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Instrumental and affective ties within the laboratory: The impact of informal cliques on innovative productivity

Abstract Research Summary In this paper, we contribute to research on networks and innovation by distinguishing between instrumental and affective ties and assessing their impact on individual innovativeness. In particular, using original data from the corporate R&D; laboratory of a global pharmaceutical company, we evaluate how a specific structural arrangement (i.e., belonging to a clique) affects inventors' innovative productivity. Our results show that both instrumental/knowledge‐sharing cliques and affective/friendship cliques correlate positively with inventors' innovative productivity. However, we also observe that when inventors straddle knowledge‐sharing and friendship cliques, their innovative productivity declines. Managerial Summary Firms competing in knowledge‐intensive industries rely on the productivity of their inventors to develop innovations. Within these firms, inventors' innovative productivity is influenced by the people they interact with and by the benefits and costs associated with maintaining these relationships. We find that inventors' innovative productivity is enhanced by having strong and embedded relationships with their colleagues, regardless of these relationships being based on knowledge‐sharing ties or friendship ties. However, when inventors are caught in between strong knowledge‐sharing ties and strong friendship ties, their innovative productivity suffers, ultimately hampering the firm's innovative capabilities.

روابط بی‌کلام و احساسی در آزمایشگاه: تاثیر روش‌های غیر رسمی بر بهره‌وری نوآورانه

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