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.
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.