Media Ensembles and New Product Team Creativity: A Tree-Based Exploration

Media Ensembles and New Product Team Creativity: A Tree-Based Exploration

Roger Th. A.J. Leenders (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-129-2.ch004
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Abstract

New product development (NPD) project members are increasingly dispersed across the globe. As a result, traditional face-to-face communication is often substituted and supplemented by more “virtual” media. A common concern is whether NPD teams that frequently use virtual media can be truly creative. In this chapter we attempt to explain why the creativity of some teams is above average, whereas others perform below the average. By using classification trees, we conduct an empirical study of the media ensembles employed by 46 teams involved in hi-tech NPD. We find that being above or below average cannot be explained by theories that focus on single media: the creative performance of NPD teams is a function of the media ensembles used. Some ensembles afford much higher probabilities for above-average creativity than others. These findings enrich theories of media choice and may provide managers with some ideas of how team creativity can be managed.

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