Since the creative product development task requires the teams to combine and integrate input from multiple other teams, the team's structure of interaction is an important determinant of their creativity. In this study we investigate different structural aspects of social networks of such team's and their creativity within two multinational product development programs (PDPs). There are two main results. First, teams with a wider range of informational links are better to realize creative novel and feasible output. Second, in contrast to prior findings our results indicate that network efficiency and the creativity of teams relate negatively. This suggests that direct contacts contribute much more to creativity than open network structures. In managerial terms our investigation indicates that the network structure of teams in PDPs is an important issue to consider when designing such programs and that tools should be available to assist their direct interaction.
- Product development programs, Creativity; Social networks; Teams; Communication