Superman or the Fantastic Four? Knowledge Combination and Experience in Innovative Teams

Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 723-740, 2006

Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2009-56

20 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2008 Last revised: 8 Jun 2014

See all articles by Alva Taylor

Alva Taylor

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business

Henrich Greve

Norwegian School of Management (BI)

Abstract

We examine how knowledge and experience affect both the mean and variance values of innovations from individuals and teams. We apply and extend theory on innovativeness and creativity to propose that holding multiple knowledge domains produces novel combinations that increase the variance of product performance; and that extensive experience produces outputs with high average performance. We analyzed innovations in the comic book industry, finding that innovations with extreme success and failure are affected by similar factors as high-performing innovations. Multi-member teams and teams with experience working together produced innovations with greater variation in value, but individuals were able to combine knowledge diversity more effectively than teams.

Keywords: innovation, learning, teams, knowledge, creativity

JEL Classification: 031

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Alva and Greve, Henrich, Superman or the Fantastic Four? Knowledge Combination and Experience in Innovative Teams. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 723-740, 2006; Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2009-56. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=948597

Alva Taylor (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
646-3937 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://oracle-www.dartmouth.edu/dart/groucho/tuck_faculty_and_research.faculty_profile?p_id=QQXQ6A

Henrich Greve

Norwegian School of Management (BI) ( email )

P.O. Box 580
N-1302 Sandvika
Norway
+47-6755-7000 (Phone)
+47-6755-7250 (Fax)

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