff. "Three Perspectives on Team Learning: Outcome Improvement, Task Mastery, and Group Process." In The Academy of Management Annals, edited by James P. Walsh and Arthur P. Brief, 269–314. Psychology Press, 2007. View Details
  13. Explaining Psychological Safety in Innovation Teams

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Safety; Innovation and Management; Working Conditions; Social Psychology;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., and Josephine Pichanick Mogelof. "Explaining Psychological Safety in Innovation Teams." In Creativity and Innovation in Organizational Teams, edited by L. Thompson and H. Choi, 109–136. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005. View Details
  14. The Recovery Window: Organizational Learning Following Ambiguous Threats

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Design; Risk and Uncertainty; Opportunities;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., Erika Ferlins, Laura Feldman, and Richard Bohmer. "The Recovery Window: Organizational Learning Following Ambiguous Threats." In Organization at the Limit: Lessons from the Columbia Disaster, edited by M. Farjoun and W. Starbuck, 220–245. Blackwell Publishing, 2005. View Details
  15. Groups and Teams

    Keywords: Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Fried, Bruce M., Sharon Topping, and A. Edmondson. "Groups and Teams." In Health Care Management: Organization Design and Behavior, edited by S. Shortell and A. Kaluzny. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers, 1994. View Details
  16. Psychological Safety, Trust and Learning: A Group-level Lens

    Keywords: Trust; Learning; Groups and Teams; Safety; Social Psychology;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A. "Psychological Safety, Trust and Learning: A Group-level Lens." In Trust and Distrust in Organizations: Dilemmas and Approaches, edited by Roderick Kramer and Karen Cook, 239–272. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004. View Details
  17. Consumer-Driven Health Care: Management Matters

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Demand and Consumers; Management; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Bohmer, Richard M.J., Amy C. Edmondson, and Gary P. Pisano. "Consumer-Driven Health Care: Management Matters." Chap. 52 in Consumer-Driven Health Care, edited by Regina E. Herzlinger, 570–588. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004. View Details
  18. Understanding Outcomes of Organizational Learning Interventions

    Keywords: Outcome or Result; Organizational Change and Adaptation;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Anita Williams Woolley. "Understanding Outcomes of Organizational Learning Interventions." In Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, edited by M. Easterby-Smith and M. Lyles. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003. View Details
  19. Bridging Knowledge Gaps: Learning in Geographically Dispersed Cross-Functional Development Teams

    Keywords: Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Acquisition; Learning; Groups and Teams; Geographic Location; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Sole, D., and A. Edmondson. "Bridging Knowledge Gaps: Learning in Geographically Dispersed Cross-Functional Development Teams." In The Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital and Organizational Knowledge: A Collection of Readings, edited by C. W. Choo and N. Bontis. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. View Details
  20. Learning New Technical and Interpersonal Routines in Operating Room Teams: The Case of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Health Care and Treatment; Practice; Competency and Skills; Training; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Richard Bohmer, and Gary Pisano. "Learning New Technical and Interpersonal Routines in Operating Room Teams: The Case of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery." In Research on Managing Groups and Teams: Technology. Vol. 3, edited by B. Mannix, M. Neale, and T. Grifith, 29–51. Stamford: JAI Press, 2000. View Details
  21. Learning, Trust and Organizational Change: Contrasting Models of Intervention Research in Organizational Behavior

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Trust;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., and B. Moingeon. "Learning, Trust and Organizational Change: Contrasting Models of Intervention Research in Organizational Behavior." In Organizational Learning and the Learning Organization: Developments in Theory and Practice, edited by L. Araujo, J. Burgoyne, and M. Easterby-Smith. London: Sage Publications, 1999. View Details
  22. Virtual Teams: Using Communications Technology to Manage Geographically Dispersed Development Groups

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Communication Technology; Information Technology; Networks; Management; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Leonard, Dorothy A., P. A. Brands, Amy Edmondson, and Justine Fenwick. "Virtual Teams: Using Communications Technology to Manage Geographically Dispersed Development Groups." In Sense and Respond: Capturing Value in the Network Era, edited by Stephen P. Bradley and Richard L. Nolan, 285–98. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1998. View Details
  23. Learning from Mistakes Is Easier Said than Done: Group and Organization Influences on the Detection and Correction of Human Error

    Keywords: Learning; Perception; Attitudes; Groups and Teams; Organizational Culture; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A. "Learning from Mistakes Is Easier Said than Done: Group and Organization Influences on the Detection and Correction of Human Error." In Organizational Psychology, edited by D. Kolb, I. Rubin, and J. McIntyre. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1979. View Details
  24. Confiance et Recherche-intervention

    Citation:

    Moingeon, B., B. Ramanantsoa, and A. Edmondson. "Confiance et Recherche-intervention." In Pour une Nouvelle Approche du Management Public: Reflexions Autour du Michel Crozier, edited by M. Finger and B. Ruchat, 131–151. Paris: Éditions Seli Arslan, 1997. View Details
  25. When to Learn How and When to Learn Why: Appropriate Organizational Learning Processes as a Source of Competitive Advantage

    Keywords: Learning; Competitive Advantage; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Design;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., and B. Moingeon. "When to Learn How and When to Learn Why: Appropriate Organizational Learning Processes as a Source of Competitive Advantage." In Organizational Learning and Competitive Advantage, by B. Moingeon and A. Edmondson. London: Sage Publications, 1996. View Details
  26. The Learning Organization: An Integrative Approach

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Design; Integration;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, A., and B. Moingeon. "The Learning Organization: An Integrative Approach." In Business Research Yearbook: Global Business Perspectives. Vol. 2, edited by A. F. Alkhafaji. University Press of America, Inc., 1995. View Details
  27. Notes on Edgar Schein

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C. "Notes on Edgar Schein." In The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, edited by P. Senge, R. Ross, B. Smith, C. Roberts, and A. Kleiner, 267–268. New York: Doubleday, 1994. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Competing Effects of Individual and Team Experience on Knowledge Sourcing Behavior

    This paper develops and tests a multi-level model that links individual and team experience with knowledge sourcing (specifically, knowledge repository (KR) use). Prior research theorizes that experienced workers source more than inexperienced workers because they have stronger information processing capabilities that motivate their search. Other research, however, suggests that teams source less as they gain experience because they develop and perpetuate set ways of thinking about problems. Which effect dominates the sourcing behavior of individuals working in teams? We argue that individual knowledge-sourcing behavior is shaped by both individual and team attributes and we provide an empirical test of new theory. Specifically we suggest that both individual capabilities and team average experience influence team member knowledge sourcing, and argue that there is an interaction between individual and team experience (meaning rookies and veterans working on inexperienced or experienced teams will be influenced differently). We find empirical support for this model. Team experience does not affect veteran team member knowledge sourcing, unless the team is very experienced; then, veterans slow their KR use. Rookies are more influenced by team composition: when working on teams with too little experience, too much experience, or a disparity of experience, rookie KR sourcing is limited. Yet on moderately experienced teams, rookies use almost on par with veterans. Importantly, limited KR use by highly experienced teams does not appear to be a savvy choice for exploiting team resources: KR use predicts team performance and the effect is not moderated by team experience.

    Keywords: Knowledge Sourcing; Team Experience; Team Performance; Multilevel; Groups and Teams; Knowledge Management; Performance;

    Citation:

    Valentine, Melissa A., Bradley R. Staats, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Competing Effects of Individual and Team Experience on Knowledge Sourcing Behavior." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-001, July 2012. (Revised August 2014.) View Details
  2. Team Scaffolds: How Meso-Level Structures Support Role-based Coordination in Temporary Groups

    This paper shows how meso-level structures support effective coordination in temporary groups. Prior research on coordination in temporary groups describes how roles encode individual responsibilities so that coordination between relative strangers is possible. We extend this research by introducing key tenets from team effectiveness research to theorize when role-based coordination might be more or less effective. We develop these ideas in a multi-method study of a hospital emergency department (ED) redesign. Before the redesign, people coordinated in ad-hoc groupings, which provided flexibility because any nurse could work with any doctor, but these groupings were limited in effectiveness because people were not accountable to each other for progress, did not have shared understanding of their work, and faced interpersonal risks when reaching out to other roles. The redesign introduced new meso-level structures that bounded a set of roles (rather than a set of specific individuals, as in a team) and gave them collective responsibility for a whole task. We conceptualized the meso-level structures as team scaffolds and found that they embodied the logic of both role and team structures. The team scaffolds enabled small group interactions to take the form of an actual team process with team-level prioritizing, updating, and helping, based on new-found accountability, overlapping representations of work, and belonging—despite the lack of stable team composition. Quantitative data revealed changes to the coordination patterns in the ED (captured through a two-mode network) after the team scaffolds were implemented and showed a 40% improvement in patient throughput time.

    Keywords: Fluid Personnel; Team Scaffolds; Team Effectiveness; Role-based Coordination; Multi-method; Health Care and Treatment; Data and Data Sets; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Organizational Structure; Outcome or Result; Performance Effectiveness; Groups and Teams; Networks; Behavior; Balance and Stability; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Valentine, Melissa A., and Amy C. Edmondson. "Team Scaffolds: How Meso-Level Structures Support Role-based Coordination in Temporary Groups." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-062, January 2012. (Revised June 2014.) View Details
  3. Risky Trust: How Multi-entity Teams Develop Trust in a High Risk Endeavor

    This paper explicates the challenge of risky trust, which we define as trust that exists between parties vulnerable to high economic, legal, or reputational risks at individual or organizational levels. Drawing from analyses of data collected in a grounded case study of a multi-million dollar construction project, we identify dimensions, antecedents, and behavioral consequences of risky trust. Undertaken in the U.S. construction industry, a context known for its lack of trust, our study offers insights for trust repair.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Leadership; Business Processes; Groups and Teams; Risk and Uncertainty; Trust; Construction Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Rashid, Faaiza, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Risky Trust: How Multi-entity Teams Develop Trust in a High Risk Endeavor." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-089, February 2011. View Details
  4. Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron or the Shape of the Future?

    Two trends are likely to define the 21st century: threats to the sustainability of the natural environment and dramatic increases in urbanization. This paper reviews the goals, business models, and partnerships involved in eight early "ecocity" projects to begin to identify success factors in this emerging industry. Ecocities, for the most part, are viewed as a means of mitigating threats to the natural environment while creating urban living capacity, by combining low carbon and resource-efficient development with the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to better manage complex urban systems.

    Keywords: Communication Technology; Investment; City; Infrastructure; Business and Government Relations; Environmental Sustainability; Urban Development; Information Technology; Green Technology Industry; Real Estate Industry;

    Citation:

    Alusi, Annissa, Robert G. Eccles, Amy C. Edmondson, and Tiona Zuzul. "Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron or the Shape of the Future?" Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-062, December 2010. (Revised January 2011, March 2011, April 2011.) View Details
  5. Performance Tradeoffs in Team Knowledge Sourcing

    This research examines how teams organize knowledge sourcing (obtaining access to others' knowledge or expertise) and investigates the performance trade-offs involved in two approaches to knowledge sourcing in teams. One approach a team can take is to specialize, such that a small number of members source knowledge on behalf of the team. This specialized knowledge-sourcing approach lowers search costs. The other approach has most or all team members engaging in knowledge sourcing. This broad approach means that more team members interact directly with the knowledge source, and thus may understand the knowledge better. These options present a sourcing paradox: teams cannot reap the advantages of specialized sourcing and the advantages of broad sourcing. They face performance tradeoffs. Further under some conditions performance tradeoffs will be more pronounced. Specifically, specialized knowledge sourcing depends on within team knowledge sharing, and so conditions that hinder knowledge sharing in a team are likely to reduce the effectiveness of the specialized approach. Using archival data from several hundred software development projects in an Indian software services firm, we find support for most of our hypotheses. Our findings offer insight for theory and practice into how team organization, organizational knowledge resources, and within-team knowledge sharing can aid team performance.

    Keywords: Information Management; Knowledge Sharing; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Performance Efficiency; Performance Productivity; Quality; Groups and Teams; Information Technology Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Staats, Bradley R., Melissa Valentine, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Performance Tradeoffs in Team Knowledge Sourcing." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-031, September 2010. (Revised December 2010, May 2011, and October 2011.) View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Addleshaw Goddard LLP (Abridged)

    Addleshaw-Goddard (AG), the 15th largest law firm in the UK, is seeking ways to serve larger clients on more important legal matters. Part of this strategy involves its "Client Development Centre (CDC)," an innovative idea and set of services launched by Dr. Jim Hever who holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership Development. The mission of the CDC is to improve the capabilities of clients' in-house legal departments by making them better partners with the business units and improving their leadership skills. The CDC has adopted an innovative pricing structure. Rather than charging direct fees for these consulting services, it proposed to the client that it contract with the firm for five times this amount in legal fees that might otherwise have gone to another law firm. It is in this way, AG hopes to increase its position with its larger clients. AG has also developed a very systematic program for identifying and serving its key clients, developed in collaboration with Cranfield School of Management. It is these clients that will be the focus of the efforts for the CDC. In addition, the firm has co-developed a training program with Cranfield to improve the skills of its own partners. The case explores whether these initiatives will lead to a long-term competitive advantage. The firm believes what really will produce competitive advantage is its "Me-To-You Mindset" initiative that encourages partners to look at the world through their clients' eyes. At the end of the case Hever is reflecting on a proposal he submitted for providing CDC services to one of the largest UK companies. The general counsel wants to pay for these services in cash should he decide to accept the proposal, rather than hiring AG for more legal work. Hever is wondering if this is a good way to take advantage of recent reforms allowing law firms to provide other professional services, like consulting, or if this is "off-strategy" for the mission of the CDC.

    Keywords: Price; Innovation and Invention; Service Operations; Partners and Partnerships; Competitive Advantage; Diversification; Legal Services Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, and James Weber. "Addleshaw Goddard LLP (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 413-064, September 2012. (Revised December 2012.) View Details
  2. Building Innovation at Terrapin Bright Green

    Describes Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental consulting and strategic planning firm, and its approach for creating integrative, systematic solutions to green-building conundrums through consulting, research, and policy-related activities. Emphasis is placed on the role of integrated design and the intensive team-based "charrette" process in Terrapin's consulting work as well as on the design trends of biophilia and biomimicry. The case focuses on the sustainable redesign of 111 8th Avenue, New York, New York, to explore the challenge of managing strategic, intangible services in the context of Terrapin's more concrete focus historically. A serendipitous discovery leads the founders to consider how the firm could systematize its process while maintaining the flexibility that made it successful.

    Keywords: integrated design; entrepreneurs; Creative Industries; CONSULTING firms; Energy; Design; Governance; Growth and Development; Innovation and Invention; Knowledge; Labor; Organizations; Problems and Challenges; Research; Strategy; Value; Consulting Industry; New York (city, NY);

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Sydney Ribot, and Mary Saunders. "Building Innovation at Terrapin Bright Green." Harvard Business School Case 613-053, March 2013. (Revised May 2013.) View Details
  3. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Video Supplement 2012

    Keywords: process improvement; leadership succession; healthcare; quality and safety; transparency; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Management Succession; Health Care and Treatment; Performance Improvement; Business Processes; Health Industry; Ohio;

    Citation:

    Tucker, Anita, and Amy Edmondson. "Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Video Supplement 2012." Harvard Business School Video Supplement 613-710, February 2013. View Details
  4. Designing a Culture of Collaboration at Lake Nona Medical City

    Describes Lake Nona, a 7,000-acre residential and research cluster in central Florida, and its process and innovation culture, and Lake Nona Institute, the organization behind the planning and governance of this new eco-friendly community. Emphasis is placed on the institutional collaboration and governance decisions behind Lake Nona's "Medical City" component. Five years after development began, the site boasts a research cluster that has succeeded in attracting scientific talent and residential interest, and has put in place a collaborative governance structure intended to encourage innovation, trust-building, and communication. When the Institute's president is asked to decide who the next tenant in Medical City should be, he considers what kind of process would allow them to best grow going forward. Focuses on 1) the nature of collaboration in the development of new ventures, 2) the managerial challenges of mediation between hierarchical organization processes and consensus-driven structure, and 3) the product development process of a developer in a nascent industry.

    Keywords: collaboration; innovation; governance; health care; real estate; entrepreneurship; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Governance; Real Estate Industry; Florida;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Sydney Ribot, and Tiona Zuzul. "Designing a Culture of Collaboration at Lake Nona Medical City." Harvard Business School Case 613-022, October 2012. View Details
  5. Global Knowledge Management at Danone (A) (Abridged)

    This case explores French consumer goods company Danone's novel approach to knowledge management. In 2007, Human Resource Chief (Executive Vice President) Franck Mougin assesses the company's knowledge-sharing tools and considers his options going forward. Through informal knowledge marketplaces and sharing networks, Danone had helped managers connect with each other and share good practices peer-to-peer, rather than relying on traditional hierarchical lines of communication or IT repositories. From 2004 to 2007, Mougin and his team had found that 5,000 Danone managers around the world—the company conducted business in 120 countries—had shared about 640 now-documented good practices. In 2007, the strategic importance of saving time in a decentralized organization through adoption of colleagues' good practices was put to a test. Should the knowledge management tools be extended to include all employees and external partners on a regular basis? And on top of sharing good practices, could it be extended to include the creation of new solutions and processes? Would this require more formalization of processes and more tracking of results? The case illustrates Mougin's options on taking knowledge management into the future of Danone.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Employee Relationship Management; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Sharing; Social and Collaborative Networks; Expansion; Consumer Products Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and David Lane. "Global Knowledge Management at Danone (A) (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 613-003, July 2012. (Revised August 2012.) View Details
  6. Columbia's Final Mission (Abridged) (B)

    Keywords: leadership; cognitive biases; teams; organizational culture; organizational learning; ambiguous threat; decision making; Risk and Uncertainty; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership; Corporate Disclosure; Groups and Teams; Decision Making; Organizational Culture; Public Administration Industry; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Kerry Herman. "Columbia's Final Mission (Abridged) (B) ." Harvard Business School Supplement 612-096, May 2012. View Details
  7. Columbia's Final Mission (Abridged) (A)

    This case documents decision-making processes, organizational culture, and other contributors to NASA's failed Columbia mission in 2003. Addresses the question of how organizations should deal with "ambiguous threats" - weak signals of potential crisis - and explores why ambiguous threats are so challenging to manage.

    Keywords: leadership; cognitive biases; teams; organizational culture; organizational learning; ambiguous threat; decision making; Leadership; Organizational Culture; Decision Making; Failure; Crisis Management; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Kerry Herman. "Columbia's Final Mission (Abridged) (A)." Harvard Business School Case 612-095, May 2012. View Details
  8. The 2010 Chilean Mining Rescue (A)

    On August 5, 2010, 700,000 tons of some of the hardest rock in the world caved in Chile's century-old San José mine. The collapse buried 33 miners at a depth almost twice the height of the Empire State Building-over 600 meters (2000 feet) below ground. Never had a recovery been attempted at such depths, let alone in the face of challenges like those posed by the San José mine: unstable terrain, rock so hard it defied ordinary drill bits, severely limited time, and the potentially immobilizing fear that plagued the buried miners. Could the trapped miners and rescue workers mobilize before air and resources were depleted? The case describes the ensuing efforts that draw the resources of countless people and multiple organizations in Chile and around the world.

    Keywords: Mining; Chile;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Faaiza Rashid, and Herman B. "Dutch" Leonard. "The 2010 Chilean Mining Rescue (A)." Harvard Business School Case 612-046, November 2011. (Revised May 2012.) View Details
  9. Global Knowledge Management at Danone (TN) (A), (B) and (C)

    Teaching Note for 608107.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Knowledge Management; Geographic Location; Time Management; Consumer Products Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Natalie Kindred. "Global Knowledge Management at Danone (TN) (A), (B) and (C)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 610-076, May 2010. (Revised April 2012.) View Details
  10. Global Knowledge Management at Danone (B)

    The (B) case gives an update on the development of knowledge management at Danone two years after the (A) case: The Networking Attitude spread throughout the company and the question is posed whether Danone should move to virtual networking in addition to face-to-face networking.

    Keywords: Knowledge Management;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Ruth Dittrich, and Daniela Beyersdorfer. "Global Knowledge Management at Danone (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 611-079, May 2011. (Revised March 2012.) View Details
  11. Global Knowledge Management at Danone (C)

    The (C) case provides an update on the B-case decision and describes the introduction of Dan 2.0, an internal social virtual network for the purpose of knowledge sharing in a company that was only used to face-to-face networking.

    Keywords: Innovation and Management; Knowledge Sharing; Technology Networks; Opportunities; Problems and Challenges; Networks; Employees; Motivation and Incentives; Knowledge Management; Management Practices and Processes;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Ruth Dittrich, and Daniela Beyersdorfer. "Global Knowledge Management at Danone (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 611-080, May 2011. (Revised March 2012.) View Details
  12. A Note on Water

    This note provides background on the complex issues regarding the supply and consumption of water and how this natural resource is at increasing risk, resulting in significant economic, political and environmental issues.

    Keywords: Economics; Government and Politics; Demand and Consumers; Supply and Industry; Risk and Uncertainty; Natural Environment; Pollution and Pollutants; Environmental Sustainability;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, George Serafeim, and Sarah E. Farrell. "A Note on Water." Harvard Business School Background Note 412-050, August 2011. (Revised February 2012.) View Details
  13. Columbia's Final Mission: A Multimedia Case (TN)

    Teaching Note to (9-305-032).

    Keywords: Media; News; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Roberto, Michael, Richard M.J. Bohmer, Amy C. Edmondson, and Erika Ferlins. "Columbia's Final Mission: A Multimedia Case (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 305-033, June 2005. (Revised January 2012.) View Details
  14. Ricoh Company, Ltd.

    Ricoh, the Japanese copier manufacturer, is committed to reducing its environmental impact to one-eighth of its 2000 levels by 2050. It has already introduced three stages of environmental awareness to its operations, and its recycled copier business broke even in 2006. The company developed environmental accounting methods and produces annual environmental and sustainability reports, but Ricoh is concerned that investors may not take these efforts into account.

    Keywords: Environmental Accounting; Financial Reporting; Integrated Corporate Reporting; Investment; Operations; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Environmental Sustainability; Electronics Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, Marco Iansiti, and Akiko Kanno. "Ricoh Company, Ltd." Harvard Business School Case 610-053, February 2010. (Revised December 2011.) View Details
  15. Global Knowledge Management at Danone (A)

    This case explores French consumer goods company Danone's novel approach to knowledge management. In 2007, Human Resource Chief (Executive Vice President) Franck Mougin assesses the company's knowledge-sharing tools and considers his options going forward. Through informal knowledge marketplaces and sharing networks, Danone had helped managers connect with each other and share good practices peer-to-peer, rather than relying on traditional hierarchical lines of communication or IT repositories. From 2004 to 2007, Mougin and his team had found that 5,000 Danone managers around the world-the company conducted business in 120 countries-had shared about 640 now-documented good practices. In 2007, the strategic importance of saving time in a decentralized organization through adoption of colleagues' good practices was put to a test. Should the knowledge management tools be extended to include all employees and external partners on a regular basis? And on top of sharing good practices, could it be extended to include the creation of new solutions and processes? Would this require more formalization of processes and more tracking of results? The case illustrates Mougin's options on taking knowledge management into the future of Danone.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Employee Relationship Management; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Sharing; Social and Collaborative Networks; Expansion; Consumer Products Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Bertrand Moingeon, Vincent Marie Dessain, and Ane Damgaard Jensen. "Global Knowledge Management at Danone (A)." Harvard Business School Case 608-107, December 2007. (Revised September 2011.) View Details
  16. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

    The case describes an organization's use of the science of improvement to transform their process quality from below average to the top 10% in their industry. The case outlines the protagonist's strategy of developing internal experts who are trained in a common methodology for making improvement and spreading these ideas in their work units.

    Keywords: Change Management; Experience and Expertise; Leading Change; Measurement and Metrics; Service Delivery; Performance Improvement; Health Industry; Ohio;

    Citation:

    Tucker, Anita L., and Amy C. Edmondson. "Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center." Harvard Business School Case 609-109, June 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  17. Mistry Architects (A)

    Describes an architecture firm founded and run by a husband and wife team, Sharukh and Renu Mistry, that emphasizes "green" building. The firm presents an unusual mix of projects-spanning the spectrum from larger corporate projects to small private homes. The mix also includes more profitable work and projects deliberately selected for social good, including the design of orphanage communities for SOS Children's International and other nonprofit organizations. The mix engages teams of young architects in different kinds of learning opportunities and allows them to manage these projects with an unusually high level of independence. The firm's founders are dedicated to being both very client-oriented and environmentally responsible. This can lead to some difficult choices and the case illustrates one example. The firm has been commissioned by SOS to design homes for some villages destroyed in the December 24, 2004 tsunami. The preferred design is thatch roofs which is in keeping with the local environment. However, the villagers want a more functional (and more expensive) reinforced cement concrete roof. Sharukh must decide which of his principles is to dominate in this situation.

    Keywords: Family Business; Customer Focus and Relationships; Design; Housing; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Business and Community Relations; Environmental Sustainability; Nonprofit Organizations; Conflict and Resolution;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Robert G. Eccles, and Mona Sinha. "Mistry Architects (A)." Harvard Business School Case 609-044, February 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  18. Mistry Architects (B)

    This case is a follow-up of Mistry Architects: Innovating for Sustainability (A) (Case 609-044). In Case (A) Sharukh and Renu Mistry found and run an architectural firm dedicated to being both client-oriented and environmentally responsible. The case uses a difficult design decision in a tsunami rehabilitation project to illustrate the challenges faced by professional services firms, and the role of innovation in meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders. The specific design decision is to make a choice between thatch roofs which are environmentally friendly, versus reinforced cement concrete roofs that the villagers desire for its functionality. Case (B) reveals and explains the firm's choice, while describing how the community rebuilds itself after the tsunami, as well as how the firms evolves.

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Emerging Markets; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Natural Disasters; Environmental Sustainability; Product Design; Innovation and Invention; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Robert G. Eccles, and Mona Sinha. "Mistry Architects (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 609-064, February 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  19. Mistry Architects (C)

    This case is a follow-up to "Mistry Architects: Innovating for Sustainability (A)" (Case 609-044) and (B) (Case 609-064). In Case (A) Sharukh and Renu Mistry founded and run an architectural firm dedicated to being both client-oriented and environmentally responsible. The case uses a difficult design decision in a tsunami rehabilitation project to illustrate the challenges faced by professional services firms and the role of innovation in meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders. The specific design decision is to make a choice between thatch roofs, which are environmentally friendly, versus reinforced cement concrete roofs that the villagers desire for their functionality. Case (B) reveals and explains the firm's choice, while describing how the community rebuilds itself after the tsunami, as well as how the firm evolves. The (C) case discusses the future plans of the firm including growth and succession issues.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Succession; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Business and Community Relations; Nonprofit Organizations; Environmental Sustainability;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Robert G. Eccles, and Mona Sinha. "Mistry Architects (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 609-086, February 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  20. Group Process in the Challenger Launch Decision (A), (B), (C), and (D) (TN)

    Teaching Note to (9-603-068), (9-603-070), (9-603-072), and (9-603-073).

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Laura Feldman. "Group Process in the Challenger Launch Decision (A), (B), (C), and (D) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 604-032, September 2003. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  21. Integrated Project Delivery at Autodesk, Inc. (A)

    Describes Autodesk's engagement in Integrated Project Delivery—a new model of risk management, inter-firm teamwork, and multi-objective (aesthetic, cost, and sustainability) optimization in building projects. In 2008, Autodesk, Inc., the world's largest design software company, decided to engage in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for the design and construction of its new Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Solutions (AECS) Group headquarters near Boston. Under IPD, the project's architect, builder, and client (Autodesk) entered a contractual agreement to share all project risks and profits. During the project, however, Autodesk was unsatisfied with the design progress and asked the project team to introduce a three-story atrium in the headquarters' design. Logistically, it was not a good time to make changes as the team had already made significant design progress. The team was also working under a tight budget and delivery deadline. However, the aesthetics would appear to be greatly improved by changing the design. The project's architect and builder had to decide whether accommodating the atrium into the current schedule and work sequencing was an acceptable risk.

    Keywords: Buildings and Facilities; Business Headquarters; Design; Risk Management; Business Processes; Projects; Groups and Teams; Partners and Partnerships; Cooperation; Construction Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Faaiza Rashid. "Integrated Project Delivery at Autodesk, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 610-016, September 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  22. Integrated Project Delivery at Autodesk, Inc. (B)

    Describes Autodesk's engagement in Integrated Project Delivery—a new model of risk management, inter-firm teamwork, and multi-objective (aesthetic, cost, and sustainability) optimization in building projects. In 2008, Autodesk, Inc. the world's largest design software company, decided to engage in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for the design and construction of its new Architecture, Engineering and Construction Solutions (AECS) Group headquarters, near Boston. Under IPD, the project's architect, builder, and client (Autodesk) entered a contractual agreement to share all project risks and profits. During the project, however, Autodesk was unsatisfied with the design progress, and asked the project team to introduce a three-story atrium in the headquarters' design. Logistically, it was not a good time to make changes as the team had already made significant design progress. The team was also working under a tight budget and delivery deadline. However, the aesthetics would appear to be greatly improved by changing the design. The project's architect and builder had to decide whether accommodating the atrium into the current schedule and work sequencing was an acceptable risk.

    Keywords: Risk Management; Groups and Teams; Goals and Objectives; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Integration; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Faaiza Rashid. "Integrated Project Delivery at Autodesk, Inc. (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 610-017, September 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  23. Integrated Project Delivery at Autodesk, Inc. (C)

    Describes Autodesk's engagement in Integrated Project Delivery—a new model of risk management, inter-firm teamwork, and multi-objective (aesthetic, cost, and sustainability) optimization in building projects. In 2008, Autodesk, Inc. the world's largest design software company, decided to engage in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for the design and construction of its new Architecture, Engineering and Construction Solutions (AECS) Group headquarters, near Boston. Under IPD, the project's architect, builder, and client (Autodesk) entered a contractual agreement to share all project risks and profits. During the project, however, Autodesk was unsatisfied with the design progress, and asked the project team to introduce a three-story atrium in the headquarters' design. Logistically, it was not a good time to make changes as the team had already made significant design progress. The team was also working under a tight budget and delivery deadline. However, the aesthetics would appear to be greatly improved by changing the design. The project's architect and builder had to decide whether accommodating the atrium into the current schedule and work sequencing was an acceptable risk.

    Keywords: Risk Management; Groups and Teams; Goals and Objectives; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Integration; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Faaiza Rashid. "Integrated Project Delivery at Autodesk, Inc. (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 610-018, September 2009. (Revised April 2011.) View Details
  24. Program Management at Wipro Technologies

    This case examines the execution of one program by Wipro Technologies, an Indian software services provider. The case also explores the evolution of program management at Wipro.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Problems and Challenges; Leadership Style; Recruitment; Programs; Management; Information Technology Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Bradley R. Staats, and Melissa Valentine. "Program Management at Wipro Technologies." Harvard Business School Case 611-052, January 2011. View Details
  25. Talent Recruitment at frog design Shanghai

    This case illustrates the complexity and importance of hiring decisions in the Chinese operation of a global design and innovation firm.

    Keywords: Selection and Staffing; Recruitment; Talent and Talent Management; Decision Making; Complexity; Innovation and Invention; Shanghai;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, and Yi Kwan Chu. "Talent Recruitment at frog design Shanghai." Harvard Business School Case 411-040, December 2010. (Revised November 2013.) View Details
  26. The Greening of DUMBO

    The Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) has seen a revitalization since the late 1970s. The neighborhood's business improvement district (BID) is charged with supplementing New York City's efforts in several areas, including safety, sanitation, marketing, promotional programs, capital improvements, and beautification. Since 2007, the DUMBO BID has done "small things that are collectively big" to improve the area and are in line with New York City's "plaNYC," a blueprint to become a "sustainable city" by increasing water quality, energy efficiency, and open space while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. This year, the DUMBO BID must decide if it should continue its small actions or pursue a neighborhood-wide Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating while constrained by its budget, staff size, and the recession.

    Keywords: Transformation; Local Range; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; Environmental Sustainability; Wastes and Waste Processing; Urban Development; Public Administration Industry; New York (city, NY);

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, and Abhijit Prabhu. "The Greening of DUMBO." Harvard Business School Case 410-079, March 2010. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  27. Arup: Building the Water Cube

    Arup, an engineering firm, collaborated with PTW Architects and China Construction Design Institute to develop a design for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Aquatics Center design competition. Their winning concept for the Water Cube combined elements of Chinese culture with innovative materials and sustainability requirements. The multidisciplinary and cross-company team, based in Sydney, Australia with counterparts in Beijing, faced project management challenges and cultural differences. The Water Cube became an iconic image during the Olympics, and managers at Arup now wonder how to leverage the impact within the company.

    Keywords: Buildings and Facilities; Environmental Sustainability; Design; Construction; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Projects; Groups and Teams; Real Estate Industry; Sports Industry; Beijing; Sydney;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, and Dilyana Karadzhova. "Arup: Building the Water Cube." Harvard Business School Case 410-054, February 2010. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  28. Columbia's Final Mission

    Describes the 16-day final mission of the space shuttle Columbia in January 2003 in which seven astronauts died. Includes background on NASA and the creation of the human space flight program, including the 1970 Apollo 13 crisis and 1986 Challenger disaster. Examines NASA's organizational culture, leadership, and the influences on the investigation of and response to foam shedding from the external fuel tank during shuttle launch.

    Keywords: Leadership; Crisis Management; Management Skills; Organizational Culture; Groups and Teams; Behavior; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Bohmer, Richard M.J., Amy C. Edmondson, Michael Roberto, Laura Feldman, and Erika Ferlins. "Columbia's Final Mission." Harvard Business School Case 304-090, April 2004. (Revised May 2010.) View Details
  29. Living PlanIT

    Living PlanIT is a start-up company that has developed a new, innovative business model for sustainable urbanization. This model reflects the software and technology backgrounds of its founders, Steve Lewis and Malcolm Hutchinson, and is in vivid contrast to other models for green or smart cities that are variations on a massive real estate development project. The main economic engine driving Living PlanIT's model is a partner channel strategy adopted from the high technology industry. The case shows how the Living PlanIT business model has evolved from the original vision of Lewis and Hutchinson to radically transform the construction industry to a go-to-market partnership model using the real estate as a "showroom" for evolving sustainable urban technology—a $3 trillion global market over the next 20 years. Living PlanIT is developing its first project, a new city called PlanIT Valley, outside of Porto, Portugal. The company has clarified its vision and is moving into the implementation phase, which involves fundraising, signing up channel partners, and negotiating various issues with the Portuguese government for its pilot project. Success in PlanIT Valley will translate into a strong market position as global population and demand for new cities increases, particularly in developing countries such as China and India.

    Keywords: Business Model; Business Startups; Development Economics; Entrepreneurship; City; Technological Innovation; Environmental Sustainability; Urban Development; Construction Industry; Green Technology Industry; Real Estate Industry; Portugal;

    Citation:

    Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, Susan Thyne, and Tiona Zuzul. "Living PlanIT." Harvard Business School Case 410-081, February 2010. (Revised November 2013.) View Details
  30. Leading Change at Simmons (E)

    This case updates the “Leading Change at Simmons” series by examining Simmons' increasing debt under the ownership of Thomas H. Lee, a private equity firm. Charlie Eitel, the former CEO, wonders what the company's, and his, legacy will be after declaring bankruptcy despite a cultural turnaround and successful operations.

    Keywords: Borrowing and Debt; Private Equity; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Leading Change; Operations; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Ownership; Performance Improvement; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Susan Thyne. "Leading Change at Simmons (E)." Harvard Business School Supplement 610-061, February 2010. (Revised March 2010.) View Details
  31. Columbia's Final Mission

    On February 1, 2003, the Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, and the seven astronauts onboard lost their lives. Explores Columbia's final mission from the perspective of six key managers and engineers associated with NASA's Space Shuttle Program. An introductory video and interactive timeline present background information. An application replicates the desktop environment of six real-life managers and engineers involved in decision making during the period prior to Columbia's re-entry. Each student is preassigned a particular role and, through a password system, enters the role-play application. Students review the protagonists' actual e-mails, listen to audio re-enactments of crucial meetings, and review space agency documents. Students must be prepared to play the role of the protagonist in a classroom re-enactment of a critical Mission Management Team meeting that took place on Flight Day 8 (January 24, 2003). Students examine the organizational causes of the tragedy rather than focus on the technical cause.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Leadership; Crisis Management; Management Teams; Organizational Culture; Aerospace Industry;

    Citation:

    Bohmer, Richard M.J., Amy C. Edmondson, Michael Roberto, Laura Feldman, and Erika Ferlins. "Columbia's Final Mission." Harvard Business School Video Case 305-032, March 2005. (Revised May 2009.) View Details
  32. Information Use by Managers in Decision Making: A Team Exercise

    The purpose of this exercise is to explore the challenges of information collection and analysis. Students will, experientially, gain insights into how information is used and be exposed to a framework for identifying and evaluating information. In addition, the exercise will enable students to explore the processes and dynamics of teamwork in decision-making, the challenges of group decision-making, and the strategies for engaging team learning skills and attitudes to improve both the quality of and commitment to group decisions.

    Keywords: Competency and Skills; Decision Making; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Managerial Roles; Business Processes; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Ann Cullen. "Information Use by Managers in Decision Making: A Team Exercise." Harvard Business School Exercise 609-027, July 2008. View Details
  33. Children's Hospital and Clinics (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-302-050).

    Keywords: Transformation; Safety; Performance; Health Care and Treatment; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Michael Roberto, and Laura Feldman. "Children's Hospital and Clinics (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 303-071, June 2003. (Revised August 2008.) View Details
  34. Turnaround at the Veterans Health Administration (A)

    Investigates the challenges that Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer confronted in seeking to create organizational change at the largest integrated health care system in North America, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Kizer was appointed as the Under Secretary of Health, to oversee the VHA, in 1994. Upon Kizer's arrival, it was immediately apparent that the management style that pervaded the VHA was ineffective and out of date. At the same time, the VHA faced inefficient health care delivery systems coupled with a steadily increasing number of patients. Kizer started to make plans to change the VHA into a modern, responsive, efficient, and effective health care organization. However, success in executing on his plans would require challenging a bureaucratic system with a long history. Documents progress, including organizational efficiencies gained that include consolidation of health care facilities, and illuminates leadership actions that facilitate this progress. Clearly, many challenges still lie ahead. Near the end of the case, Dr. Kizer awaits news from Congress on his reappointment for another four-year term.

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Transformation; Leadership; Consolidation; Health Care and Treatment; Service Delivery; Health Industry; Public Administration Industry; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Brian R. Golden, and Gary J. Young. "Turnaround at the Veterans Health Administration (A)." Harvard Business School Case 608-061, July 2007. (Revised January 2008.) View Details
  35. Everest Leadership and Team Simulation

    This item is currently not available for purchase on this site. To order, please contact Customer Service - (800) 545-7685 or (617) 783-7600. **REVISED AUGUST 2009!** This web-based simulation uses the dramatic context of a Mount Everest expedition to reinforce student learning in group dynamics and leadership. Players are assigned one of 5 roles on a team attempting to summit the mountain. The simulation lasts 6 rounds totaling about 1.5 hours of seat time. In each round, team members analyze information on weather, health conditions, supplies, goals, or hiking speed, and determine how much of that information to communicate to their teammates. They then collectively discuss whether to attempt to reach the next camp en route to the summit. The team must decide how to effectively distribute supplies and oxygen bottles needed for the ascent--decisions which affect hiking speed, health, and ultimately the team's success in summiting the mountain. Failure to accurately communicate and analyze information as a team has negative consequences on team performance. The simulation is designed to be used with teams of students. A Facilitator's Guide contains an overview of simulation screens, elements, and a comprehensive Teaching Note. Computer with minimum 1024x768 screen resolution, High speed internet connection (DSL / cable modem quality), Windows 2000, XP, or Vista / Macintosh operating systems, Internet Explorer 6+ / Firefox 2.0+ web browser with javascript and cookies enabled, Flash Player 9+ browser plug-in (Users with earlier versions of Flash will be notified automatically and given the option to upgrade. This is a free browser plug-in.), Microsoft Excel (optional).

    Keywords: Cooperation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Groups and Teams; Knowledge Sharing; Leadership;

    Citation:

    Roberto, Michael A., and Amy C. Edmondson. "Everest Leadership and Team Simulation." Simulation and Teaching Note. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2008. Electronic. (Product number 2650.) View Details
  36. Children's Hospital and Clinics (B)

    Explores the numerous initiatives Children's Hospital and Clinics has undertaken to improve patient safety since the late 1990s--from the perspective of 2007. The case thus updates the A case by revisiting the hospital to find out what happened as a result of the ambitious change program launched over eight years earlier. It elaborates the ways in which Children's COO Julie Morath seeks to continue to improve hospital operations by involving nurses, physicians and even patients' families in an ongoing organizational learning process. The 2-case series is particularly distinctive in tracking an organizational change initiative for almost a decade and, as such, uncovers and promotes discussion of the important, granular details of change leadership in a messy, knowledge-based organization.

    Keywords: Safety; Change Management; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Legal Liability; Leadership; Management Teams; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Ingrid M. Nembhard, and Kate Roloff. "Children's Hospital and Clinics (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 608-073, September 2007. (Revised October 2007.) View Details
  37. Cleveland Clinic

    Cleveland Clinic is consistently ranked among the nation's most eminent hospitals, and for decades has been a leader in pioneering cardiac care. This case evaluates the methods, processes, and personnel that the hospital has cultivated over the years in order to develop its track record of excellence. In light of this, three expansion opportunities are explored and the operational fit of each is investigated.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Medical Specialties; Innovation and Invention; Service Delivery; Expansion; Health Industry; Cleveland;

    Citation:

    Frei, Frances X., Amy C. Edmondson, Christine van Keuren, and Eliot Sherman. "Cleveland Clinic." Harvard Business School Case 607-143, May 2007. (Revised September 2007.) View Details
  38. Children's Hospital and Clinics (A)

    Describes the major phases of an initiative designed to transform the organization and enhance patient safety. Raises interesting questions about how to encourage candid discussion about failures while continuing to hold people accountable for their performance.

    Keywords: Health Care and Treatment; Leading Change; Business Processes; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Performance Improvement; Safety; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Michael Roberto, and Anita L. Tucker. "Children's Hospital and Clinics (A)." Harvard Business School Case 302-050, November 2001. (Revised September 2007.) View Details
  39. Mitchell Family and Mitchells/Richards, The

    Describes a small, luxury retail chain's operational sophistication achieved through the use of technology and "high-touch" customer service. A family-run business, Mitchells has built its success with a customer service strategy known internally as "hugging." The term is deceptively simple. The firm's true success lies in its blend of a warm, other-oriented corporate culture, sophisticated information technology, and an effective family business structure. It is currently considering further expansion for future generations. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Family Business; Customer Relationship Management; Knowledge Management; Service Delivery; Organizational Culture; Expansion; Information Technology; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., John A. Davis, Corey B. Hajim, and Kelly Mulderry. "Mitchell Family and Mitchells/Richards, The." Harvard Business School Case 605-047, November 2004. (Revised September 2007.) View Details
  40. Leading Change at Simmons (A)

    Explores the challenge of managing large-scale organizational change at Simmons, an old and established company that manufactures and distributes mattresses. The new CEO, Charlie Eitel, hired to turn the organization's performance around, considers whether to implement an untraditional training program that includes outdoor experiential team-building activities as a central element of his change strategy. Asks participants to consider the decision of investing in the expensive training program following the loss of the three largest customers--retailers that together had contributed a third of Simmons' revenues. One central theme is the role of leadership in engaging and motivating employees to implement changes that improve product quality and operational efficiency and cost.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Motivation and Incentives; Leading Change; Employee Relationship Management; Manufacturing Industry; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Casciaro, Tiziana E., Amy C. Edmondson, Stacy McManus, and Kate Roloff. "Leading Change at Simmons (A)." Harvard Business School Case 406-046, November 2005. (Revised May 2007.) View Details
  41. Dell Computers (A): Field Service for Corporate Clients

    Explores the highly successful PC and low-end server manufacturer's entry into the large-scale server market in the United States. A key difference of this new market is the intense service element required to support the larger hardware. Specifically, the industry standard is to have a technician onsite with a required part within four hours of problem diagnosis. This type of service presents a problem for Dell, as its potential customers are widely dispersed throughout the United States. Should Dell create an in-house field service team to ensure service quality and maintain control of its customer relationships or outsource the field service to a third-party provider? Complicating the issue is the presence of IBM, the biggest player in the large-scale server market.

    Keywords: Hardware; Customer Relationship Management; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Service Operations; Business or Company Management; Emerging Markets; Problems and Challenges; Service Delivery; Computer Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Frei, Frances X., Amy C. Edmondson, and Corey B. Hajim. "Dell Computers (A): Field Service for Corporate Clients." Harvard Business School Case 603-067, October 2002. (Revised April 2007.) View Details
  42. Safe to Say at Prudential Financial

    The CEO initiated a cultural change process at Prudential Financial to support a major business reorientation. Prudential, historically a privately held ("mutual") insurance company, went public in 2001. The cultural change was intended to prepare the organization to be a publicly traded financial services firm in which speaking up was encouraged at all levels of the organization.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Risk and Uncertainty; Private Ownership; Going Public; Transformation; Organizational Culture;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Corey B. Hajim. "Safe to Say at Prudential Financial." Harvard Business School Case 603-093, February 2003. (Revised March 2007.) View Details
  43. Dansko, Inc.

    For the past 18 months, Mandy Cabot had worried that the shoe business she had built into a thriving operation with $90 million in annual revenue and over 110 employees might instead be a "house of cards." The management philosophy that had guided Dansko's growth, "home schooling"--taking young energetic employees with little business experience and mentoring them--seemed ill-suited for the next phase of growth. Equally as precarious was the fact that with few exceptions, none of the senior management team had any prior experience in the footwear industry. So when a well-respected industry leader asked to talk about a merger, Cabot had to admit that with her "crisis of confidence," it might just be time.

    Keywords: Organizational Culture; Revenue; Experience and Expertise; Employee Relationship Management; Mergers and Acquisitions; Management Teams; Apparel and Accessories Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Victoria Winston. "Dansko, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 606-071, April 2006. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  44. Intermountain Health Care

    Intermountain Health Care (IHC), an integrated delivery system based in Utah, has adopted a new strategy for managing health care delivery. The approach focuses management attention not only on the facilities where care takes place but also on physician decision making and the care process itself, with the aim of boosting physician productivity and improving care quality, while saving money. This case explores the challenges facing Brent James, executive director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research at IHC, as he implements new structures and systems (including a data warehouse for care outcomes, electronic patient records, computer workstations, clinical data support systems, and protocols for care) designed to support clinical process management across a geographically diverse group of physicians with varying levels of interest and dedication to IHC. Also highlights an innovative strategy for creating and disseminating knowledge at the individual and organizational levels to maintain high standards in care delivery.

    Keywords: Ethnicity Characteristics; Innovation Strategy; Cost Management; Information Technology; Organizational Structure; Technology Adoption; Performance Improvement; Problems and Challenges; Adoption; Change Management; Cost vs Benefits; Health Care and Treatment; Health Industry; Utah;

    Citation:

    Bohmer, Richard M.J., Amy C. Edmondson, and Laura Feldman. "Intermountain Health Care." Harvard Business School Case 603-066, October 2002. (Revised March 2013.) View Details
  45. Phase Zero: Introducing New Services at IDEO (A)

    Focuses on whether world-renowned product design firm IDEO's new customer service fits with the firm's strategic position and organization capabilities. Over the course of IDEO's 13-year history, an increasing share of revenues are a result of "Phase 0" projects—preliminary strategic explorations of future product possibilities for various client firms. Describes a specific Phase 0 project in order to explore the challenge of managing these strategic, intangible services in the context of IDEO's successful history of generating award-winning tangible product designs. A team at IDEO's Boston office worked with mattress manufacturer Simmons to discover unmet customer needs and identify new product line opportunities. Describes the challenges and questions facing the Simmons project team as well as critical and operational questions facing IDEO. Examines these issues through the eyes of the head of the Boston office, who wonders how to evaluate Phase 0 projects.

    Keywords: Strategy; Service Operations; Product Design; Infrastructure; Customer Focus and Relationships; Innovation and Invention; Service Industry; Boston; United States;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Laura Feldman. "Phase Zero: Introducing New Services at IDEO (A)." Harvard Business School Case 605-069, February 2005. (Revised March 2013.) View Details
  46. Influencing Customer Behavior in Service Operations

    Explores ways in which service firms can influence the behavior of their customers. Drawing from research on employee motivation and applying it to customer motivation, the note describes two levels of managerial control: instrumental control, which shapes behavior through the use of rational incentives, and normative control, which engages human emotions, motivating through the near-universal desire to be perceived in a positive light.

    Keywords: Customers; Governance Controls; Consumer Behavior; Service Operations; Emotions; Motivation and Incentives; Power and Influence; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Frei, Frances X., and Amy C. Edmondson. "Influencing Customer Behavior in Service Operations." Harvard Business School Background Note 606-061, March 2006. View Details
  47. Yum! Brands, Inc: A Corporate Do-Over

    Describes the successful turnaround of the restaurant company Yum! Brands after its spin off from PepsiCo and covers how the company's leadership planned and executed on virtually every dimension of the employee experience. The main dilemma centers on what the company should do in terms of multibranding--housing two brands in one physical location.

    Keywords: Product; Brands and Branding; Service Operations; Expansion; Trade; Leadership Development; Business or Company Management; Food and Beverage Industry; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Frei, Frances X., Amy C. Edmondson, James Weber, and Eliot Sherman. "Yum! Brands, Inc: A Corporate Do-Over." Harvard Business School Case 606-041, September 2005. (Revised January 2006.) View Details
  48. A Note on Methodological Fit in Management Field Research

    To use in doctoral-level management courses on the design of field research methods. Advocates the importance of fit, or internal consistency, among the different elements of a field research project. Although the scientific method provides an essential framework for gaining knowledge about many natural and social phenomena, this note argues that internal coherence among research questions, data collection, analysis, and contributions to the literature may be as, or in some cases more, important than scientific rigor to the development of useful and compelling research products from field research. Uses nine articles as case studies through which students compare and contrast authors' methodological decisions and inductively develop a contingency framework relating methodological approach to theoretical contribution.

    Keywords: Management; Research;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Stacy McManus. "A Note on Methodological Fit in Management Field Research." Harvard Business School Background Note 604-072, January 2004. (Revised February 2005.) View Details
  49. Organizational Learning in the Face of Ambiguous Threats

    Keywords: Learning; Risk and Uncertainty; Crisis Management; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Groups and Teams;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Michael A. Roberto, and Richard M.J. Bohmer. "Organizational Learning in the Face of Ambiguous Threats." Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing Class Lecture, 2005. Electronic. (Faculty Lecture: HBSP Product Number 9297C.) View Details
  50. Richmond Events

    The managers of British business forum planner, Richmond Events, are struggling to expand their conference offerings into new territories. At the same time, they are trying to decide how product managers, who are critical to event success, should be hired, trained, managed, and retained. There is a philosophical disagreement between managers about how to take Richmond Events to the next level. Founder Mark Rayner wants to stay the course and give project managers as much autonomy as possible. He asserts that autonomy leads to priceless innovation and argues that normative controls will prevent product managers from going too far astray. Marketer Deborah Parkes wants to streamline the production process and build hierarchy into the system to promote consistent service quality. As management considers leveraging its service platform and expanding into Asia, these working tensions intensify.

    Keywords: Conferences; Innovation and Management; Retention; Selection and Staffing; Conflict Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Product Marketing; Service Industry; United Kingdom; Asia;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Kristin Lieb. "Richmond Events." Harvard Business School Case 604-055, November 2003. (Revised February 2004.) View Details
  51. Electric Maze Exercise, The

    This team-based exercise uses an educational tool called "The Electric Maze," developed by Interel Corp., to teach insights about the social and psychological challenges facing employees who must engage in collaborative learning. The tool is a grid-patterned rug with 54 squares implanted with electronic programmable sensors that beep when pressure is applied. The instructor programs the maze in advance to create a pathway of nonbeeping contiguous squares from one side to the other. Because students have no information about how to traverse the maze correctly, experimentation--a systematic iterative process of trial and failure--is needed to develop a solution. Provides instructions for students participating in the exercise and should be distributed only at the beginning of the simulation.

    Keywords: Change Management; Leadership; Learning; Groups and Teams; Risk and Uncertainty;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar. "Electric Maze Exercise, The." Harvard Business School Exercise 604-046, October 2003. (Revised January 2004.) View Details
  52. Ninth House: e-Learning Software

    Jeff Snipes, CEO of the Ninth House Network, a San Francisco-based E-Learning company, considers a strategy shift to address a recent slump in sales and to attract more customers. The revised strategy would require creating shorter, more directed content that could be delivered cheaply and quickly. A CD-ROM was being built as well to address customer concerns about bandwidth. The sales team was considering a narrow focus on companies with a connection to broadband services. But how would this affect the Ninth House culture? Would the organizational structure have to change? Would new content require a different selling model?

    Keywords: Online Technology; Service Operations; Organizational Structure; Groups and Teams; Corporate Strategy; Organizational Culture; Learning; Sales; Service Delivery; Entrepreneurship; Information Technology Industry; Service Industry; Education Industry; San Francisco;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Frances X. Frei, and Corey B. Hajim. "Ninth House: e-Learning Software." Harvard Business School Case 601-047, January 2001. (Revised January 2004.) View Details
  53. Mitchells/Richards

    Describes a small, luxury retail chain's operational sophistication achieved through the use of technology and high-touch customer service. A family-run business, Mitchells has built its success with a customer service strategy know internally as "hugging." The term is deceptively simple. The firm's true success lies in its blend of a warm other-oriented corporate culture, sophisticated information technology, and an effective family business structure. Although the setting is regional, the approach is clearly applicable to many service organizations. The chain is currently considering further expansion for future generations.

    Keywords: Technology; Expansion; Family Business; Attitudes; Organizational Culture; Luxury; Customer Focus and Relationships; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Corey B. Hajim. "Mitchells/Richards." Harvard Business School Case 604-010, July 2003. (Revised December 2003.) View Details
  54. Organizing to Learn Module Note

    Teaches a framework for managing in dynamic or uncertain organizational contexts, designed for either MBA or Executive Education courses. Offers a new perspective on how managers can help stimulate and guide a collective learning process in their organizations. The organizational learning process is a journey with an uncertain outcome, an iterative process of trial and reflection. The module communicates both a mindset and practices that enable collaborative learning. Presents and explores the implications of two powerful insights: (1) A collaborative process of action and reflection can be used to improve organizational performance under conditions of uncertainty; and (2) This process requires an environment of psychological safety along with a mindset and practices that value failure and new knowledge (learning) over efficiency and tangible results (performance).

    Keywords: Learning; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C. "Organizing to Learn Module Note." Harvard Business School Module Note 604-031, October 2003. (Revised November 2003.) View Details
  55. The BCPC Internet Strategy Team: An Exercise

    This short fictional case forms the basis of a team decision-making exercise. The case, inspired by a real decision facing a major telecommunications company, describes a cross-functional management team convened by the CEO for the purpose of developing a recommendation about whether to conduct a full-scale launch of a new high-speed Internet access service. In the class session, groups of six participants are asked to conduct team meetings to arrive at a consensus about the launch decision--drawing from the information contained in the shared case and from privately held information contained in individual role sheets provided separately to each member. Although different team members hold very different perspectives about the launch, teams can arrive at thoughtful recommendations by working together to share their knowledge.

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Decision Making; Risk and Uncertainty; Information Management; Perspective; Product Launch; Internet; Knowledge Sharing; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Laura Feldman. "The BCPC Internet Strategy Team: An Exercise." Harvard Business School Exercise 604-035, October 2003. (Six supplements available for Chris Berkowitz, Dana Jones, Jan Trow, Kim Wilson, Leslie Rhee, and Terry Maneri.) View Details
  56. Large Scale Change at The WSSC

    Describes the organizational transformation occurring at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), a public utility. Faced with the possibility of privatization after decades of providing service in the absence of competition or performance pressures, the WSSC leadership orchestrates a reorganization to improve efficiency and effectiveness, while facing massive layoffs. A critical decision the organization faces is whether, and how, to add new entrepreneurial services to increase otherwise flat revenues. Analyses focus on assessment of the change process and approach.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Mission and Purpose; Change Management; Restructuring; Privatization; Resignation and Termination; Utilities Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Corey B. Hajim. "Large Scale Change at The WSSC." Harvard Business School Case 603-056, February 2003. (Revised March 2003.) View Details
  57. Transformation at the IRS

    Describes the service transformation occurring at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Plagued by a history of poor service, enormous complexity, and an insular employee base, the 100,000-person organization grapples with a turnaround process that attempts to change virtually every aspect of the organization, including IT systems, This case includes information regarding share services organizational structure, organizational culture, and customer service. This case includes information regarding shared services.

    Keywords: Service Delivery; Service Operations; Organizational Structure; Taxation; Organizational Culture; Transformation; Public Administration Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Frances X. Frei, and Corey B. Hajim. "Transformation at the IRS." Harvard Business School Case 603-010, September 2002. (Revised November 2002.) View Details
  58. Group Process in the Challenger Launch Decision (A)

    The night before the launch of the Challenger shuttle, officials from Morton Thiokol (Solid Rocket Booster manufacturer) and NASA participated in a teleconference to discuss whether to postpone the shuttle launch due to predicted low temperatures at Kennedy Space Center. This case provides background on the history of NASA's shuttle program, engineering firm Thiokol and Thiokol SRB, and O-ring expert Roger Boisjoly, who was adamant that the shuttle not be launched.

    Keywords: Organizational Design; Groups and Teams; Engineering; Business Processes; Aerospace Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Laura Feldman. "Group Process in the Challenger Launch Decision (A)." Harvard Business School Case 603-068, October 2002. (Revised October 2002.) View Details
  59. Catalyst Medical Solutions

    Faced with a drop in the NASDAQ, four eHealth entrepreneurs must decide between two distribution strategies for their new company's technology. The team, comprised of three full-time resident physicians and an MBA, has developed software to enable electronic documentation and billing of medical and surgical procedures. The initial strategy was to distribute the technology through individual hospital intranets. Under pressure from venture capitalists and a "dot-com" frenzy in the market, the team starts to develop an "Internet portal" strategy, distributing the software over the Internet and adding traditional e-commerce services. When the stock market crashes in April 2000, the team must decide whether to push on with the Internet strategy or return to the intranet model. Throughout the case, a variety of new product development and team learning issues are explored: What is the optimal team composition? How quickly can the team overcome technical challenges? Who should their lead users be? How well do they understand the market? How quickly can they learn to work together, raise money, and build partnerships?

    Keywords: Product Development; Health Care and Treatment; Distribution; Strategy; Venture Capital; Software; Partners and Partnerships; Borrowing and Debt; Information Technology Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Richard M.J. Bohmer, and Naomi Atkins. "Catalyst Medical Solutions." Harvard Business School Case 601-014, July 2000. (Revised November 2001.) View Details
  60. GM Powertrain

    Discusses a young MBA plant manager who is improving the operations of a small General Motors components plant in Fredericksburg, Virginia. At 29 years old, Joe Hinrichs is the youngest plant manager at GM, and in his new assignment, he is faced with the daunting challenge of designing and implementing significant manufacturing procedures that will dramatically improve the plant and remove it from its current unprofitable and inefficient state. Aided by the introduction of new carbon fiber technology that has revolutionized the plant's product (the torque converter clutch, a component of the automatic transmission of a car), Hinrichs hopes to keep the plant open by streamlining operations, reducing inventory, redesigning worker jobs, increasing worker commitment, and other improvements. During this process, he must deal with an unexpected union strike, equipment malfunctions, and other problems that threaten the success of the improvement process. He has, however, found unusual ways to overcome these barriers without eroding worker trust. At the end of the case, Hinrichs faces the serious dilemma of what to do about the broken 1,500-ton press, one of the most important machines in the production process. Three options are outlined, each with technical and managerial tradeoffs.

    Keywords: Service Operations; Labor Unions; Problems and Challenges; Technological Innovation; Change Management; Machinery and Machining; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., and Mikelle Eastley. "GM Powertrain." Harvard Business School Case 698-008, June 1998. (Revised April 2000.) View Details
  61. Patient Care Delivery Model at the Massachusetts General Hospital, The TN

    Teaching Note for (9-699-154).

    Keywords: Health Industry; Service Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Richard M.J. Bohmer, and Emily Heaphy. "Patient Care Delivery Model at the Massachusetts General Hospital, The TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 600-083, April 2000. View Details
  62. Patient Care Delivery Model at the Massachusetts General Hospital, The

    Examines the implementation of a new patient care delivery model at Massachusetts General Hospital. Uses clinical and financial data to examine different choices for staffing non-physician health care professionals and to understand the challenges of managing change across multiple professions in the hospital environment. Recently promoted to senior vice president of Patient Care Services, Jeanette Ives Erickson must decide whether a model for patient care delivery is the best way to improve care and reduce costs in the midst of extreme budget pressures and a rapidly changing health care environment.

    Keywords: Change Management; Service Delivery; Health Care and Treatment; Health Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Edmondson, Amy C., Richard M.J. Bohmer, and Emily Heaphy. "Patient Care Delivery Model at the Massachusetts General Hospital, The." Harvard Business School Case 699-154, March 1999. (Revised February 2000.) View Details

Presentations

  1. Antecedents of Boundary Spanning in Cross-functional NPD Teams

    Boundary spanning has been shown in prior research to enhance innovativeness and performance of product development teams. In this study, we examine team conditions that foster boundary spanning behavior. We analyze survey data from 207 members of 54 cross-functional product development teams in 5 high-tech companies to examine the effects of product characteristics, team composition, and context on boundary spanning. Results of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) show that boundary-spanning behavior is greater when teams face more product complexity, when the team leader has positional power and an inclusive leadership style, and in organizational contexts that support cross-functional integration.

    Keywords: Product Development; Innovation and Invention; Groups and Teams; Behavior; Performance Improvement; Boundaries; Leadership Style; Product; Complexity; Integration; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Dillon, James R., Shikhar Sarin, and Amy C. Edmondson. "Antecedents of Boundary Spanning in Cross-functional NPD Teams." Paper presented at the Product Development and Management Association Annual Global Conference on Product Innovation Management, Orlando, FL, September 2007. View Details