Knowledge diversity and team creativity: How hobbyists beat professional designers in creating novel board games

15 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Patrick Pollok

Patrick Pollok

Institute for Technology and Innovation Management

André Amft

RWTH Aachen University

Dirk Luettgens

RWTH Aachen University - Technology and Innovation Management Group

Frank T. Piller

RWTH Aachen University

Abstract

This study adds to the literature on household sector (HHS) innovation by investigating how user and professional designer teams differ in their ability to translate knowledge diversity into collective creative output. We test our hypotheses on a unique data set of more than 5,000 board game design projects conducted by either teams of professional game designers or by hobbyist (user) designers. Our study lends support for the notion that knowledge diversity is a double-edged sword that has opposing effects on the two dimensions of team creativity, novelty and usefulness. We argue and find that teams composed of self-rewarded users in the household sector are better able than teams of professionals to translate the informational benefits of knowledge diversity into novel concepts and game designs. Finally, we find that user teams are in general more likely to create truly creative (i.e. novel and useful) game designs. This particular result emphasizes the relevance of research on HHS innovation and shows that user designers from the HHS are able to conduct collective development work more effectively than teams of professional designers.

Keywords: Team creativity, User innovation, Free innovation, Household sector, Knowledge diversity, Information processing, Shared mental models

JEL Classification: L20, L67, O30, O31

Suggested Citation

Pollok, Patrick and Amft, André and Luettgens, Dirk and Piller, Frank T., Knowledge diversity and team creativity: How hobbyists beat professional designers in creating novel board games. Research Policy, Vol. 50, No. 8, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3894274

Patrick Pollok (Contact Author)

Institute for Technology and Innovation Management ( email )

Templergraben 64
Aachen, 52062
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://tinyurl.com/bc9yvu6b

André Amft

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Campus-Boulevard 30
Aachen, DE 52074
Germany

Dirk Luettgens

RWTH Aachen University - Technology and Innovation Management Group ( email )

Kackertstr. 15
Aachen, 52072
Germany

Frank T. Piller

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

TEMPLERGRABEN 64
AACHEN, D-52056
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://time.rwth-aachen.de/piller/

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