The creative advantage of homophily in interdisciplinary network
26/10/2010

The Management department has the pleasure to invite you to its department seminar series, October, 26th, 2010



26/10/2010

The creative advantage of homophily in interdisciplinary network

Research to date suggests that cross-discipline network ties are more likely than same-discipline network ties to facilitate creativity. Cross-discipline network ties are thought to provide access to a greater amount and variety of unique knowledge from which new ideas can be generated.

In contrast, I theorize that same-discipline network ties can have a creative advantage over cross-discipline network ties because same-discipline network ties contain unique knowledge that is deeper,more complex, and ultimately more useful for generating new ideas.

I further argue, however, that the creative advantage of same-discipline ties holds true only in the presence of open critical discussion and competence-based trust. A study of biotechnology scientists ­at the tie level of analysis ­provides essupporting evidence ; suggesting that the link between social networks and creativity goes beyond accessing unique knowledge. Specifically, creativity depends on relational mechanisms that affect the type and depth of unique knowledge accessed and how this knowledge is applied when thinking of new ideas. Limitations and practical implications are also discussed.

 Contact: Jessica Gobert

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