Pairwise Communication for Innovation at Work

  • Martin J. Eppler
  • Lawrence McGrath


In this chapter, we argue for the overlooked potential of pairwise communication for innovation efforts in organizations. We review the research that documents that pairs outperform other team constellations when it comes to idea development and refinement. We describe how to setup and optimize such dyadic communication so that it can contribute to organizational innovation. In the chapter, we give readers a strategy to leverage teams of two for innovation efforts, and we show how managers can enable pairwise communication. Cornerstone of the chapter is a concise and instructive typology of creative pairs as well as guidelines for their setup, management, and transition. We conclude the chapter with an outlook on future research on dyadic communication for innovation.


Mastery Goal Creative Pair Transactive Memory Production Blocking Mastery Goal Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of St. Gallen (HSG)St. GallenSwitzerland

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