Understanding Team Knowledge Production: The Interrelated Roles of Technology and Expertise
52 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2017 Last revised: 14 Mar 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2016
Teamwork is an increasingly important aspect of knowledge production. In particular, factors inﬂuencing team formation relative to the composition of expertise are crucial for both organizational performance and for informing policy. In this paper, I draw attention to technology access as a highly inﬂuential factor impacting expertise in team formation. I examine the hack of Microsoft Kinect as an exogenous event that suddenly reduced motionsensing technology costs to ﬁnd that great reductions in technology costs substitute for ex-ante optimal involvement of area specialists and facilitate involvement of outside area specialists through collaboration with researchers with broader knowledge – generalists. In other words, technology costs inﬂuence the composition of expertise in teamwork, with sufﬁciently large reductions leading to knowledge creation that combines more broadly across knowledge areas. These ﬁndings suggest implications for organizations and policy makers in crafting incentives for more diverse knowledge creation through strategic investments that lower technology costs and inﬂuence team formation.
Keywords: Knowledge production, collaboration, diversification, specialization, research technology
JEL Classification: O31, O32, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation