The Effects of Diversity and Network Ties on Innovations: The Emergence of a New Scientific Field

Alina Lungeanu*, Noshir S. Contractor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the influence of different types of diversity, both observable and unobservable, on the creation of innovative ideas. Our framework draws on theory and research on information processing, social categorization, coordination, and homophily to posit the influence of cognitive, gender, and country diversity on innovation. Our longitudinal model is based on a unique data set of 1,354 researchers who helped create the new scientific field of oncofertility, by collaborating on 469 publications over a 4-year period. We capture the differences among researchers along cognitive, country, and gender dimensions, as well as examine how the resulting diversity or homophily influences the formation of collaborative innovation networks. We find that innovation, operationalized as publishing in a new scientific discipline, benefits from both homophily and diversity. Homophily in country of residence and working with prior collaborators help reduce uncertainty in the interactions associated with innovation, while diversity in knowledge enables the recombinant knowledge required for innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-564
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume59
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2015

Keywords

  • coauthorship
  • diversity
  • innovation
  • networked work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Effects of Diversity and Network Ties on Innovations: The Emergence of a New Scientific Field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this