This introduction essay proposes a challenging program for researchers eager to explore factors and process mechanisms contributing to the benefits and costs individuals and groups incur from pursuing innovative approaches. With respect to individual innovation, such moderating factors might be found in the characteristics of the innovative idea, the innovator, co-workers, supervisors, the broader organizational context, and in national culture. Examples of factors that are likely to shape the beneficial and detrimental outcomes of group innovation include knowledge, skills and ability of group members, group tenure, diversity among group members, group processes (clarifying group objectives, participation, constructive management of competing perspectives), and external demands on groups. This Special Issue contains a state-of-the-science paper, three articles dealing with the benefits and costs of individual innovation, and three articles addressing the bright and dark sides of group innovation. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.