First, get your feet wet: The effects of learning from direct and indirect experience on team creativity

Francesca Gino, Linda Argote, Ella Miron-Spektor, Gergana Todorova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


How does prior experience influence team creativity? We address this question by examining the effects of task experience acquired directly and task experience acquired vicariously from others on team creativity in a product-development task. Across three laboratory studies, we find that direct task experience leads to higher levels of team creativity and more divergent products than indirect task experience. Moreover, our results show that the difference in team creativity between direct and indirect task experience persists over time. Finally, our findings demonstrate that transactive memory systems fully mediate the effect of direct task experience on team creativity. Teams who acquired task experience directly are more creative because they develop better transactive memory systems than teams who acquired experience vicariously. We discuss how our findings contribute to understanding the effects of prior experience on team creativity, and the role of transactive memory systems in creative tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-115
Number of pages14
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Creativity
  • Experience
  • Familiarity
  • Group learning
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Membership stability
  • Teams
  • Transactive memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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