Cooperative competencies and organization learning in new product development projects

Richard Stejer, Robert Hunt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Organisation Learning Theory explains innovation in organisations and is dependent on absorptive capacities, which enable people to interpret new knowledge and apply it for best advantage. The effectiveness of absorptive capacities is dependent on the systems and processes for sharing mental models of innovation strategies in an organisation. In practice, previous research found that rewards and recognition for teamwork, knowledge sharing and re-use were ranked among the worst practices in project management. Poor practice can be explained as an organisation tension between the competing values of innovation and learning on one hand, and command-and-control and analysis on the other hand. The present research is one of very few empirical studies of organisational capability and behavioural competencies in innovation projects. It found that project managers have learned to focus on the events in a project lifecycle, and the learned behaviour is symptomatic of 'learning disabilities'. In addition, the research identified the behaviours that project managers intuitively believe are important for influencing the outcomes of innovation projects. Its findings are generalisable among senior program/project managers of large-scale execution projects in the Australian telecommunications and banking industries. The paper concludes with future research propositions that would advance knowledge of competency standards in project management and product development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International CINet Conference
Subtitle of host publicationContinuous innovation - opportunities and challenges : 7-11 September, 2007, Gothenburg, Sweden
PublisherContinuation Innovation Network
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9789077360095
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInternational CINet Conference (8th : 2007) - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 7 Sep 200711 Sep 2007


ConferenceInternational CINet Conference (8th : 2007)
CityGothenburg, Sweden


  • software development projects
  • organisation learning
  • influencing skills
  • cooperative competency
  • structural equation modelling


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