New value creation: team work and learning by doing


Organizations need employees that are able to generate business ideas and employees that are able to evaluate the potential success of business ideas. Opportunities and their identification are of significant importance for competitiveness in today’s complex and turbulent business environment because they serve as a key influencing factor for new value-creation. Opportunity identification is interesting not only from the perspective of new business start-ups, but also from the perspective of employees in existing organizations.

The research of Yvette Baggen reports on the capability of employees to identify and evaluate opportunities, these can be identified by teams as well as by individuals. She performed research among several teams and organizations including innovation teams from ISPT projects. Her research stresses the importance of innovative teams. New ventures are often created by teams; as well, in existing firms, innovations are often developed and realised by teams. The results showed that self-perceived creative self-efficacy and the actual involvement in entrepreneurial activities has a positive influence on employees’ competence to identify opportunities. Just like independent entrepreneurs, employees mainly acquire such competencies by a process of learning by doing. This means that employees should become involved in entrepreneurial activities on the shop floor.

Team approach

Creating teams can be a solution, bringing together employees with the competencies needed for the successful identification of opportunities: those who can generate novel business ideas, and those who can evaluate the ideas for their potential success. Moreover, the results suggest that the commitment of teams in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process is highly relevant, because the team cognitive framework for identifying opportunities seems more effective than the individual cognitive framework.