References 1 Argote, L, Turner, ME, Fichman, M. To centralize or not to centralize: The effects of uncertainty and threat on group structure and performance. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 1989;43:58-74. doi:10.1016/0749- 5978(89)90058-7. 2 Cardinal, LB, Turner, SF, Fern, MJ, Burton, RM. Organizing for Product Development Across Technological Environments: Performance Trade-offs and Priorities. Organ Sci 2011;22:1000-25. doi:10.1287/orsc.1100.0577. 3 Gardner, HK, Gino, F, Staats, BR. Dynamically integrating knowledge in teams: Transforming resources into performance. Acad Manag J 2012;55:998-1022. 4 Burns, Tom; Stalker, GM. The management of innovation. London: Tavistock Publications; 1961. 5 Sherman, JD, Keller, RT. Suboptimal Assessment of Interunit Task Interdependence: Modes of Integration and Information Processing for Coordination Performance. Organ Sci 2011;22:245-61. doi:10.1287/orsc.1090.0506. 6 Argote, L. Input Uncertainty and Organizational Coordination in Hospital Emergency Units Author(s): Linda Argote Source : Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 27 , No. 3 (Sep., 1982 ), pp. 420-434 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc on behalf of the Adm Sci Q 1982;27:420-34. 7 Cardinal, LB. Technological Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry: The Use of Organizational Control in Managing Research and Development. Organ Sci 2001;12:19-36. doi:10.1287/ orsc. 8 Jelinek CBS, Mariann. The Innovation Marathon: Lessons from High Technology Firms. Oxford: Blackwell; 1990.

because they do not derive from formal rules or procedures, but are learned on the job and honed through experience. One important finding of our study is that formal and informal co-ordination mechanisms are not substitutes but complement each other. Therefore managers should find a bal- ance between them by providing initial structures around project teams and then allowing the teams to self-organise team restructuring around emerg- ing interdependencies and the interactions between the scientists. The following three insights are related to the three informal co-ordination prac- tices that we observed to be necessary for effective team work and the last one is related to how sub- team outsiders play a role in reconfiguring formal structures.

Insight 2: Anticipate cross-disciplinary requirements Interdisciplinary collaboration in drug discovery requires specialists to be constantly aware of the implications of their domain-specific knowledge creation activities for other specialists. To prevent cross-domain inconsistencies, team members should have a forward-looking approach in which specialists anticipate the procedures, requirements and expectations of the other domain. This means that the domain specific activities should primarily be valuable to answering the scientific question and progressing in the discovery of a new drug, rather than just yielding interesting insights for the scientists own domain. Experienced drug developers understand that

this may require that they compromise domain- specific standards of excellence for the common good. Indeed, applying best practices within a domain may cause challenges across domains. For example, a computational chemist designing a novel compound in a way that is difficult to syn- thesise is unlikely to benefit the team’s progress.


Organisational structure: grouping of organisational units

Centralisation or decentralisation of decision making through formal authority

Formalisation and standardisation: written policies, rules, job descriptions, standard procedures

Planning: Budgeting, functional plans, scheduling, etc Continued on page 61 60 Table 2: Examples of co-ordination mechanisms21 Drug Discovery World Spring 2019

Insight 3: Pay attention to synchronisation of workflows Disciplines have their idiosyncratic priorities and ways of pacing and ordering activities. Thus when working in multidisciplinary teams, specialists need to openly discuss and be aware of temporal interdependencies and plan resources in a way that cross-disciplinary inputs and outputs are synchro- nised. For example, for testing a particular com- pound, a pharmacologist may need several weeks to grow a tumour model in mice. Unless the medic- inal chemists have the compound ready in time, the mice might not survive and the experiment would incur a delay.

Insight 4: Triangulate assumptions and findings across disciplines Given the demands on compounds’ safety and effi- cacy profiles, drug discovery specialists need to establish the reliability of the knowledge they cre- ate not only within, but also across, knowledge domains. Practices supporting this objective include aligning experimental conditions and parameters as well as triangulating research find- ings. For example, in vivo data generated by an immunologist in animal models and in vitro data from a biochemist’s independent enzyme assay result from different experimental set-ups that should inform each other. At each point in the process, scientists should

scrutinise the findings and assumptions in their own work by going back and forth across disci- plines to ensure that their output constitutes useful input for others. Such efforts involve sensitivity to misunderstandings that may arise from domain specific terminology and criteria.

Insight 5: Get the opinion of team outsiders In our research, we found that regular project level interactions between sub-team insiders and sub-


Lateral or cross departmental relations Informal communications

Socialisation: Building organisational culture of sharing strategic objectives and values

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