Idea championing as a missing link between idea generation and team innovation implementation: A situated emergence approach
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
We examine idea championing as a key intermediary process of the idea journey linking idea generation and idea implementation in teams. Building upon multilevel framework of emergence we theorize about how compositional and compilational emergence of idea generation along with idea championing behaviors translate team members’ creative ideas into team-level innovative solutions. We adopt a two-study research design including a two-wave two-source field study (309 employees nested into 92 teams with direct supervisors) and an experimental study (423 students nested into 79 teams) to test our conceptual model. The results of field study show that team innovation process featuring strong compilational (selected actor-maximum) idea generating followed by compilational idea championing leads to best team-level innovative solutions. Using a sociometric approach as a part of an experimental study, we further show that individuals exhibiting the strongest idea generating activity are also significantly more likely the ones engaging in most intense idea championing behavior. While having team members exhibiting such exceptional behaviors is relatively more effective in an unstructured team innovation setup, structured idea journey setups result in better team-level innovative solutions, when idea championing behaviors are more equally distributed among team members. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.