This study aims to determine the role of knowledge searching on creativity in the fields of science research and technology development. Creativity is a process of knowledge combination, thus internal and external knowledge searching is important for creativity in both fields, particularly in the open innovation age. However, the nature of the work across these fields is different. While science research aims to solve theoretical problems and generate new knowledge, technology development aims to apply new knowledge to solve practical problems. Compared to science research, technology development has clear task goals, which make it easier to identify the related external knowledge and integrate this knowledge and in turn improve employee creativity. Thus, employees' attention to external knowledge as well as the influence of external knowledge on creativity might be different in the two fields. Results based on an empirical study of 211 employees from science research and 257 employees from technology development showed that external knowledge searching increased employee creativity in the field of technology development but not in science research. Furthermore, employees' centrality in the intra-team problem-solving network moderated the relationship between external knowledge searching and creativity in the science research field. Suggestions about employee creativity management in science and technology fields are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation