Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wide-ranging networking boosts employee creativity

Public Release: 26-Aug-2015
Wide-ranging networking boosts employee creativity
Findings have implications for management practice
Rice University

Companies can promote creativity in employees by encouraging them to network beyond their immediate business networks, according to a new study by management experts at Rice University, Australian National University (ANU), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Monash University in Clayton, Australia, and the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

"Social networks can be important sources of information and insight that may spark employee creativity," the authors said. "The cross-fertilization of ideas depends not just on access to information and insights through one's direct network -- the people one actually interacts with -- but at least as much on access to the indirect network one's direct ties connect to."

The researchers found it is the "nonredundant ties" -- the people one does not interact with directly but with whom one's direct ties interact -- that offer the greatest efficiency for employees to gather novel information. This information can then be used as the raw material for the employee to generate creative ideas, said the authors, who believe the results are applicable to U.S. companies.


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