Organizing for Innovation: A Contingency View of Innovative Team Configuration
72 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2020 Last revised: 21 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 21, 2020
While innovation has increasingly become a collaborative effort, there is little consensus in research about what types of team configurations might be the most useful for creating breakthrough innovations. Do teams need to include inventors with knowledge breadth for recombination or do they need inventors with knowledge depth for identifying anomalies? Do teams need overlapping knowledge to integrate insights from diverse areas or does this redundancy hamper innovation by creating inefficiencies? In this paper, we offer evidence that the answers to these questions may depend on the characteristics of the technologies. Focusing on the degree of modularity and the breadth of application in patent data, we identify empirical patterns suggesting that differing team configurations are associated with different technological domains.
Keywords: breakthrough innovation, team configuration, recombination, modularity, general purpose technologies, knowledge, patents
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