The social network among engineering design teams and their creativity: A case study among teams in two product development programs

Jan Kratzer*, Roger Th A.J. Leenders, Jo M.L. Van Engelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-436
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Product development programs, Creativity; Social networks; Teams; Communication

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