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First, get your feet wet: The effects of learning from direct and indirect experience on team creativity

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  • Gino, Francesca
  • Argote, Linda
  • Miron-Spektor, Ella
  • Todorova, Gergana

Abstract

How does prior experience influence team creativity? We address this question by examining the effects of task experience acquired directly and task experience acquired vicariously from others on team creativity in a product-development task. Across three laboratory studies, we find that direct task experience leads to higher levels of team creativity and more divergent products than indirect task experience. Moreover, our results show that the difference in team creativity between direct and indirect task experience persists over time. Finally, our findings demonstrate that transactive memory systems fully mediate the effect of direct task experience on team creativity. Teams who acquired task experience directly are more creative because they develop better transactive memory systems than teams who acquired experience vicariously. We discuss how our findings contribute to understanding the effects of prior experience on team creativity, and the role of transactive memory systems in creative tasks.

Suggested Citation

  • Gino, Francesca & Argote, Linda & Miron-Spektor, Ella & Todorova, Gergana, 2010. "First, get your feet wet: The effects of learning from direct and indirect experience on team creativity," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 102-115, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:111:y:2010:i:2:p:102-115
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Kim, Peter H., 1997. "When What You KnowCanHurt You: A Study of Experiential Effects on Group Discussion and Performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 165-177, February.
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    8. Szulanski, Gabriel, 2000. "The Process of Knowledge Transfer: A Diachronic Analysis of Stickiness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 9-27, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Jian, 2016. "Knowledge creation in collaboration networks: Effects of tie configuration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 68-80.
    2. Wang, Jian & Hicks, Diana, 2015. "Scientific teams: Self-assembly, fluidness, and interdependence," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 197-207.
    3. Argote, Linda & Fahrenkopf, Erin, 2016. "Knowledge transfer in organizations: The roles of members, tasks, tools, and networks," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 146-159.
    4. Sung, Sun Young & Choi, Jin Nam, 2012. "Effects of team knowledge management on the creativity and financial performance of organizational teams," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 4-13.
    5. Jonathan R. Clark & Robert S. Huckman & Bradley R. Staats, 2013. "Learning from Customers: Individual and Organizational Effects in Outsourced Radiological Services," NBER Working Papers 18723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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