In this study we explore the drivers and consequences of micro-level instances of knowledge sharing for innovation. We do so by focusing on the temporally bounded conversations that colleagues have about new ideas and we study specifically how the strength of ties between these colleagues influences the duration and breadth of knowledge sharing in the idea-related conversations they have over time. A 14-month on-site field study in a multinational company, in which we mapped 496 dyadic relationships regarding 17 new product ideas, shows that knowledge sharing can be explained by the ties between people being either strong or weak, rather than intermediate. We also discover that characteristics of the idea itself shape how tie strength influences the duration and breadth of knowledge sharing in idea conversations. Finally, we provide initial evidence to show how important conversations are for the success of an idea. Our study sheds light on micro-level instances of knowledge sharing for innovation and provides important insights into how managers can foster an environment in which weak and strong ties can be utilised optimally for sharing knowledge about ideas.

Additional Metadata
Keywords creativity, Idea conversations, ideas, innovation, knowledge sharing, micro-level, tie strength
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/14479338.2020.1763177, hdl.handle.net/1765/127419
Journal Innovation: Organization and Management
Citation
Deichmann, D, Moser, C. (Christine), & van den Ende, J.C.M. (2020). Talk, talk, talk: exploring idea conversations and the micro-level foundations of knowledge sharing for innovation. Innovation: Organization and Management. doi:10.1080/14479338.2020.1763177