PhD defence: Afra Koulaei

Afra Koulaei will defend her thesis “Membership Change in Advertising Development Teams: The Role of Market Knowledge and Information Elaboration” at USN School of Business.

11 Dec

Practical information

  • Date: 11. December 2019
  • Time: 10.00 - 15.00
  • Location: Drammen, Room A5508
  • Download calendar file

    Adjudication committee:

    • First opponent: Professor Bob Dahlstrom, University of Miami / USN School of Business.
    • Second opponent: Professor Miha Škerlavaj, BI Norwegian Business School.
    • Chair: Associate professor Marit Engeset, USN School of Business.


    • Principal supervisor: Professor Fred Selnes, BI Norwegian Business School / USN School of Business.
    • Associate Supervisor: Professor Håvard Ness, USN School of Business.



    Kl 10:  Trial lecture on the topic

    «Team dynamics and creativity: What to keep and what to change for continuous innovation?»

    Kl 12: PhD defence

    The event is open to the public. All interested are welcome.


About the thesis:

Extant findings on team membership change and creativity share a common belief that membership change in teams is a positive driver of creativity and innovation.

While acknowledging this positive effect, I suggest a complementary perspective that is rooted in dynamic team processes.Afra Koulaei - disputas - foto

I examine the processes through which membership change in advertising teams affects the creativity of advertisements. Examining 224 advertising projects in the United States, my findings indicate that team membership change, despite its potential to enhance creativity and coordination routines, poses specific risks.

In particular, I show that membership change reduces the team’s collective knowledge, which can be of great importance for successful development of innovative outcomes.

Notably, I show that this reduced collective knowledge in creative advertising teams is ultimately detrimental to both the final creative outcomes and the underlying process of information elaboration.

My findings imply that managers in advertising agencies and other creative enterprises need to be cautious when bringing a new member to a team.