Abstract

Several recent studies have drawn attention to the importance of team composition for the success of new business startups (Delmar & Shane, 2006; Ruef, Aldrich, & Carter, 2003). Teams are formed partly to more successfully explore and exploit large arrays of new products and services and potentially applicable business processes. This study extends previous research into new venture teams and focuses on members’ interaction processes with one another to exchange and critically assess information about their tasks (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). We propose a model that includes two focal constructs: debate (discussion, Stasser & Titus, 1985) and conflict (disagreement, Jehn, 1995) to explain both creativity and team performance (Lovelace, Shapiro, & Weingart, 2001; West, 2005). Previous research suggests that neither process alone is adequate to explain the group outcomes of interest, but there is some other research suggesting that an interaction may be at play between these two constructs (Crowell, 1986).

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