Practice 1: Minimally Committed Knowledge Baton Passers

  • Ann MajchrzakEmail author
  • Arvind Malhotra


This first practice describes how the crowds participated. Our findings indicate that individual participants, on the average, offer fewer than two posts! Their posts are short knowledge fragments (such as only a few sentences). They are not engaged in extensive back-and-forth questioning. They offer minimal social support for others’ posts. It is almost as though the posts serve as knowledge batons in a knowledge relay race. The participants will not be the same throughout the race. As in a relay, the knowledge posts act as knowledge batons passed from one leg of the race to another, where the next participant is whomever is interested in getting the baton with no direct communication between the runners themselves. Each participant just takes the baton and keeps the innovation process moving forward.


  1. Amabile, T. M., & Pratt, M. G. (2016). The Dynamic Componential Model of Creativity and Innovation in Organizations: Making Progress, Making Meaning. Research in Organizational Behavior, 36, 157–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boudreau, K. J., Lacetera, N., & Lakhani, K. R. (2011). Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis. Management Science, 57, 843–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bullinger, A. C., Neyer, A. K., Rass, M., & Moeslein, K. (2010). Community-Based Innovation Contests: Where Competition Meets Cooperation. Creativity and Innovation Management, 19(3), 390–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlile, P. R. (2002). A Pragmatic View of Knowledge and Boundaries: Boundary Objects in New Product Development. Organization Science, 13(4), 442–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carlile, P. R. (2004). Transferring, Translating, and Transforming: An Integrative Framework for Managing Knowledge Across Boundaries. Organization Science, 15(5), 555–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dahlander, L., & Piezunka, H. (2014). Open to Suggestions: How Organizations Elicit Suggestions Through Proactive and Reactive Attention. Research Policy, 43(5), 812–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dahlander, L., Frederiksen, L., & Rullani, F. (2008). Online Communities and Open Innovation: Governance and Symbolic Value Creation. Industry and Innovation, 15, 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dougherty, D. (1992). Interpretive Barriers to Successful Product Innovation in Large Firms. Organization Science, 3(2), 179–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edmondson, A. C., & Harvey, J. F. (2018). Cross-Boundary Teaming for Innovation: Integrating Research on Teams and Knowledge in Organizations. Human Resource Management Review, 28(4), 347–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Majchrzak, A. (2011). Knowledge Collaboration in Online Communities. Organization Science, 22(5), 1224–1239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Faraj, S., von Krogh, G., Monteiro, E., & Lakhani, K. R. (2016). Special Section Introduction – Online Community as Space for Knowledge Flows. Information Systems Research, 27(4), 668–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferguson, D. A. (2010). Global Pulse 2010: Insights and Ideas from Around the World. Washington, DC: United States Agency for International Development.Google Scholar
  13. Frey, K., Lüthje, C., & Haag, S. (2011). Whom Should Firms Attract to Open Innovation Platforms? The Role of Knowledge Diversity and Motivation. Long Range Planning, 44(5–6), 397–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fuller, J. (2006). Why Consumers Engage in Virtual New Product Developments Initiated by Producers. Advances in Consumer Research, 33, 639–646.Google Scholar
  15. Füller, J., Hutter, K., & Faullant, R. (2011). Why Co-creation Experience Matters? Creative Experience and Its Impact on the Quantity and Quality of Creative Contributions. R&D Management, 41(3), 259–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gong, Y., Kim, T. Y., Lee, D. R., & Zhu, J. (2013). A Multilevel Model of Team Goal Orientation, Information Exchange, and Creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 56(3), 827–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grant, A. M., & Berry, J. W. (2011). The Necessity of Others Is the Mother of Invention: Intrinsic and Prosocial Motivations, Perspective Taking, and Creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 54(1), 73–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harvey, S. (2014). Creative Synthesis: Exploring the Process of Extraordinary Group Creativity. Academy of Management Review, 39(3), 324–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jang, S. (2017). Cultural Brokerage and Creative Performance in Multicultural Teams. Organization Science, 28(6), 993–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jeppesen, L. B., & Frederiksen, L. (2006). Why Do Users Contribute to Firm-Hosted User Communities? The Case of Computer-Controlled Music Instruments. Organization Science, 17, 45–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Leimeister, J. M., Huber, M., Bretschneider, U., & Krcmar, H. (2009). Leveraging Crowdsourcing: Activation-Supporting Components for IT-Based Ideas Competition. Journal of Management Information Systems, 26(1), 197–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lovelace, K., Shapiro, D. L., & Weingart, L. R. (2001). Maximizing Cross-Functional New Product Teams’ Innovativeness and Constraint Adherence: A Conflict Communications Perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 44(4), 779–793.Google Scholar
  23. Mack, T., & Landau, C. (2015). Winners, Losers, and Deniers: Self-selection in Crowd Innovation Contests and the Roles of Motivation, Creativity, and Skills. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 37, 52–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Majchrzak, A., Neece, O. E., & Cooper, L. P. (2001). Knowledge Reuse for Innovation – The Missing Focus in Knowledge Management: Results of a Case Analysis at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Academy of Management Best Paper, August.Google Scholar
  25. Malhotra, A., & Majchrzak, A. (2014). Managing Crowds in Innovation Challenges. California Management Review, 56(4), 103–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., & DeChurch, L. A. (2009). Information Sharing and Team Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), 535–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Muhdi, L., & Boutellier, R. (2011). Motivational Factors Affecting Participation and Contribution of Members in Two Different Swiss Innovation Communities. International Journal of Innovation Management, 15(3), 543–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and the Organizational Advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nembhard, I. M., & Edmondson, A. C. (2006). Making It Safe: The Effects of Leader Inclusiveness and Professional Status on Psychological Safety and Improvement Efforts in Health Care Teams. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(7), 941–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge-Creating Company. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Nonaka, I., Von Krogh, G., & Voelpel, S. (2006). Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory: Evolutionary Paths and Future Advances. Organization Studies, 27(8), 1179–1208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Page, S. E. (2007). Making the Difference: Applying a Logic of Diversity. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(4), 6–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Page, S. E. (2010). Diversity and Complexity (Vol. 2). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sawyer, K. (2017). Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  35. Schemmann, B., Herrmann, A. M., Chappin, M. M., & Heimeriks, G. J. (2016). Crowdsourcing Ideas: Involving Ordinary Users in the Ideation Phase of New Product Development. Research Policy, 45(6), 1145–1154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stahlbrost, A., & Bergvall-Kareborn, B. (2011). Exploring Users Motivation in Innovation Communities. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 14, 298–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Thompson, L. L., & Wilson, E. R. (2015). Creativity in Teams. In Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource (pp. 1–14). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons..Google Scholar
  38. Tsoukas, H. (2009). A Dialogical Approach to the Creation of New Knowledge in Organizations. Organization Science, 20(6), 941–957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tucci, C. L., Afuah, A., & Viscusi, G. (2018). Creating & Capturing Value Through Crowdsourcing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. van Knippenberg, D. (2017). Team Innovation. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 211–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang, J., Cheng, G. H. L., Chen, T., & Leung, K. (2019). Team Creativity/Innovation in Culturally Diverse Teams: A Meta-analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 40, 693–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations