Boundary-crossing individuals, either called "boundary spanners" or "brokers", are important for facilitating knowledge sharing between internal organizational units and between companies and their external environment. While previous literature recommends strategizing and institutionalizing the use of such boundary-crossing individuals, it gives no specific recommendations or guidelines for how to do so. In this paper, we present findings from an extensive field study in a medium-sized software development company. We present the example of a dedicated organizational unit as a business innovation whose members act as both internal knowledge brokers between units and as boundary spanners between the dynamic, flexible environment and the non-flexible, more static world of the company. We analyze how and why this team became a success within the company, but we also show the downsides and problems related to this strategy and approach.
Rosenkranz, Christoph and Kautz, Karlheinz, "Organizational Boundary Spanning and Brokering as Business Innovation - An Empirical Analysis of a Software Development Company" (2015). Wirtschaftsinformatik Proceedings 2015. 90.