How Collaboration Technology Use Affects IT Project Team Creativity: Integrating Team Knowledge and Creative Synthesis Perspectives
Contemporary IT project teams entail creative problem solving to address increasingly complex business problems, thus highlighting the need to promote IT project team creativity. Collaboration technologies are widely used in IT project teams, but little is known about what collaboration technology features can be used to promote IT project team creativity and their underlying influencing mechanisms. To address this important gap, this study identifies a set of collaboration technology features based on the team knowledge literature and decodes their influencing mechanisms on IT project team creativity by extending the creative synthesis perspective, a novel theory originated in the management literature, to the IT project team context. Specifically, we identify three sets of collaboration technology features: awareness knowledge support, long-term knowledge support, and transitional knowledge support, and posit that their use can improve IT project team creativity through the mediating mechanism of creative synthesis, a team process that includes three dimensions of collective attention, similarity building, and enacting ideas. This research model finds general empirical support through a multi-sourced survey of over 500 team members and their leaders from 62 IT project teams. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.