Innovation and cross-functional teams: Analysis of innovative initiatives in a Brazilian public organization
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Purpose The aim of this paper is to characterize how innovation may happen through cross-functional teams (CFT) in an organization of the public sector. Design/methodology/approach A case study helped to characterize several behavior patterns, team structures and respective links with generating innovation in internal processes and public answering contexts. Findings The results highlight that formal-temporary teams present a higher capacity to generate incremental innovation in products, whereas permanent-informal teams have a higher capacity to generate innovation in the internal processes and public answering contexts. Research limitations/implications The limitations of this research relate to the fact that this is a single case study, and although it is an important case to examine innovation and CFTs, by its very nature, it is not possible to extend and generalize the obtained data to other organizations. The evaluation of its propositions was merely qualitative, and future research is needed to validate its characteristics. Practical implications Several settings of CFTs are presented, as well as their ability to generate different types of innovation, such as the computerization of documents, petitions and papers, which decreases the time to answer the taxpayer. Moreover, CFTs can help to create products, such as computer programs that can be used not only locally but also in several public organizations related to tax management. Originality/value The field research provides the perceptions of the respondents regarding CFT characteristics that can lead to specific types of innovation, as well as the types of products or services that can be generated by these processes.