Digital organizing provides an opportunity to capture not only local but also distant expertise for complex knowledge production requiring specialized and complementary expertise. Fast expert teams are critical organizing units that consist of geographically dispersed and often unfamiliar experts invited to a temporary team to solve a specific problem or tackle a new opportunity. Fast expert teams operate often in a hybrid mode using digital platforms to collaborate and communicate synchronously and asynchronously across time and place, and meeting face-to-face when possible.
The first key premise for our research is that the potential in fast expert team value creation is realized when the dispersed and specialized experts are matched quickly to form a temporary team solving a specific problem or opportunity. Second, sufficiently strong trust needs to be built quickly between unfamiliar experts. Third, only then experts are able and willing to share their expertise based on their tacit and often contextual knowledge. We use mixed methods to understand and model the critical factors and processes in fast expert teams. We contribute to innovation policy development and propose that fast expert teams are the “missing link” in the innovation system providing the dynamic capability to tackle new opportunities and solve complex problems requiring expertise and slack resources not available in public and private organizations.