Bartek, Cara Beth. (2010-10). Fostering Innovative Capacity via Organizational Reward Systems: The Case of Faculty Collaboration. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • The purpose of this study is to reveal, through the use of case study methodology, how faculty collaboration may foster the development of intellectual capital and how organizational reward systems mediate this process. Collaboration has been chosen as the unit of analysis due to the collaborative nature of innovation. Innovation often produces a sustainable competitive advantage for organizations. The key in leveraging organizations' innovative capacity is through the development of intellectual capital. Human resource development is a viable method of fostering organizational resources such as intellectual capital. Due to economic, political, and organizational constraints upon traditional human resource development activities, intellectual capital may be best fostered via non-traditional methods. Organizational reward systems, as in the case of performance-based tenure and promotion, have been shown to both promote and hinder collaborative activities. A qualitative case study approach has been chosen due to contextual factors influencing collaboration. Semi-structured interviews, document and archival analysis served as the primary means of data collection. Faculty collaboration occurring at a large Texas university was examined via three main data sources: the college-level strategic plan, network analysis of interdepartmental collaboration, and targeted, semi-structured interviews. Data analysis revealed collaboration at the university often occurs via relationships, networks, and is fostered via resource allocation. Tenure and promotion as well as available resources seem to have a mediating effect on the decisions faculty made relating to research collaborations. Data supported the theoretical variables derived from the Theory of the Learning Organization. Recommendations for fostering collaboration center upon administering rewards in close proximity of collaboration behaviors. Further research must be performed to better understand the outcomes of successful collaboration as well as the different context in which fostering collaboration may be beneficial to organizational outcomes.

publication date

  • October 2010