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Dual networking: how collaborators network in their quest for innovation

  • Ter Wal, A
  • Criscuolo, P
  • McEvily, B
  • Salter, A
Publication Date
Oct 21, 2019
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository
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Organizations typically employ a division of labor between specialist creator roles and generalist business roles in a bid to orchestrate innovation. This paperseeksto determine the extent to which individuals dividing the work across roles canalso benefit from dividing their network.We argue that collaborating individuals benefit from connecting to the same groups but different individuals—an approach we label dual networking—rather than from a pure divide-and-conquer approach. To test this argument, weexploit a unique feature of a dual career-ladder setting in a large multinational where R&D managers and technologists partner up in their quest forinnovation. We propose—and find—thatcollaborators who engage in dual networkingattain an innovationperformance advantage over those who connect to distinctgroups. This advantage stems from the opportunity to engage in dual interpretation and dual influencing, leading to more effective elaboration and championing of innovative ideas. In demonstrating these effects, the paper advances understanding of how collaborators organize their networking activities to best achieve innovative outcomes.

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