Teams that are creatively productive: Exploring the exploitable and exploiting the explorable
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The present study examines team processes of exploring and exploiting in inno vation teams, to understand important connections with team development. 51 innovation teams invented a business idea (related to explore), which was to be developed into a viable business plan (related to exploit). The business plans were assessed and divided in a) excellent; b (mediocre); and c (poor). Teams´ internal interactions were evaluated accordingly using qualitative and quantitative studies, in both explore and exploit phase. The top performing teams were found to be highly adaptable to situational demands, continuously challenging each other and demanding a lot from each team member through a disciplined and task-oriented approach. The poorer performers were oriented towards social well-being of the group, creating a supportive atmosphere as a group norm. It is argued that this norm inhibited team innovation performance. This study contributes with knowledge on how to achieve psychological safety in teams to obtain the kind of creativity that is workable – exploring the exploitable and exploiting the explorable.