This paper examines whether the information sources used by knowledge workers have an impact on individual performance and creativity. Although it is widely recognized that new knowledge is created through the combination and exchange of existing knowledge, there is a large variety of knowledge sources available to individuals. In this study, we examine whether individual performance varies as a result of (1) individual factors, (2) usage of a variety of information sources, (3) reliance on colocated colleagues, or (4) participation in an organizational electronic community. Results indicate that experience and education predict general performance, regardless of the type of information sources used. However, the type of information sources used by individuals relates significantly to creativity. Reliance on colocated colleagues results in less creativity while participation in an electronic community leads to higher creativity. Additional analysis reveals that participation in the electronic community does not have a direct effect on creativity, rather participation has a direct impact on the acquisition of new knowledge, which in turn influences creativity. Group tenure and type of participation (posting questions vs. responses) are also important predictors whose effects are fully mediated through knowledge acquisition. Finally, professional commitment did not contribute toknowledge exchange in the electronic community, rather professional commitment had a direct effect on creativity.
Teigland, Robin and McLure-Wasko, Molly, "Creative Ties and Ties That Bind: Examining the Impact of Weak Ties on Individual Performance" (2000). ICIS 2000 Proceedings. 29.