Team Social Capital and Team Innovation: The Role of Task Conflict and Transformational Leadership
Drawing on the input-process-output model of teamwork, this study examines team innovation using a social capital lens. We propose that team social capital, operationalized as bridging and bonding social capital, negatively influences team innovation vi a team proportional task conflict, which is the level of task conflict teams experience proportional to relationship and process conflict. In addition, we expected group and individual-focused transformational leadership (TFL) to buffer the negative indirect effect of team social capital on team innovation. Results from time-lagged data collected from 324 employees in 45 research and development (R&D) teams supported most of our predictions. We found that teams with both bonding and bridging social capital are less innovative because they experience less proportional task conflict. Furthermore, group-focused TFL buffered the indirect relationship for teams with bridging social capital in that the negative effect on team innovation was only present for teams with leaders displaying low as opposed to high levels of group-focused TFL. However, a buffering effect of individual-focused TFL for teams with bonding ties was not detected. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings."