Connectors: A Catalyst for Team Creativity

Romana L. Autrey, Fritz Drasgow, Kevin E. Jackson, Elena Klevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Creativity drives profit in an idea economy, and many companies organize teams to facilitate creativity. This paper investigates the strategic deployment of individuals to boost a team’s creativity. More individualistic team members tend to generate highly original ideas yet are less likely to share these ideas. We theorize that adding a connector—an individual strongly predisposed to form and foster relationships—to a team will enable more idea sharing among individualistic team members, thus increasing the likelihood that the team’s creative potential will be realized. We leverage a new conceptualization of the “connector” construct to identify connectors and then use an experiment to study the impact of their presence or absence on team creative performance. Our results support these predictions and suggest that connectors improve team creativity by enabling others to share in the creative process and not because connectors themselves exhibit greater creative performance than their average peer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-80
Number of pages24
JournalAccounting Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • connector
  • individualism
  • management control system
  • personnel control
  • team creativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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