The effectiveness of cross-functional sourcing teams - an embedded case study in a large public organization

  • Cees Johannes Gelderman Open University of the Netherlands
  • Janjaap Semeijn Open University of the Netherlands
  • Esther Verweij
Keywords: General


Aim: To investigate the relationships between team characteristics and their impact on cross-functional sourcing team effectiveness in a public procurement environment.

Design/research methods: In an embedded single case study, three cross-functional sourcing teams of diverse divisions and departments of the Dutch Province of South Holland are analyzed by means of a comparative analysis.

Conclusions/findings: Teams with greater interpersonal cohesiveness showed more personal and open communication and greater informal frequency of within-team communication. Apparently, task work communication has a positive impact on task cohesion, and interpersonal cohesion has a positive impact on interpersonal communication. A stable team with no changes in roles and membership is likely to show strong task cohesion. Office space for regular meetings and dedicated time for team activities contribute to team effectiveness.

Originality/value of the article: Making sourcing decisions is a complex process, particularly in cross-functional sourcing teams with divergent views, objectives, and priorities of the various members of different disciplines. Few studies have examined sourcing teams in the public sector. The study is based on the Input-Mediation-Output-Input model which recognizes mediational factors (processes and emergent states) that transform inputs to outputs. The study contributes to current understanding of the nonlinear linkages between process and emergent states of cross-functional teams in the public sector. The results are useful for public organizations to create more effective cross-functional sourcing teams.

Author Biographies

Cees Johannes Gelderman, Open University of the Netherlands

Faculty of Management, Science & Technology

Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management

Associate professor of purchasing and marketing management

Janjaap Semeijn, Open University of the Netherlands

Faculty of Management, Science & Technology

Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management

Position: professor of supply chain management

Esther Verweij

Province of South Holland (the Netherlands)

Position: strategic procurement consultant


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