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When and how knowledge sharing benefits team creativity: The importance of cognitive team diversity

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In this paper, we explored the role of knowledge sharing on team creativity through absorptive capacity and knowledge integration, and tested the condition under which knowledge sharing is positively related to absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. We tested our hypotheses with a sample of 86 knowledge worker teams involving 381 employees and employers in China. Results demonstrate that knowledge sharing was positively related to team creativity, fully mediated by both absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. In addition, cognitive team diversity played a moderating role in the relationship between knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity, as well as in the relationship between knowledge sharing and knowledge integration. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings on knowledge management and team creativity are discussed.
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Journal of Management & Organization, page 1 of 18
© 2017 Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management
doi:10.1017/jmo.2017.47
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity: The importance of
cognitive team diversity
CHENGHAO MEN,
*
,
**
PATRICK SWFONG,
**
JINLIAN LUO,
*
JING ZHONG
*
AND WEIWEI HUO
§
Abstract
In this paper, we explored the role of knowledge sharing on team creativity through absorptive
capacity and knowledge integration, and tested the condition under which knowledge sharing is
positively related to absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. We tested our hypotheses with a
sample of 86 knowledge worker teams involving 381 employees and employers in China. Results
demonstrate that knowledge sharing was positively related to team creativity, fully mediated by both
absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. In addition, cognitive team diversity played a
moderating role in the relationship between knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity, as well as in
the relationship between knowledge sharing and knowledge integration. Theoretical and practical
implications of these ndings on knowledge management and team creativity are discussed.
Keywords: knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity, knowledge integration, team creativity,
cognitive team diversity
Received 28 September 2016. Accepted 3 August 2017
INTRODUCTION
Creativity and innovation are key competitive advantages in rapidly changing environments (Ford
& Gioia, 2000; Shin, Kim, Lee, & Bian, 2012). Moreover, teams are widely used in workplaces
(Shin et al., 2012). How to stimulate team creativity is therefore a highly relevant issue (Cerne,
Nerstad, Dysvikr, & Škerlavaj, 2014). Team creativity is dened as the development of novel and
useful ideas which are relevant to services, products, procedures, and processes by a team of employees
working together (Shin & Zhou, 2007; Farh, Lee, & Farh, 2010). To date, understanding the factors
that facilitate team creativity and their interplay has remained a signicant agenda for researchers (Shin
& Zhou, 2007; Farh, Lee, & Farh, 2010).
In particular, knowledge sharing, dened as a process in which an individual shares its relevant
knowledge, ideas, suggestions, and skills with other team members (Srivastava, Bartol, & Locke, 2006),
has been studied intensively by creativity researchers in recent years (e.g., Perry-Smith, 2006; Zhou &
Li, 2012), and has been linked to team creativity (Zhang, Tsui, & Wang, 2011; Bodla, Tang, Jiang, &
Tian, 2016). However, despite this type of knowledge managements theoretical signicance and
substantial enhancement of team creativity, to date, few studies have investigated the underlying
inuence processes, leaving unclear how knowledge sharing shapes team creativity.
* School of Economics and Management, Tongji Universtiy, Shanghai, China
** Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
§ SHU-UTS SILC Business School, Shanghai University
Corresponding author: luojl@tjhrd.com
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To address this theoretical gap, we develop and test a theoretical framework on how knowledge
sharing unfolds and operates to affect creativity in teams. In examining the relationship between
knowledge sharing and team outcome, previous researchers have rarely included emergent state and
team process concepts simultaneously in their models (Liao, Fei, & Chen, 2007; Bao, Xu, & Zhang,
2016), though both categories of mediating mechanisms are important (Cohen & Bailey, 1997;
Kearney, Gebert, & Voelpel, 2009). The relationship between knowledge sharing and team outcome
can be fully understood by considering both the emergent states perspective and the processes
perspective. Marks, Mathieu, and Zaccaro (2001) emphasized that emergent states are different from
team processes, noting that emergent states are cognitive, motivational, and affective states of teams
(Marks et al., 2001: 357), but team processes refer to membersinterdependent acts that convert
inputs to outcomes through cognitive, verbal, and behavioral activities directed toward organizing
taskwork to achieve collective goals(Marks et al., 2001: 357). Absorptive capacity is an emergent state
that represents a dynamic organizational capability to value, assimilate, and apply new knowledge
(Cohen & Levinthal, 1990), and it reects the ability and motivation of the team members to create
and deploy new knowledge (Minbaeva, Pedersen, Bjorkman, Fey, & Park, 2003; Lee, Lee, & Park,
2014). Knowledge integration is a team process dened as the combination of specialized and
differentiated but complementary knowledge (Tell, 2011; Sankowska & Söderlund, 2015), and it can
create new knowledge by sorting, adding, recategorizing, and recontextualizing existing knowledge
(Nonaka, 1994; Boer, Bosch, & Volberda, 1999). Drawing on componential theory of creativity
(Amabile, 1996), factors that prompt knowledge exploration and exploitation set the stage for creativity
(Schulze & Hoegl, 2008; Hirst, Knippenberg, & Zhou, 2009; Chang, Hung, & Lin, 2014). We argue
that knowledge sharing has implications for absorptive capacity and knowledge integration, which, in
turn, relates to team creativity.
In addition, one critical eld of knowledge sharing and creativity research concerns the conditions
that can enhance or decrease the effect of knowledge sharing on team creativity. The interactional
approach of creativity study suggests that researchers should be attentive to team membersdifferences
to completely understand the relationship between contexts and team outcomes (Oldham &
Cummings, 1996; Shin et al., 2012; Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014; Bodla et al., 2016). Jackson, Joshi,
and Erhardt (2003) suggested that team diversity is a reection of individual differences, in particular,
cognitive team diversity, which refers to the perceived differences in knowledge, values, skills, beliefs,
and thinking styles among team members (Dahlin, Weingart, & Hinds, 2005). Bodla et al. (2016)
suggested that cognitive team diversity is likely to inuence team membersresponses to knowledge
sharing, and their subsequent creative outcomes. However, they used a cross-national student team
sample and did not explore the interaction between cognitive team diversity and knowledge sharing.
Although Huang, Hsieh, and He (2014) study found that team-level knowledge sharing activities and
individual team membersexpertise dissimilarity jointly predict individual creativity, it focused on
individual-level expertise dissimilarity and used functional department a weak proxy to represent
team membersdiversity (Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014). Thus, in this study, answering scholarscall for
research that accurately measured diversity (Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014) and examines the relation-
ships among knowledge sharing, team diversity, and creativity with other teams, such as research teams
from research institutes, business organizations, and R&D centers (Bodla et al., 2016), we propose to
examine this moderating role of cognitive team diversity in the relationship between knowledge sharing
and team outcomes in knowledge worker teams.
In general, our theoretical point of view and empirical results offer signicant contributions to
knowledge management and team creativity literature, respectively. First, we test the relationship
between knowledge sharing and team creativity, and craft a theoretical framework to understand the
mechanisms by which knowledge sharing inuences team creativity. Drawing on componential theory
of creativity (Amabile, 1996), we develop a multiple-mediation model that links knowledge sharing to
Chenghao Men, Patrick S W Fong, Jinlian Luo, Jing Zhong and Weiwei Huo
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team creativity through two distinct mechanisms: absorptive capacity as an emergent state and
knowledge integration as a team process. We chose knowledge sharing as a predictor of team creativity
because knowledge plays a key role in creative achievements (Mumford, 2000), and knowledge sharing
is an important process for a team to develop its creative potential (Zhang, Tsui, & Wang, 2011; Bodla
et al., 2016). To date, however, knowledge sharing and team creativity within specic situations
remain largely unexplored (Zhang, Tsui, & Wang, 2011). Specically, it is unclear how knowledge
sharing will affect team creativity. Addressing this question is important because it enables us to better
understand how the inuence mechanisms of knowledge sharing are entangled from different per-
spectives. Second, the diversity has been deemed important for both knowledge sharing and creativity
(Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014; Bodla et al., 2016). According to Shin
et al. (2012), creativity involves cognitive processes, and the generation of creative ideas is a result of
the interaction of motivational processes and cognitive processes. By investing the effects of team-level
interaction between cognitive team diversity and knowledge sharing on team creativity, we help explain
why and when knowledge sharing inuences team creativity, and offer a perspective complementary to
the previous cross-level interaction between knowledge sharing and individual team membersexpertise
diversity on individual creativity (Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014). Moreover, our study advances prior
team creativity research, which has addressed only the main effect of cognitive team diversity on team
creativity (Shin et al., 2012), by theorizing that cognitive team diversity, in conjunction with
knowledge sharing, inuences team creativity. In practice, our research can help to explain how creative
initiatives engender and what managers and employees should do about it.
THEORY AND HYPOTHESES
Knowledge sharing and team creativity
Creativity needs to think divergently and combine previously unrelated knowledge, products, or
processes into something new, it is a result of the interactions of team members (Amabile, 1996; Bodla
et al., 2016). Research has demonstrated that knowledge sharing to be essential for team creativity
(Zhang, Tsui, & Wang, 2011). According to the componential theory of creativity, creativity includes
three important components: expertise, creative-thinking skill, and intrinsic task motivation (Amabile,
1996). Research suggests that knowledge sharing is conducive to the acquisition of knowledge,
expertise, and skills (Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014). Knowledge sharing has also been shown to increase
the mutual understanding of team members and facilitate the motivation to gain insights from other
team members to broaden their scope of knowledge, which are important sources of team creativity
(Gong, Kim, Zhu, & Lee, 2013; Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014). That is, with the abundant knowledge
through sharing with others, team members are more likely to utilize a variety of perspectives, ideas,
and expertise of other team members to generate novel and creative ideas in a context requiring
creativity (Shin et al., 2012). Empirical evidence also suggests by sharing team membersexpertise,
knowledge, and skills, teams can develop its creative potential (e.g., Bodla et al., 2016).
Thus, knowledge sharing has an important effect on team creativity. Based on the above analysis, we
hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 1: Knowledge sharing will relate positively to team creativity.
The mediating effect of absorptive capacity
Absorptive capacity exists as two subsets of potential and realized absorptive capacity(Zahra &
George, 2002: 185). Potential absorptive capacity that includes knowledge acquisition and knowledge
assimilation capabilities centers on knowledge exploration, and realized absorptive capacity focuses on
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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knowledge transformation and exploitation (Zahra & George, 2002; Matusik & Heeley, 2005).
Absorptive capacity is a critical organizational ability that inuences organizational outcomes (Cohen
& Levinthal, 1990; Lowik, Kraaijenbrink, & Groen, 2016). In particular, absorptive capacity is vital to
innovation (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990). The literature on absorptive capacity suggests that through
improving the level of absorptive capacity, employees can connect previously unconnected knowledge
and ideas, and thus create new knowledge (Kogut & Zander, 1992). Empirical research suggests that a
certain level of absorptive capacity can stimulate innovation (e.g., Cohen & Levinthal, 1990;
Lichtenthaler & Lichtenthaler, 2009; Lowik, Kraaijenbrink, & Groen, 2016).
While innovation is different from creativity, it encompasses idea generation (i.e., creativity) and
idea implementation (Somech & Drach-Zahavy, 2013). Thus, there is no reason to believe that
absorptive capacity has a different relationship with creativity. Through improving the level of
absorptive capacity, team members not only bring different bodies of related knowledge, but also
improve their ability to explore new knowledge and exploit existing knowledge (Cohen & Levinthal,
1990; Zahra & George, 2002). Drawing on componential theory of creativity (Amabile, 1996), both
the broader pool of related knowledge and enhanced ability of the team members, which prompt
knowledge exploration and exploitation, provide cognitive resources for team creativity (Gong et al.,
2013). So we argue that there is a positive relationship between absorptive capacity and team creativity.
According to Minbaeva et al.s (2003) study, absorptive capacity includes two elements: prior
knowledge (employeesability) and intensity of effort (employeesmotivation). Potential absorptive
capacity is expected to have a high content of employeesability while realized absorptive capacity is
expected to have a high content of employeesmotivation (Minbaeva et al., 2003; Liao et al., 2007).
Previous research has suggested that knowledge sharing has a positive effect on absorptive capacity
(e.g., Lee, Lee, & Park, 2014; Costa & Monteiro, 2016). For example, Liao et al. (2007) research has
shown that in a knowledge sharing context, team members are more likely to share their knowledge
with other colleagues, which in turn will improve their learning ability and enhance motivation to
perform effectively. More specically, through the process of interacting with other colleagues
(e.g., knowledge sharing), team members can increase their related knowledge and revamp their
knowledge stock (Liao et al., 2007). Research on memory development suggests that accumulated
prior knowledge can increase both employeesability to acquire knowledge and employeesmotivation
to deploy knowledge (Minbaeva et al., 2003). Consequently, knowledge sharing has a positive
relationship with employeesabsorptive capacities. Simultaneously, according to Cohen and Levinthal
(1990), a teams absorptive capacity will depend on the absorptive capacities of its team members
(Lowik, Kraaijenbrink, & Groen, 2016). Thus, we argue that knowledge sharing has an important
effect on team absorptive capacity.
Based on the above analysis, we argue that knowledge sharing is likely to inuence a teams creativity
through absorptive capacity. Absorptive capacity plays a mediating role in the relationship between
knowledge sharing and team creativity. Thus, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 2: Absorptive capacity will mediate the relationship between knowledge sharing and
team creativity.
The mediating effect knowledge integration
From the perspective of process, knowledge integration is the second mechanism by which knowledge
sharing inuences team outcomes. The purpose of knowledge integration is to create new architectural
knowledge by combining various types of component knowledge existing in the organization (Boer,
Bosch, & Volberda, 1999). More particularly, knowledge integration can use three types of capabilities
to combine component knowledge. System capabilities, which are associated with the directions,
Chenghao Men, Patrick S W Fong, Jinlian Luo, Jing Zhong and Weiwei Huo
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policies, and manuals, can create new architectural knowledge through rules and procedures
(Khandwalla, 1977). Coordination capabilities relevant to the relations among team members can
create new architectural knowledge through participation and training (Boer, Bosch, & Volberda,
1999). Socialization capabilities, which refer to understanding rules for appropriate action, can create
new architectural knowledge through cultural institutions, such as norms and values. Furthermore,
according to componential theory of creativity (Amabile, 1996), exploring new architectural know-
ledge can prompt team members to develop creative and novel ideas, thereby facilitating team creativity
(Mcadam, 2004; Cremades, Balbastre-Benavent, & Sanandres Dominguez, 2015). Söderlund and
Bredins (2011) study also suggested that knowledge integration is the primary source of promoting
team effectiveness in terms of creativity.
We argue that knowledge sharing positively inuences knowledge integration. Further knowledge
integration inuences team effectiveness (i.e., team creativity). Thus, we expect knowledge integration
to mediate the relationship between knowledge sharing and team creativity.
In line with previous studies, we think that knowledge sharing and knowledge integration are closely
linked but distinct processes (Bao et al., 2016). According to Nonakas (1994) knowledge creation
model, knowledge integration involves team members to exchange and combine explicit knowledge
through exchange mechanisms (Nonaka, 1994). Namely, knowledge sharing can be viewed as a
necessary condition for knowledge integration, because knowledge sharing nourishes knowledge
integration only when team members are willing to share knowledge with other team members
(Bao et al., 2016). More specically, different individuals has specialized component knowledge, in
order to integrate diverse individual knowledge and expertise into cognitive structures, team members
need to connect it with existing component knowledge (Moon, 1999). In that respect, knowledge
sharing among team members with diverse expertise and knowledge will be a very valuable source of
knowledge integration. It can enrich the component knowledge by sharing knowledge and experience
with other team members, which will enhance the efciency, scope, and exibility of knowledge
integration, thereby facilitating knowledge integration. Sankowska and Söderlund (2015) also indi-
cated that knowledge sharing will result in knowledge integration if it effectively combines the existing
component knowledge located within the team.
Based on the above analysis, we argue that knowledge sharing can affect a teams creativity through
knowledge integration, that is, knowledge integration plays a mediating role in the relationship
between knowledge sharing and team creativity. Thus, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 3: Knowledge integration mediates the relationship between knowledge sharing and
team creativity.
The moderating effect of cognitive team diversity
Cognitive team diversity, dened as the extent to which the thinking styles, skills, knowledge,
beliefs, and values are perceived differently by team members (Dahlin et al., 2005), has been
highlighted as a contextual moderator in the literature of team performance and creativity (Van der
Vegt & Janssen, 2003; Horwitz & Horwitz, 2007). According to the information/decision-making
perspective (Williams & OReilly, 1998), the broadened range of task-relevant skills, knowledge, and
perspectives that diversity affords may enhance team effectiveness (Kearney, Gebert, & Voelpel, 2009).
By extension, the relationship between knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity and knowledge
integration, via value in diversity, should be strengthened when the cognitive team diversity is relatively
high. We expect that knowledge sharing is more likely to facilitate absorptive capacity and knowledge
integration under high cognitive team diversity than under low cognitive team diversity for two
reasons.
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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On the one hand, cognitive team diversity requires team members to assimilate, rearrange, and
integrate the different perspectives and knowledge they encounter (Jehn, Northcraft, & Neale, 1999;
Shin et al., 2012; Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014) and induce team members to generate innovative ideas
(Perry-Smith & Shalley, 2003). As Shin et al. (2012) noted, high cognitive team diversity increased the
importance of knowledge exchange and knowledge processing requirement among team members.
Knowledge sharing facilitates the ow of knowledge and experience among team members, and
knowledge can be more effectively utilized for high cognitive team diversity, whereas low cognitive
team diversity requires less knowledge sharing. On the other hand, the higher cognitive team diversity,
the more likely individual will require other team membersknowledge and experience. Knowledge
sharing allows team members to access other team members who have the requisite formulas, processes,
routines, and experience for acquiring, assimilating, and integrating diverse knowledge. In general, in
higher cognitive team diversity, knowledge sharing will be more likely to promote teams absorptive
capacity and facilitate knowledge integration.
Based on the above analysis, we argue that in high cognitive team diversity, knowledge sharing can
help team members to obtain the requisite knowledge or experience, thus enhancing their absorptive
capacity and facilitating knowledge integration. Thus, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 4a: Cognitive team diversity can strengthen the relationship between knowledge sharing
and absorptive capacity. That is, in higher level of cognitive team diversity, knowledge sharing plays
a more positive role in absorptive capacity than in lower level of cognitive team diversity.
Hypothesis 4b: Cognitive team diversity can strengthen the relationship between knowledge sharing
and knowledge integration. That is, in higher level of cognitive team diversity, knowledge sharing
plays a more positive role in knowledge integration than in lower level of cognitive team diversity.
Given the two moderation hypotheses, that is Hypothesis4a and Hypothesis 4b, and the notion that
cognitive team diversity inuences organizationscreative outcomes (Kearney & Gebert, 2009; Shin
et al., 2012), cognitive team diversity could also impact the strength of the indirect relationship
between the knowledge sharing and team creativity, thereby demonstrating a pattern of moderated
mediation. Hence, we propose,
Hypothesis 5a: Cognitive team diversity moderates the positive and indirect effects of the knowledge
sharing on team creativity through absorptive capacity, such that this indirect effect is stronger with
higher cognitive team diversity.
Hypothesis 5b: Cognitive team diversity moderates the positive and indirect effect of the knowledge
sharing on team creativity through knowledge integration, such that this indirect effect is stronger
with higher cognitive team diversity.
RESEARCH METHOD
Samples
Data were collected from subordinates and their supervisors from 101 knowledge worker teams (such
as project team, R&D team) in Chinese high-technology organizations located in the eastern part of
China (65.4% in software and system integration; 27.9% in meters and equipment manufacturing;
and 6.7% in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals). Chinese high-technology organizations were selected
because employee creativity to develop newer services and products is emphasized in these organiza-
tions (Jia, Shaw, Tsui, & Park, 2014). Participation was voluntary, and respondents were assured of the
anonymity of their responses. To avoid common method bias, we collected data with two separate
questionnaires: one for the subordinates who assessed knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity,
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knowledge integration, and cognitive team diversity and the other for their supervisors, who assessed
team creativity.
A total of 427 matched employeesupervisor questionnaires were returned (a 80.6%response rate).
Because of missing data and some smaller teams (i.e., fewer than three members), the nal sample
used in the analyses comprised 381 employeesupervisor matched questionnaires and 86 teams.
Their demographic data are as follows: among employees, 62.8% were male; their average job
tenure was 3.39 years; 2.7% had high school diplomas or below, 3.4% had junior college diplomas,
61.4% had bachelors degrees, 25.4% had masters degrees, and 7.1% had PhDs. Among
supervisors, 83.7% were male, their average job tenure was 5.11 years; and 89.5% had a bachelors
degree or above.
Measures
Response to all the measures were made on a 5-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 1 =strongly
disagreeto 5 =strongly agree.
Knowledge sharing
We measured knowledge sharing behavior using Huang, Hsieh, and Hes (2014) 5-item scale,
including explicit knowledge sharing and tacit knowledge sharing. Explicit knowledge sharing was
measured in the current study using two items, a sample item is I provide my methodologies, manuals,
and models for members of this time.Tacit knowledge sharing was measured using three items,
a sample item is I share my experience or know-how from work with members in this team
frequently.The Cronbachsαcoefcient for individual knowledge sharing was 0.81. We aggregated
the individual responses to compute team-level knowledge sharing.
Absorptive capacity
Absorptive capacity was assessed with 21-item scale developed by Jansen, Van den Bosch, and
Volberda (2005), including potential absorptive capacity and realized absorptive capacity. Potential
absorptive capacity was measured using nine items, a sample item is Our team can quickly analyze and
interpret changing market demands.Realized absorptive capacity was measured in the current study
using 12 items, a sample item is Our team constantly considers how to better exploit knowledge.The
Cronbachsαcoefcient for individual absorptive capacity was 0.88. We aggregated the individual
responses to compute team-level absorptive capacity.
Knowledge integration
Knowledge integration was measured using a 4-item scale instrument developed by Lin and Chens
(2006), a sample item is synergy created by combining knowledge among participating team
members.The Cronbachsαcoefcient for individual knowledge integration was 0.84. We aggregated
the individual responses to compute team-level knowledge integration.
Cognitive team diversity
Cognitive team diversity was measured using Van der Vegt and Janssens (2003) 4-item scale.
For example, the subordinates were asked to indicate the extent to which the members of their
team differ in their knowledge and skillsand the extent to which the members of their team differ in
their beliefs about what is right and wrong.The Cronbachsαcoefcient for individual cognitive
team diversity was 0.85. We aggregated the individual responses to compute team-level cognitive
team diversity.
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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Team creativity
Supervisors assessed their teamscreativity using Shin and Zhous (2007) 4-item scale. It includes items
such as How creative do you consider your team to beand How well does your team produce new
ideas.The Cronbachsαcoefcient for team creativity was 0.91. We emphasized to supervisors that
they should assess the teams creativity with respect to the creativity associated with that phase.
Control variables
We included employeesfemale percentage, average job tenure, and average educational level as control
variables. We controlled for gender, because team creativity may be inuenced by gender (e.g., Farmer,
Tierney, & Kung-Mcintyre, 2003). In addition, according to Amabiles (1988) study, creativity is the
outcome of an individuals accumulated creative-thinking skills and expertise, which are related to
individual team memberseducational level and job tenure, thus these variables were also controlled in
the current study. We controlled for individual team memberseducational level with ve response
options: (1) high school or below; (2) junior college; (3) bachelor; (4) master; and (5) doctorate.
RESULTS
Descriptive statistics
Table 1 presents descriptive statics and correlations of the study variables. The correlations of the study
variables were in the expected directions, and all the study variables had an acceptable degree of internal
consistency.
Construct validity
Because our measures of knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity, knowledge integration, and cognitive
team diversity came from the same source, we performed a conrmatory factor analysis using individual-
level data to examine the construct distinctiveness of the four major variables in our model. We tested
a model that contained four factors: knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity, knowledge integration,
cognitive team diversity. Results showed the four-factor model provided a good t, with all t indices
within acceptable levels (χ
2
=113.08, df =48, comparative t index (CFI) =0.95, root mean square
error of approximation (RMSEA) =0.068, and TuckerLewis index (TLI) =0.94). We further
compared the four-factor model to a one-factor model that consisted of one single factor (χ
2
=649.82,
TABLE 1. MEANS,STANDARD DEVIATIONS,AND CORRELATIONS AMONG STUDY VARIABLES
Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Female percentage 0.37 0.49
2. Average job tenure 3.39 1.16 0.10
3. Average educational level 3.31 0.73 0.08 0.12
4. Knowledge sharing 3.32 0.45 0.03 0.10 0.05
5. Absorptive capacity 3.62 0.65 0.03 0.03 0.13 0.38**
6. Knowledge integration 3.55 0.68 0.03 0.04 0.08 0.40** 0.46**
7. Team creativity 3.75 0.48 0.10 0.10 0.08 0.32** 0.47** 0.44**
8. Cognitive team diversity 3.33 0.58 0.09 0.01 0.07 0.19** 0.19** 0.12 0.12
Cronbachsα0.81 0.88 0.84 0.91 0.85
Note.*p<.05; **p<.01.
Chenghao Men, Patrick S W Fong, Jinlian Luo, Jing Zhong and Weiwei Huo
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df =54, CFI =0.59, RMSEA =0.194, and TLI =0.47). A χ
2
difference test showed the four-factor
model exhibited a better t than the one-factor model (χ
2difference
=536.74, df =11, p<.01).
Level of analysis
In our study, all the hypotheses were at the team level and we aggregated the individual-level variables
to the team-level according to the composition theory (Rousseau, 1985). We assessed within-team
agreement before aggregation by using R
wg
(James, Demaree, & Wolf, 1993), intraclass correlation
coefcient (ICC1) and ICC2 (Bliese, 2000). The average inter-rater agreement coefcients (R
wg
) for
the four variables of knowledge sharing (0.77, ranging from 0.73 to 0.85), absorptive capacity (0.83,
ranging from 0.77 to 0.88), knowledge integration (0.84, ranging from 0.78 to 0.88), and cognitive
team diversity (0.74, ranging from 0.70 to 0.76) indicated high inter-rater agreement (above the value
0.70). The ICC1 values were as follows: knowledge sharing (0.29); absorptive capacity (0.25);
knowledge integration (0.27); and cognitive team diversity (0.24). The test statistics (F-ratios) asso-
ciated with the ICC1 values of all four variables were statistically signicant. The ICC2 values were as
follows: knowledge sharing (0.78); absorptive capacity (0.71); knowledge integration (0.74); and
cognitive team diversity (0.79). The ICC2 values of all four variables were higher than 0.50. Thus, we
concluded that aggregation was justied for these four variables.
The multiple-mediation model
We used a structural equation modeling to test the multiple-mediation model, that is, we were to
explore the mediating mechanisms by which knowledge sharing inuenced absorptive capacity and
knowledge integration. Results show that the model had a good t to the data (χ
2
=73.86, df =50,
CFI =0.96, RMSEA =0.075, and TLI =0.94), supporting the hypothesized relationships of knowl-
edge sharing and absorptive capacity (β=0.44, p<.01) and knowledge integration (β=0.49, p<.01);
absorptive capacity with team creativity (β=0.41, p<.01); and knowledge integration with team
creativity (β=0.29, p<.01).
To further examine whether absorptive capacity and knowledge integration fully or partially
mediated the relationship between knowledge sharing and team creativity, we tested an alternative
model that included direct paths from knowledge sharing to team creativity. This partial
mediation model also provided a good t to the data (χ
2
=72.51, df =49, CFI =0.96, RMSEA =
0.075, and TLI =0.94). However, this alternative model did not have a better t based on the
nonsignicance of the χ
2
change (Δχ
2
(1) =1.35, ns). This indicates that absorptive capacity
and knowledge integration fully mediated the relationship between knowledge sharing and team
creativity (Figure 1).
Graphical depiction of the mediating effects
In order to ensure the robustness of the mediating effects of absorptive capacity and knowledge
integration, we tested Hypotheses 2 and 3 using path analytic procedures (Edwards & Lambert,
2007; Preacher, Rucker, & Hayes, 2007), and conducted bootstrapping analysis to assess the
signicance of indirect effects (Shrout & Bolger, 2002). For the knowledge sharingabsorptive
capacityteam creativity model, Tables 2 and 4 indicated that at the mean level of cognitive team
diversity (CTD =0), the rst-stage simple effect was 0.33 (p<.01), and the second-stage simple effect
was 0.43 (p<.01). The indirect effect at the mean level of cognitive team diversity was 0.14. The
bootstrapping procedure indicated that this indirect effect was signicant (p<.05). Thus, Hypothesis 2
was supported.
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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For the knowledge sharingknowledge integrationteam creativity model, Tables 3 and 4 indicated
that at the mean level of cognitive team diversity (CTD =0), the rst-stage simple effect was 0.38
(p<.01), and the second-stage simple effect was 0.36 (p<.01). The indirect effect at the mean level of
cognitive team diversity was 0.14. The bootstrapping procedure indicated that this indirect effect was
signicant (p<.05). Thus, Hypothesis 3 was supported.
Knowledge
Sharing
0.44** 0.41**
0.49** 0.29**
0.68**
0.71** 0.83**
0.87** 0.84**
TC4
0.87**
0.87**
RAC
Absorptive Capacity
KI1
0.84** 0.72**
Tea m
Creativity
TKS
TC1
EKS
PAC
Knowledge
Integration
KI4
KI2
TC2
0.81**
KI3
0.82**
TC3
0.80**
FIGURE 1. STANDARDIZED PATH LOADINGS OF THE IMPACTS OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING ON TEAM CREATIVITY. EKS =EXPLICIT
KNOWLEDGE SHARING;KI=KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION; PAC =POTENTIAL ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY; RAC =REALIZED ABSORPTIVE
CAPACITY;TC=TEAM CREATIVITY; TKS =TACIT KNOWLEDGE SHARING
TABLE 2. COEFFICIENT ESTIMATES FOR THE MODERATED MEDIATION MODEL (KSACTC)
First stage (dependent variable absorptive capacity) Second stage (dependent variable team creativity)
Step 1 Step 2 Step 1 Step 2
Variable a SE t a SE t a SE t a SE t
Female P. 0.04 0.14 0.36 0.06 0.14 0.58 0.06 0.14 0.60 0.06 0.14 0.06
Average J. 0.05 0.06 0.49 0.04 0.06 0.34 0.02 0.06 0.22 0.20 0.06 0.19
Educ. 0.11 0.09 1.06 0.11 0.09 1.11 0.04 0.09 0.43 0.04 0.09 0.44
Variables
KS 0.35 0.15 4.38** 0.33 0.15 4.17** 0.13 0.16 1.20 0.13 0.17 1.13
CTD 0.14 0.12 1.32 0.18 0.12 2.71** 0.02 0.12 0.16 0.02 0.12 0.15
AC 0.43 0.11 4.02** 0.43 0.11 4.96**
Interactions
KS × CTD 0.19 0.07 2.86**
AC × CTD 0.01 0.06 0.07
ΔF3.42 3.46 4.41 0.01
R
2
0.18 0.21 0.25 0.25
ΔR
2
0.18 0.04 0.25 0.00
Note.AC=absorptive capacity; average J. =average job tenur e; CTD =cognitive team diversity; Educ. =average education
level; female P. =female percentage; KS =knowledge sha ring; TC =team creativity.
*p<.05; **p<.01.
Chenghao Men, Patrick S W Fong, Jinlian Luo, Jing Zhong and Weiwei Huo
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Graphical depiction and simple slopes of the moderating effects
Tables 2 and 4 show the results of the moderated mediation model. Table 2 shows that the interaction
of knowledge sharing with cognitive team diversity was signicant in predicting absorptive capacity
(γ=0.19, p<.01). As shown in Figure 2, with a high level of cognitive team diversity, knowledge
sharing was positively related to team creativity (γ=0.52, p<.01), and when the level of cognitive
team diversity was low, the relationship between knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity was less
positive (γ=0.14, p<.05). Thus, Hypothesis 4a was supported. Table 3 shows that the interaction of
TABLE 3. COEFFICIENT ESTIMATES FOR THE MODERATED MEDIATION MODEL (KNOWLEDGE SHARING [KS]KNOWLEDGE
INTEGRATION [KI]TEAM CREATIVITY [TC])
First stage (dependent variable knowledge
integration)
Second stage (dependent variable team
creativity)
Step 1 Step 2 Step 1 Step 2
Variable a SE t a SE t a SE t a SE t
Female P. 0.03 0.14 0.26 0.01 0.14 0.09 0.03 0.14 0.33 0.03 0.14 0.28
Average J. 0.08 0.06 0.73 0.04 0.06 0.61 0.02 0.06 0.15 0.01 0.06 0.10
Educ. 0.06 0.10 0.56 0.06 0.10 0.58 0.07 0.10 0.07 0.07 0.10 0.07
Variables
KS 0.40 0.16 3.83** 0.38 0.16 3.63** 0.13 0.17 1.20 0.13 0.17 1.16
CTD 0.05 0.12 0.47 0.08 0.12 0.79 0.03 0.12 0.25 0.03 0.12 0.30
KI 0.37 0.11 3.32** 0.36 0.11 3.22**
Interactions
KS × CTD 0.16* 0.07 2.49**
KI × CTD 0.03 0.05 0.27
ΔF3.41 2.22 3.45 0.07
R
2
0.18 0.20 0.21 0.21
ΔR
2
0.18 0.02 0.21 0.00
Note. average J. =average job tenure; CTD =cognitive team diversity; Educ. =average education level; female P. =female
percentage.
*p<.05; **p<.01.
TABLE 4. SIMPLE EFFECTS ACROSS THE MEAN,LOW,AND HIGH LEVELS OF COGNITIVE TEAM DIVERSITY (CTD)
FOR KNOWLEDGE SHARING (KS)
Model Level First stage Second stage Indirect effect
KSACTC CTD (mean) 0.33** 0.43** 0.14*
CTD (low) 0.22** 0.42** 0.09
CTD (high) 0.44** 0.44** 0.19**
KSKITC CTD (mean) 0.38** 0.36** 0.14*
CTD (low) 0.29** 0.34** 0.10
CTD (high) 0.47** 0.38** 0.18**
Notes.AC=absorptive capacity; KI =knowledge integration; TC =team creativity.
*p<.05; **p<.01.
Signicance tests for the indirect effects were based on bias-corrected condence intervals derived from 1,000
bootstrapped samples (Shrout & Bolger, 2002; Preacher & Hayes, 2004).
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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knowledge sharing with cognitive team diversity was signicant in predicting knowledge integration
(γ=0.16, p<.05). As shown in Figure 3, with a high level of cognitive team diversity (1 SD above the
mean), knowledge sharing was positively related to knowledge integration (γ=0.54, p<.01),
and when the level of cognitive team diversity was low (1 SD below the mean), the relationship
between knowledge sharing and knowledge integration was less positive (γ=0.22, p<.01). Thus,
Hypothesis 4b was supported.
Further, we examined the conditional indirect effects of knowledge sharing on team creativity
through absorptive capacity and knowledge integration at two values of cognitive team diversity (1 SD
below the mean and 1 SD above the mean). As Tables 2 and 4 show, for the knowledge sharing
absorptive capacityteam creativity model, when cognitive team diversity was high (CTD =0.58), the
rst- and second-stage simple effects were 0.44 (p<.01) and 0.44 (p<.01), respectively. Thus,
the indirect effect for high cognitive team diversity was 0.19 (p<.01). For low cognitive team
diversity (CTD =0.58), the rst- and second-stage simple effects were 0.22 (p<.01) and 0.42
Knowledge Sharing
+1 s.d.
High
Low
-1 s.d.
Low Cognitive Team Diversity
Hi
g
h Co
g
nitive Team Diversit
y
Absorptive Capacity
FIGURE 2. INTERACTIVE EFFECT OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND COGNITIVE TEAM DIVERSITY ON ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY
Knowledge Sharing
+1 s.d.
Low
High
-1 s.d.
Low Cognitive Team Diversity
Hi
g
h Co
g
nitive Team Diversit
y
Knowledge Integration
FIGURE 3. INTERACTIVE EFFECT OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND COGNITIVE TEAM DIVERSITY ON KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION
Chenghao Men, Patrick S W Fong, Jinlian Luo, Jing Zhong and Weiwei Huo
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(p<.01), respectively. Thus, the indirect effect for low cognitive team diversity was 0.09 (p>.05).
Taken together, the results indicated the conditional indirect effect for knowledge sharing on
team creativity through absorptive capacity was signicant across high levels of cognitive team diversity,
but it was not signicant across low levels of cognitive team diversity. Thus, Hypothesis 5a was
supported.
Similarly, in the knowledge sharingknowledge integrationteam creativity model (Tables 3 and 4),
when cognitive team diversity was high (cognitive team diversity =0.58), the rst- and second-stage
simple effects were 0.47 (p<.01) and 0.38 (p<.01), respectively. Thus, the indirect effect for
high cognitive team diversity was 0.18 (p<.01). For low cognitive team diversity (cognitive
team diversity =0.58), the rst- and second-stage simple effects were 0.29 (p<.01) and 0.34
(p<.01), respectively. Thus, the indirect effect for low cognitive team diversity was 0.10
(p>.05). Taken together, the results indicated the conditional indirect effect for knowledge sharing on
team creativity through knowledge integration was signicant across high levels of cognitive team
diversity, but it was not signicant across low levels of cognitive team diversity. Thus, Hypothesis 5b
was supported.
DISCUSSION
Drawing on componential theory of creativity (Amabile, 1996), our study has presented a theoretical
and integrated framework to delineate the relationship between knowledge sharing and team creativity.
Specically, we pinpointed one mechanism behind the effect of knowledge sharing on team creativity.
In addition, we shed light on cognitive team diversity, through which knowledge sharing exerts positive
effects on team creativity.
Our study makes several theoretical contributions to knowledge sharing and team creativity literatures.
First, it provides insights into whether and how knowledge sharing positively relates to team creativity.
Although knowledge sharing can signicantly inuence creativity processes (Zhang, Tsui, & Wang,
2011; Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014), how knowledge sharing affects team creativity has rarely been
studied. We provide a test of the mediating mechanisms by which knowledge sharing impacts team
creativity. Previous research on knowledge sharing focused on either an emergent state or on a team
process as the mediating mechanism (Liao et al., 2007; Bao et al., 2016). However, our study examined
the intervening roles of both absorptive capacity as an emergent state and knowledge integration as a team
process. Including these two categories of mechanisms in one model makes it more inclusive in terms of
the heuristic model of team effectiveness (Cohen & Bailey, 1997). Our study indicates that both
absorptive capacity and knowledge integration are important intervening variables in the relationship
between knowledge sharing and team creativity, even when their effects are considered simultaneously.
More specically, we argue that knowledge sharing may inuence team creativity via absorptive capacity,
because knowledge sharing can broaden a teams existing knowledge base and enhance team members
learning ability (Liao et al., 2007), which will in turn inuence team membersability and motivation to
recognize, assimilate, and apply knowledge, and ultimately affect team creativity. Knowledge sharing also
inuences team creativity via knowledge integration. Knowledge sharing requires team members to share
knowledge and expertise that underlie their abilities to learn and participate in appropriate actions to
create new architectural knowledge by integrating component knowledge. It will positively inuence a
teams knowledge integration process, thereby affecting team creativity. In general, our study shows the
potential inuence of knowledge sharing and that its effect on team creativity is exerted through
absorptive capacity and knowledge integration.
Second, another important implication of our ndings is that cognitive team diversity plays an
important role in helping team members capitalize on the shared knowledge, expertise, and suggestions
for absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. The present study not only theoretically developed
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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the interaction effect on absorptive capacity and knowledge integration by combining research on
cognitive team diversity, knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity, and knowledge integration, but also
empirically demonstrated the moderating role of cognitive team diversity on the relationship between
knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity, and knowledge integration, respectively, in different
knowledge worker teams.
Furthermore, we centered on cognitive team diversity as the prime diversity variable in examining
the relationship between knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. For
absorptive capacity and knowledge integration, which requires assimilating different knowledge and
expertise, thinking divergently, and integrating previously unrelated products, processes, knowledge, or
materials (Mumford & Gustafson, 1988), cognitive team diversity is likely to be the most relevant
diversity variable due to its different ideas, thinking styles, and perspectives required for absorptive
capacity and knowledge integration (Williams & OReilly, 1998). These results support previous study
suggesting that researchers should choose appropriate diversity variable based on the interesting
conceptual relevance to outcomes (Shin et al., 2012).
Finally, our study demonstrates that the mediation-chain relationship is more complicated than was
previously understood, in that the relationship seems to vary with cognitive team diversity. By adopting
Edwards and Lamberts (2007) moderated-mediation approach, we found that the mediating effects of
absorptive capacity and knowledge integration in the relationship between knowledge sharing and team
creativity at different stages can be signicantly stronger or weaker, depending on cognitive team
diversity. In particular, our study indicated that the mediating effects of absorptive capacity and
knowledge integration in the relationship between knowledge sharing and team creativity were stronger
for team members with higher cognitive team diversity.
Our study also provides several implications for managerial practices. We have shown that team
membersknowledge sharing promotes absorptive capacity and knowledge integration, and, thus, team
creativity. This result can serve as advice to managers should nd a way to encourage knowledge
sharing between coworkers. Knowledge sharing can be an effective knowledge management tool
inuencing team creativity (Zhang, Tsui, & Wang, 2011; Bodla et al., 2016). In organizations where
team membersknowledge, suggestions, and opinions have critical implications for organizational
functions, managers should pay more attention to their display of positive encouragement in team
membersknowledge sharing, because showing positive encouragement to knowledge sharing can
increase team membersabsorptive capacity and promote knowledge integration in generating new
ideas. Moreover, organizations should implement training programs to teach managers how to
encourage knowledge sharing. Simultaneously, organizations should invest in training programs to help
team members develop better interpersonal skills. According to what goes around comes around
(Cerne et al., 2014; 188), employees who willingly share more knowledge seem bound to then in turn
receive such seless treatment from their colleagues, which will ultimately encourage them and prompt
their creativity. Therefore, team members should engage in more knowledge sharing behavior in order
to facilitate their own creative ability and team creativity.
Another implication of our research relates directly to cognitive team diversity in membermember
interaction dynamics. Our ndings showed that knowledge sharing plays a salient role in eliciting
absorptive capacity, knowledge integration, and team creativity, especially for teams with high cog-
nitive diversity. This suggests that teams with high cognitive diversity are more likely to improve their
absorptive capacity and promote knowledge integration. Accordingly, managers should value the
importance of cognitive team diversity, so that team members can appreciate other colleaguesdifferent
expertise, skills, and perspective readily, and discover novel and practical ideas when they work in
cognitively diverse teams (Shin et al., 2012). As a result, team members are more likely to improve
their absorptive capacities and integrate the cognitive resources (e.g., expertise, skills, and perspective)
coming from cognitive team diversity to become more creative (Shin et al., 2012).
Chenghao Men, Patrick S W Fong, Jinlian Luo, Jing Zhong and Weiwei Huo
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LIMITATIONS
Despite its contribution to theory and practice, our study has several potential limitations. First, although
we collected data from different sources to reduce potential common method biases, we still cannot draw
conclusions about causality from a cross-sectional study. A longitudinal design measuring the variables with
time lag would be necessary. That is, there should be a meaningful time lag between measures of knowledge
sharing, cognitive team diversity, absorptive capacity, knowledge integration, and team creativity.
Second, by focusing on the cognitive team diversity, we decided to include a limited number of
factors promoting the knowledge sharingcreativity relationship. For example, the ability of cognitive
team diversity can stimulate the positive relationship between knowledge sharing and creativity could
also be dependent upon other factors, such as resource-exibility-oriented human resource manage-
ment (HRM) system, coordination-exibility-oriented HRM system, relational embeddedness,
knowledge familiarity, and other variables that have been found to inuence absorptive capacity and
knowledge integration (e.g., Chang, Gong, Way, & Jia, 2013; Tzabbar, Aharonson, & Amburgey,
2013). Further research in exploring work situations that stimulate or mitigate the positive relationship
between knowledge sharing and team creativity within the extant cognitive team diversity is required.
Third, our study examined perceived cognitive team diversity instead of actual cognitive team
diversity. Compared with actual diversity, perceived diversity that is frequently used in diversity
research can explain team membersbehavior more strongly. However, individuals may not assess other
team memberscognitive team diversity accurately, and the assessment is likely to be biased (Harrison
& Klein, 2007; Shin et al., 2012). Future research should compare the moderating role of perceived
cognitive team diversity and actual cognitive team diversity in the relationship between knowledge
sharing and team creativity and use experimental designs to replicate our ndings.
In addition, we measured knowledge sharing by asking team members to describe the extent to
which they share explicit or tacit knowledge with their colleagues. A more effective way to measure
knowledge sharing in teams would be using a round-robin design or taking social networks (Warner,
Kenny, & Stoto, 1979). For example, the round-robin design would require every team member
assessing its experience of sharing knowledge with other members of the team. Then, the results should
be aggregated at the team level (Huang, Hsieh, & He, 2014). These two approaches would measure
knowledge sharing in teams more accurately.
CONCLUSION
Interest in knowledge sharing has increased in the last decade. The research has focused on knowledge
sharing as a team-level phenomenon. In this paper, our goal has been to take the knowledge sharing
literature in new directions by providing scholars with different perspectives regarding the mechanisms
by which it inuences outcomes. Drawing on the componential theory of creativity, this paper sheds
light on the inuence knowledge sharing can have on team creativity. Our results suggest that
absorptive capacity and knowledge integration may function as important intervening mechanisms in
the knowledge sharingteam creativity relationship, and cognitive team diversity is an important
determinant of the degree to which a team stands to benet from knowledge sharing. This research,
therefore, provides a foundation for more comprehensive understanding of knowledge sharing in
teams, and the conditions that engender the best team outcomes.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors acknowledge nancial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China
(Grant Nos. 71472137, 71202031, 71302048).
When and how knowledge sharing benets team creativity
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This manuscript is an original work that has not been submitted to nor published anywhere else.
All authors have read and approved the paper.
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... Workers are required to share this knowledge and information willingly with one another to ensure seamless organizational effectiveness. Knowledge sharing may be advantageous for individuals operating outside of organizational bounds, in addition to its applicability within organizational constraints (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2011;Men et al., 2019). Given the success of information sharing, businesses frequently encounter the problem of knowledge hiding practices, which occur when an individual intentionally hides or conceals knowledge when it is required by someone else in the workplace. ...
... Each aspect of information concealment has a unique scenario, and these scenarios might have varying effects (both good and bad) on knowledge researchers (Men et al., 2019). Evasive information hiding and acting dumb, for example, are both deceptive; however, a justified knowledge hider explains his/her role and justifies his/her knowledge concealing. ...
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... Our coding process highlighted two categories which connect with theory and led us to identify two main clusters: an inclination towards collaboration (Hargadon and Bechky, 2006;Barczak et al., 2010) and innovativeness (De Jong and Den Hartog, 2010;Hughes et al., 2018). For example, words in the collaboration category express the tendency to share knowledge and perspectives ("shar-") (Men et al., 2019), or the mention of team-relevant factors such as communication ("communic-") or trust ("trust-") (Barczak et al., 2010;Hughes et al., 2018). Words in the innovativeness category express the willingness to change ("chang-") or search for opportunities to adopt innovative behaviors ("innovate-") (Bednall et al., 2018;Chen et al., 2019). ...
... While the relations among cognition and innovation have been extensively investigated (Joshi and Lahiri, 2015;Wang et al., 2016;Nowak, 2020), Innovator or collaborator? measurement relies mainly on the self-evaluation of the groups' cognitive structure Men et al., 2019). Furthermore, we find that within the network Collaboratorswho see innovation processes as an opportunity to share knowledge and co-develop innovationoccupy a central role in the network; Innovators see innovation as a possibility to change and grow and have a non-central position in the network. ...
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... Secondly, there are challenges that emerge from team diversity (Hoisl et al. 2017;Martinez et al. 2017;van Knippenberg and Mell 2016) and how it is possible to explore diversity in order to pursue synergistic benefits (Kavadias and Sommer 2009;Kristinsson et al. 2016;van Knippenberg and Mell 2016). It is also important to analyze the importance of cognitive team diversity in team creativity (Men et al. 2019;Shin et al. 2012;Tang and Naumann 2016) and its effects on team performance (Lin 2011;Trischler et al. 2017). Diversity should also be approached based on diversity integration (Tenkasi and Boland 1996) and diversity coordination (Zoogah et al. 2011). ...
... Results will always be influenced by TMT diversity and its characteristics (e.g., educational, functional, industrial, and organizational background), with repercussions for innovation outcomes and firm performance (Talke et al. 2011). Another perspective is based on Absorptive Capacity theory, which allows the analysis of knowledge diversity's influence on strategic alliances and acquisition processes (Lin 2011), and better knowledge-sharing influences on team creativity (Men et al. 2019). ...
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