Superman or the Fantastic Four? Knowledge Combination and Experience in Innovative Teams
Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp. 723-740, 2006
20 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2008 Last revised: 8 Jun 2014
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: Suggested Citation