Innovate or die : how should knowledge-worker teams respond to technological turbulence?

Tingting CHEN, Fuli LI, Xiao-Ping CHEN, Zhanying OU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


In this research, we view knowledge-worker teams as open systems that are directly affected by changes in the external environment. Drawing on the strategic contingency perspective of power, we propose and demonstrate that in the face of a turbulent technological environment, knowledge-worker teams should engage in two team processes, namely, de-dependence on established team experts and new knowledge acquisition, to achieve high innovation performance. We conducted two field studies to test our hypotheses. Study 1 had a multi-source, multi-wave design involving 109 new product development (NPD) teams in technology-intensive industries. Study 2 had a multi-source, cross-lagged panel design involving 65 NPD teams in the information technology industry. Results based on the two field studies provide considerable support for our central hypotheses, i.e., the two team processes mediate the relationship between team perception of technological turbulence and team innovation performance and team autonomy enhances the two positive mediated relationships. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings on how and when knowledge-worker teams can reap the innovative benefits from environmental technological turbulence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Early online date7 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

This research has benefited from financial support of Faculty Research Grant, Lingnan University, Hong Kong awarded to Tingting Chen and Guangdong Natural Science Foundation ( S2013040013714 ) awarded to Zhanying Ou.


  • Technological turbulence
  • De-dependence on established team experts
  • New knowledge acquisition
  • Knowledge-worker teams
  • Team innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovate or die : how should knowledge-worker teams respond to technological turbulence?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this