Exploiting individual creative inputs for team creativity: a role differentiation approach

Suqing Wu


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Many creative tasks nowadays are undertaken by organizational teams. To produce high-quality outcomes in creative tasks (e.g., solutions, proposals, products) teams need to perform processes or activities, such as idea evaluation and selection, idea development, and idea implementation. The current literature on team creativity, however, has (implicitly) assumed that team members play the same role in performing creative tasks, ignoring the possibility that individuals specialize in their roles and differ in the creative processes or activities that they perform. In response, this dissertation offered a new perspective and developed the concept of role differentiation, to study the distribution of members’ engagement in different creative processes. Role differentiation is conceptualized as the extent to which team members specialize their engagement or participation during different taskwork (creativity) processes. Three chapters taken together explored 1) the effect of diversity of membership status and diversity of skills on the emergence of role differentiation; 2) the influence of role differentiation on team creativity and non-routine task performance; and 3) the contextual factors that affect the proposed relationships. Our findings provided support that teams specialize roles during creative processes (as a result of diversity), and such specialization benefited team performance especially when teams were under unfavorable situations (e.g., high pressure, lack of resources). In this regard, this dissertation has great practical implications in coordinating members’ engagement in creative tasks, and also offers important theoretical implications for team diversity and team creativity research.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Nijstad, Bernard, Supervisor
  • Yuan, Yingjie, Co-supervisor
Datum van toekenning25-aug.-2021
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
StatusPublished - 2021

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