Creating Social Spaces for Exploration

  • Steven Ney
  • Christoph Meinel
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


In this chapter, we look at the way real-life DT implementation programmes set up ‘exploration spaces’ in large, mostly hierarchical organisations. The chapter briefly sketches the conceptual backdrop by outlining how social spaces can enable ‘team-based integrative thinking’ by fostering critical deliberation between T-Shaped people. The chapter then goes on to show how DT implementation programmes carved new institutional spaces out of hierarchical and vertically structured institutions. They did this by installing and promoting transdisciplinary and transboundary DT teams. Based on the analysis of available evidence, the chapter shows how these teams reconfigured modes of accountability between employees within large organisations. By providing DT teams with both thematic and managerial autonomy, DT implementation programmes shifted the model of accountability from a predominantly vertical and hierarchical mode to a more horizontal and egalitarian mode. However, the chapter also reviews evidence of strategies employed by project managers to wrest back control and re-establish authority over autonomous DT teams. The chapter concludes by discussing the lessons to be learned from these implementation experiences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Ney
    • 1
  • Christoph Meinel
    • 2
  1. 1.T-Systems InternationalBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Hasso Plattner InstituteUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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