Multiteam Systems in an Agile Environment

A new publication is out titled:

Turner, J. R., Thurlow, N., Baker, R., Northcutt, D., & Newman, K. (2019). Multiteam systems in an agile environment: A realist systematic review. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. Advance online publication. doi:10/1108/JMTM-10-2018-0355


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight a collaborative effort between academia (University of North Texas, Team Sciences) and practice (Toyota Connected (TC)). This study concentrated on current problems that had been experienced by TC: How to structure and manage multiteam systems (MTSs)?

Design/methodology/approach – This research study utilized a realist systematic review to address an existing problem by working collaboratively with TC and academia. This collaboration involved problem identification, the development of research questions and a full systematic review guided by the research questions.

Findings – This realist systematic review merged the literature with current practices at TC in an effort to gather evidence to support the best method of structuring and managing MTSs. The findings include a leadership structure that incorporates both shared leadership (bottom-up) and existing hierarchical structures (top-down).

Practical implications – The MTS models presented in this study provide new models for organizations/manufacturers/industries to use as a guide when structuring their MTSs.

Originality/value – This study provides an example of a collaborative research effort between practice and academia using a realist systematic review. The paper also provides some multiteam system models that could be implemented and tested in different organizations. Also, new responsibilities and roles for scrum and MTSs are presented as a new method of achieving Agile.

Keywords: Team performance, Team working, Teams, Agile manufacturing

Paper type: Research paper


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