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Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours
in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
Organizational creativity is the creation of a valuable
and useful new product, service, idea, procedure, or
process by individuals working together in a complex
social system (Woodman et al., 1993). Broadly defined,
innovation is the successful application of ideas (Mat-
thews, 2002). Innovation depends on ideas generated
through creativity and the knowledge and research that
make it possible to put ideas to work (Naggar, 2015).
Companies that can develop and implement creative
ideas perform better in changing operating situations,
with CEOs recognizing the value of empowering and
mobilizing the collective brainpower of the workforce
for innovation (IBM, 2010). Further research into creat-
ive processes and their antecedents across different
types of organizations, jobs, and teams is confirmed as
an obvious priority (Gilson & Shalley, 2004).
The study described in this article was framed to gain
insight into these antecedents in work environments. It
features an investigation of the characteristics of work
environments that generate creative behaviours within
one project team in a medium-sized, global, consulting
engineering, project-based organization.
This study contributes new knowledge to research re-
garding work environments that facilitate creative beha-
viours by highlighting the processes used when diverse,
interdisciplinary employees meet in regular design re-
view meetings, which stimulate individual and collect-
ive creative behaviours. These behaviours, further
extended by a technology manager, support the cre-
ation and capture of innovative solutions that also de-
liver commercial value for the company.
We begin by considering extant research regarding
links between creative behaviours and work environ-
ments, before outlining methodology and describing
findings and concluding with practical implications.
Work Environments and Creative Behaviours
Work environments that encourage creative behaviours
have previously been defined in R&D teams (Amabile,
Hadley, & Kramer, 2002) and in the animation and film
Novel and useful ideas and creative behaviours originate in varied work environments, yet the
characteristics of work environments that stimulate and foster such creative behaviours are not
well defined. The aim of this study was to identify the influences that contribute to creative be-
haviours in the work environment of a global project-based professional service organization.
This article is based on an investigation of the work environment of one project team undertak-
ing interdisciplinary work in the construction of a processing plant in a remote location. This
multi-disciplinary team encouraged creative behaviours through regular team meetings, ensur-
ing the presentation of diverse views and commitments to regular interaction and collabora-
tion in co-located environments. In addition, a technology manager dedicated to identifying
potential opportunities for patenting and commercialization further extended the creative be-
haviours of the team by focusing on the best solution for each situation. The study contributes
new knowledge to research regarding work environments that facilitate creative behaviours.
We believe that ideas only become great
when they are challenged and tested.
Ed Catmull
President of Pixar Animation Studios
In Creativity, Inc.
Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
industry (Catmull, 2008), but less attention has been
given to other work environments. The research ques-
tion we are addressing is: What are the characteristics
of work environments that encourage creative beha-
viours in a project-based organization? A review of liter-
ature across work environments and creative
behaviours follows.
Creative behaviours appear to result from the complex
interactions between the person and situation (Am-
abile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; Woodman
et al., 1993). They emerge in response to challenging
work, openness to new ideas, and an experimental
mindset (Woodman et al., 1993). Creative behaviours
focus on the initial phases of the innovation process,
that is the idea generation, exploration stage to the ex-
clusion of the implementation stages (Kanter, 1988;
Shalley & Gilson, 2004). Examples of creative beha-
viours include searching out new technologies and sug-
gesting new ways to achieve objectives (West, 2002).
Results of creative behaviours could range from sugges-
tions for incremental adaptations in procedures, to rad-
ical and major breakthroughs in the development of
new products (Mumford & Gustafson, 1988).
Major contributions to understanding work environ-
ments have come from Amabile and colleagues (1996)
through their work on the KEYS model for measuring
environmental components that work as either stimu-
lants or obstacles to creative behaviours. An interac-
tional perspective of the complex social systems
influencing organizations was developed by Woodman,
Sawyer, and Griffin (1993). Team climate factors influ-
encing team behaviours were investigated by Anderson
and West (1998) and Isaksen and Ekvall (2010), while
Dul and Ceylan (2011) considered influences on a work
environment to have personal, social-organizational
and physical factors. Recent research emphasizes the
importance of synthesizing divergent perspectives in
the idea-generation process focusing on the nature of
the team work environment (Hackman, 2011).
Previous research indicates several characteristics and
mechanisms that influence creative behaviours in
team-based work environments, including i) the beha-
viour of the manager (Hennessey & Amabile, 2010), ii)
design of work (Shalley, 2004), iii) provision of time for
creativity (Dul & Ceylan, 2011), iv) attitude to risk (Du-
laimi et al., 2002; Hartmann, 2006), v) existence of posit-
ive versus negative tensions (Isaksen et al., 2001;
Shalley & Gilson, 2004), vi) effective management of dif-
ferent types of conflict (Jehn, 1995; Pelled, 1996), vii) ex-
tent of collaboration within and across teams (Taylor &
Greve, 2006; Thompson & Choi, 2005), vii) level of parti-
cipation in decision making (Harvey & Kou, 2013), ix)
existence of an effective process for creativity manage-
ment (Smith et al., 2008), and x) positive social relation-
ships (Amabile & Gryskiewicz, 1989; Hennessey &
Amabile, 2010), among others. Many factors appear to
be operating together in a cumulative and complex
manner within the work environment. An understand-
ing of the nature and characteristics of these factors in-
vites further research, and a project-based organization
provides a new context (Stanley et al., 2014).
The nature of work environments has previously been
investigated through a variety of methods. These in-
clude semi-structured interviews using the critical in-
cident technique to explore best and worst team
environments (Amabile et al., 2002), examination of
daily diaries (Amabile et al., 2004), ethnographic studies
(Sutton & Hargadon, 1996), and work environment
questionnaires (Amabile et al., 1995). This study em-
ployed qualitative data collection processes within a
single case study, as described in the following section.
Investigation of the generation of creative behaviours
was undertaken using qualitative research within a case
study. A case study is the strategy of choice when the fo-
cus is on understanding the dynamics present within
single settings, and when existing theory seems inad-
equate (Eisenhardt, 1989). Internet research was used
to identify an organization with a commitment to
innovation and a history of commercial success
through innovation for this study.
The team discussed in this article, (renamed "Team
Delta" to maintain confidentiality), was the manage-
ment team within a new project, and employed some
thirty staff. Management team members were highly ex-
perienced engineers. Half had more than 10 years’ ex-
perience with the company and several members
possessed advanced academic qualifications. Team
Delta was working on the delivery of a large and highly
specialized plant in the Middle East in a joint venture,
using technology patented by the organization. The
project required teams with diverse expertise and skills
in areas of design, mechanical, structural, and electrical
engineering, as well as piping, scheduling, and project
management. The discipline expert managers from
each of these specialist teams, known as "leads", were
among the managers interviewed for this study.
Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
Eight of the ten members of the management team
were interviewed face-to-face in semi-structured inter-
views for the study and were present when observa-
tions of meetings were undertaken. Eight team
members interviewed represented seven nationalities;
seven were male and one was female; and they repres-
ented diverse skillsets and ethnic origins. Observations
were made in two of the weekly project status meet-
ings. No observations were undertaken of the design
review meetings. Data collection in this team occurred
over a three-month period and data were thematically
analyzed and coded for categorization using the qualit-
ative data analysis program software NVivo.
Work was undertaken within a staged project manage-
ment framework with key milestones. Within a project-
based organization, agreements with key stakeholders
largely define the scope of work, the project deliver-
ables, and project outcomes. The leads then estab-
lished planning and procedures for implementation
with their respective teams, working closely with other
teams through the design review meetings for all inter-
disciplinary-related impacts. Frequent design review
meetings provided a forum for discussing and agree-
ing on all design-related matters and weekly project
status meetings reviewed achievements against the
project plan. A dedicated technology manager
provided technical process expertise and ensured a
specific focus on identification of patent-creation op-
portunities. The team was based in two locations for
the duration of the three-year project with regular visu-
al electronic communication between sites during
team meetings.
Findings regarding creative behaviours and the work
environment related to the nature of the work itself,
manager behaviours, team processes, and the physical
work environment. Challenges arising in the project
were related both to the nature of the work and to rela-
tionships between team members. From a task per-
spective, the nature of work undertaken was
multifaceted, requiring significant interdisciplinary in-
tegration and collaboration. From a relationship per-
spective, managing a large team in a joint venture with
a competitor added complexity in terms of confidenti-
ality and the generation and protection of intellectual
property. This team had a clear focus on identifying
and formalizing innovations through patents to
achieve commercial organizational benefits.
Nature of work
The characteristics found to most consistently contrib-
ute to creative behaviours throughout the build in-
cluded the presence of a challenging problem or task.
For example, challenges could arise because of the
space limitations at the plant site or from the need for
careful integration between the disciplines while ensur-
ing compliance with scope and safety standards. Team
members reported that many solutions to problems or
current challenges emerged when they were jointly in-
vestigating problems in regular design review meetings
or reporting on project completion activities in the pro-
ject status meetings. However, the design review meet-
ing was the principal forum for exploring and agreeing
on all design-related aspects of the build:
“Well, the new ideas come from design reviews. I
have a minimum of three design reviews at the moment.
As we get busier, I’ll be having five, six, seven, eight
design reviews. This is around the model, talking about
different aspects. You have multi-disciplinary teams and
we talk about specifically drilling down to problems:
How can we operate this? What’s he doing? Why is he do-
ing it? Can we do it any better? Is there another product
which we can use which is better?” (Lead 1)
The team used both formal and informal processes for
responding to challenges, collaborating, and getting the
work done. Collaboration occurred in multiple settings,
including informal discussions in the workplace and
specifically in meetings such as the team’s design re-
view meeting. Some of the creative behaviours inherent
in the idea generating and shaping process are illus-
trated in Figure 1.
New ideas were particularly welcomed in the design re-
view meetings during the early stages of the project
when there was a greater capacity to explore new ap-
proaches, test them out, and implement workable solu-
tions. As the project progressed, the nature of work
became more tightly defined, with less possibility for ex-
ploring new approaches. The frequency of design re-
view meetings compared to the weekly status meetings
may have been related to the early stage of the project
and the importance of idea generation, testing, and re-
The staged project management framework, with flexib-
ility for exploration and refinement of ideas at design
review meetings and the constraints of key milestones,
encouraged rich discussion and enforced debate and
Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
agreement between key stakeholders. The idea manage-
ment process starts with ideas and suggestions in the
"stimulate" phase. Ideas are floated, discussed, de-
bated, and evaluated in the "shape and nurture" phase
before a final decision is made at the point of "capture".
At the beginning of the project, there is greater latitude
for all build options. However, as decisions are made,
future decisions become constrained by previous de-
cisions. The idea management process becomes more
focused as the project develops, with the milestone re-
views putting pressure on all team members to come to
agreement on all design-related aspects that need to be
finished by these points. The development of ideas is
clearly an iterative process that aligns with models for
incorporating learning in project teams (Davidson &
Rowe, 2009). The idea-shaping process is mapped in
Figure 2.
Relationships, roles, and behaviours
Team Delta demonstrated mixed levels of collegiality
and cohesiveness. Furthermore, a shared sense of pro-
fessionalism and of valuing working on this project ap-
peared to help to move the project along. Decisions
where specific disciplines had expertise and a stake in
the outcomes could be a source of friction. Behaviours
that contributed to confrontations were sometimes
seen as negative by team members, although it was re-
cognized that conflict can facilitate deeper evaluation
of alternatives, experimentation and better decision-
making processes. This finding confirmed reports in ex-
tant literature (Isaksen et al., 2001; Jehn, 1995; Pelled,
1996; Shalley & Gilson, 2004). Indeed, to some extent,
disagreement was able to drive higher levels of creativ-
ity as team members sought to prove or disprove their
own or other team members’ technical proposals, lead-
ing to productive experimentation and evaluation.
The idea-generation process was influenced by how
employees felt about engaging in debate, as well as
time constraints. Team members recognized that, for a
change of approach to be accepted, getting the "buy-
in" of other senior staff and particularly of the techno-
Figure 1. Creative behaviours and idea development process
Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
logy manager, whose role is key in the innovation iden-
tification and formalization process, was necessary. In
addition to acting as an expert on process, this manager
actively looked for opportunities to commercialize
knowledge throughout the project and was described
as being very forceful in the pursuit of new knowledge:
“…Sometimes [the technology manager] comes
with the ideas that he wants…. but he doesn’t know ex-
actly how to do it. So, we have to come up with the way
to do it. And sometimes he’s pushing us back. So we say:
It can’t be done. He says: No, think about it. Think about
how it can be done. And then eventually: Oh, yes. Maybe
we can do this. So he’s pushing, pushing, pushing…”
(Lead 2)
Creative behaviours apparent in Team Delta included
the generation of ideas to approach different problems,
challenging assumptions based on past experience,
seeking new perspectives from team members, rigor-
ous discussion, evaluating of alternatives, disagree-
ment, collaboration, and experimentation. Many
characteristics that influence creative behaviours found
in this study confirm previous research. Examples in-
clude the richness of ideas that emerge from cross-func-
tional teams and the use of multi-disciplinary team
meetings to focus on exploration of ideas, discussion,
debate, and agreement. Findings are particularly relev-
ant for project-based organizations seeking to achieve
project management objectives of quality work that is
on time, on schedule, and within budget. In addition,
this team was seeking innovative approaches and out-
comes that could be patented. Findings also highlight
the value of structured approaches to managing discus-
sions and decision-making processes. Distinct pro-
cesses used in the design review meetings, where many
of the creative behaviours were noted, and milestone
reviews had different but complementary objectives re-
lated to idea management and achievement tracking.
The role of a technology manager with a dedicated fo-
cus on the identification and commercialization of new
knowledge was an initiative that appeared to demand
new ways of working from the team members. Challen-
ging team assumptions and including dissenting opin-
ions can generate energy, which fosters richer
discussions, better quality decisions, and an increased
capacity to identify unique knowledge that adds value
and can possibly be patented.
Practical implications from this research for project
managers include the identification of local work pro-
cesses such as interdisciplinary team meetings for de-
bating and agreeing on all aspects of the build; use of a
dedicated role to spot innovation potential opportunit-
ies; valuing and management of disagreement/contrary
views as a stimulant to creative behaviours such as eval-
uation of ideas and experimentation; and norms of es-
Figure 2. Idea development and shaping process in project management
Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
About the Authors
Tracy Stanley is currently completing her doctoral
thesis at the Queensland University of Technology
(QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, where she investigated
how the characteristics of team work environments
influence creative behaviours and employee engage-
ment in a global project-based organization. The re-
search was undertaken across five teams providing a
range of finance, marketing, and engineering ser-
vices. Tracy has twenty years of international experi-
ence in human resources and change management
in Asia and Europe across industries including travel
technology, government, financial services, educa-
tion, and health. Her qualifications include an MBA
from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and an
MBus (Research) from QUT.
Judy Matthews is a Senior Lecturer at the Queens-
land University of Technology (QUT) Business
School, in Brisbane, Australia, where she teaches
both MBAs and senior executives on the topics of in-
novation management, facilitates problem framing
and problem solving in complex environments, and
uses design thinking to develop and execute new pos-
sibilities. Her enthusiasm for the importance of in-
novation management can be traced to her research
into innovation systems in Australia, in public sector
research and development, and in the management
of change. For the last six years, Judy has been an act-
ive researcher and facilitator in the development and
application of design mindsets and methods, recog-
nizing that the frameworks, tools, and mindsets of de-
signers can be used to help managers to problem
solve and innovate in their businesses and develop
new business models. Judy has published articles in a
wide range of international journals, including the
Journal of Business Research, International Journal of
Technology Management, Innovation: Management,
Policy and Practice, and Design Management Journal.
Paul Davidson is an Associate Professor at the
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Busi-
ness School in Brisbane, Australia. He is a manage-
ment specialist with over 25 years university teaching
experience and 100 academic publications including
two major textbooks in management. He has studied
and taught at several universities, and in between
academic appointments, he has been CEO of a com-
pany with 650 employees. At QUT since 1991, he has
developed and delivered courses for high-profile cor-
porate organizations in addition to extensive gradu-
ate teaching. Paul has received a number of awards
for his teaching and academic publishing. He is a
former President (2000–2005) of the Australian Hu-
man Resource Institute (Queensland). In academic
administration, he served the Brisbane Graduate
School of Business as Subject Area Coordinator for
Management, HRM, and Organisational Behaviour,
and managed the school’s program for Defence Force
students. From 2005 to 2012, he was Deputy Director
of the QUT Project Management Academy, a joint ini-
tiative of the Science and Engineering faculty and the
QUT Business School. He now leads the MBus(HRM)
program. His research interests include the develop-
ment of management competencies, knowledge man-
agement, and project management, as well as
international human resource management.
tablishing team cultures with clear expectations of
teamwork. The systematic stimulation, testing, and re-
finement of ideas through design review meetings and
weekly progress meetings, with collaboration, collegi-
ality, and well-managed contestation all contributed
to a work environment supportive of creative beha-
viours. This team illustrates the power of learning with-
in knowledge-intensive firms (Starbuck, 1992) where
the knowledge, effort, and abilities of diverse perspect-
ives are leveraged (Eisenhardt, 1990).
An earlier version of this article was presented at the
2015 ISPIM Innovation Summit in Brisbane, Australia,
December 6–9, 2015. ISPIM (
) – the Internation-
al Society for Professional Innovation Management
is a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants,
and public bodies who share an interest in innovation
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Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
Technology Innovation Management Review April 2016 (Volume 6, Issue 4)
Citation: Stanley, T., Matthews, J., & Davidson, P. 2016.
Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a
Project-Based Organization Team. Technology
Innovation Management Review, 6(4): 26–33.
Keywords: creative behaviours, work environments,
teams, problem solving
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Organizational Teams. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
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Insights from Stimulating Creative Behaviours in a Project-Based Organization Team
Tracy Stanley, Judy Matthews, and Paul Davidson
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... Aphoristically, innovation is a forest of invisible trees: we see the results of innovations around us, but creativities often stay hidden; we lionize the successful innovator, but do not see the community supporting and enabling our genius idol. Hence, to understand the origins of innovation, we need the ability to observe and understand the activities of creative communities and the ideation process (Cohendet & Simon, 2015), implying that we need to focus on creativity -not as an abstract concept, but on a very practical level: by studying the everyday activities and interactions of creative individuals and communities (e.g., Ellström, 2010;Stanley et al., 2016), in practice, as they unfold. ...
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Innovation depends on ideas generated through creativity and the knowledge and research that make it possible to put ideas to work. However, these two activities are very dependent on the people who perform them. As demonstrated by a pilot project realized at Hydro-Québectextquoterights research institute (IREQ), any approach that does not take this understanding into account is doomed to failure. This article proposes that what must be developed is a knowledge and idea management system designed as a coherent ecosystem that takes all controlling factors into account and is based on stakeholder interest and preferences. This ecosystem is the result of a meticulous design of each of the elements that must generally be taken into account in a business model. A business model approach includes not only developing a value proposition for knowledge and idea management that suits the target clientele but also a good understanding of the resources and activities required to deliver this value proposition and especially the ways to finance them. Key to the development of such an ecosystem is the creation of fully functional innovation communities, which are responsible for building up and nurturing their ideas and knowledge assets and getting value out of them.
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Research on group creativity has concentrated on explaining how the group context influences idea generation and has conceptualized the evaluation of creative ideas as a process of convergent decision making that takes place after ideas are generated to improve the quality of the group’s creative output. We challenge this view by exploring the situated nature of evaluations that occur throughout the creative process. We present an inductive qualitative process analysis of four U.S. healthcare policy groups tasked with producing creative output in the form of policy recommendations to a federal agency. Results show four modes of group interaction, each with a distinct form of evaluation: brainstorming without evaluation, sequential interactions in which one idea was generated and evaluated, parallel interactions in which several ideas were generated and evaluated, and iterative interactions in which the group evaluated several ideas in reference to the group’s goals. Two of the groups in our study followed an evaluation-centered sequence that began with evaluating a small set of ideas. Surprisingly, doing so did not impede the groups’ creativity. To explain this, we develop an alternative conceptualization of evaluation as a generative process that shapes and guides collective creativity.
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The poor performance of Singapore's construction industry,like its counterparts in other countries, has been highlighted in many studies. The most recent study in Singapore, ‘Re-inventing Construction’, criticized the performance of the industry and identified fragmentation and segregation of design and construction activities as the main barriers to improved investment and development. The objective of the paper is to identify the activities and initiatives that will motivate and enable the Singapore construction industry to achieve both greater levels of integration and increase the volume of R&D and innovation activities. An industry survey, workshop and interviews identified six factors. The main theme underlying them is the need for the creation of improved business and market conditions that demand further integration and greater innovation effort to meet customer demands and expectations.De nombreuses études ont mis en lumière les performances médiocres de l'industrie de la construction à Singapour et dans d'autres pays. L'étude la plus récente sur Singapour, intitulée “Re-inventing Construction”, critiquait les performances de cette industrie et estimait que les principaux obstacles à l'amélioration des investissements et du développement étaient la fragmentation et la ségrégation des activités de conception et de construction. L'objectif de cet article est de recenser les activités et les initiatives qui motiveront l'industrie du bâtiment de Singapour et lui permettront de parvenir à une meilleure intégration et à une augmentation des activités de recherche et développement et d'innovation. Une analyse de cette industrie, un atelier et des interviews ont permis de dégager six facteurs. Le thème principal sous-jacent est la nécessité de créer de meilleures conditions pour les entreprises et le commerce, ce qui implique une meilleure intégration et un plus gros effort d'innovation pour répondre aux demandes et aux attentes de la clientèle.
Strategy making has changed. No longer is the carefully conducted industry analysis or deliberate strategic plan a guarantee of success. Speed matters. A strategy that takes too long to formulate is at least as ineffective as the wrong strategy. But, how do decision makers make fast, yet high-quality, strategic choices? This article describes the powerful tactics that fast decision makers use. They maintain constant watch over real time operating information and rely on quick, comparative analysis to speed cognitive processing. They favor approaches to conflict resolution which are rapid and yet maintain group cohesion. Finally, their reliance on the private advice of experienced counselors and on integration with other decisions bolsters their confidence to decide quickly in the face of big stakes and high uncertainty. © 1990, The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Many people believe that good ideas are rarer and more valuable than good people. Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, couldn't disagree more. That notion, he says, is rooted in a misguided view of creativity that exaggerates the importance of the initial idea in developing an original product. And it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how to manage the large risks inherent in producing breakthroughs. In filmmaking and many other kinds of complex product development, creativity involves a large number of people from different disciplines working effectively together to solve a great many inherently unforeseeable problems. The trick to fostering collective creativity, Catmull says, is threefold: Place the creative authority for product development firmly in the hands of the project leaders (as opposed to corporate executives); build a culture and processes that encourage people to share their work-in-progress and support one another as peers; and dismantle the natural barriers that divide disciplines. Mindful of the rise and fall of so many tech companies, Catmull has also sought ways to continually challenge Pixar's assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy its culture. Clear values, constant communication, routine postmortems, and the regular injection of outsiders who will challenge the status quo are necessary but not enough to stay on the rails. Strong leadership is essential to make sure people don't pay lip service to those standards. For example, Catmull comes to the orientation sessions for all new hires, where he talks about the mistakes Pixar has made so people don't assume that just because the company is successful, everything it does is right.
This paper reports the development and psychometric validation of a multi-dimensional measure of facet-specific climate for innovation within groups at work: the Team Climate Inventory (TCI). Brief reviews of the organizational climate and work group innovation literatures are presented initially, and the need for measures of facet-specific climate at the level of the proximal work group asserted. The four-factor theory of facet-specific climate for innovation, which was derived from these reviews, is described, and the procedures used to operationalize this model into the original version measure described. Data attesting to underlying factor structure, internal homogeneity, predictive validity and factor replicability across groups of the summarized measure are presented. An initial sample of 155 individuals from 27 hospital management teams provided data for the exploratory factor analysis of this measure. Responses from 121 further groups in four occupations (35 primary health care teams, 42 social services teams, 20 psychiatric teams and 24 oil company teams; total N = 971) were used to apply confirmatory factor analysis techniques. This five-factor, 38-item summarized version demonstrates robust psychometric properties, with acceptable levels of reliability and validity. Potential applications of this measure are described and the implication of these findings for the measurement of proximal work group climate are discussed.
Cet article présente une synthèse des recherches et théories qui éclairent notre compréhension de la créativité et de la mise en œuvre de l’innovation dans les groupes de travail. Il semble que la créativité apparaisse essentiellement au cours des premières étapes du processus, avant la mise en œuvre. On étudie l’influence des caractéristiques de la tâche, des capacités et de l’éventail des connaissances du groupe, des demandes externes, des mécanismes d’intégration et de cohérence de groupe. La perception d’une menace, l’incertitude ou de fortes exigences entravent la créativité, mais favorisent l’innovation. La diversité des connaissances et des capacités est un bon prédicteur de l’innovation, mais l’intégration du groupe et les compétences sont indispensables pour récolter les fruits de la diversité. On examine aussi les implications théoriques et pratiques de ces considérations. In this article I synthesise research and theory that advance our understanding of creativity and innovation implementation in groups at work. It is suggested that creativity occurs primarily at the early stages of innovation processes with innovation implementation later. The influences of task characteristics, group knowledge diversity and skill, external demands, integrating group processes and intragroup safety are explored. Creativity, it is proposed, is hindered whereas perceived threat, uncertainty or other high levels of demands aid the implementation of innovation. Diversity of knowledge and skills is a powerful predictor of innovation, but integrating group processes and competencies are needed to enable the fruits of this diversity to be harvested. The implications for theory and practice are also explored.
The Creative Environment Scales Work Environment Inventory (WEI) is a new paper‐and‐pencil instrument designed to assess stimulants and obstacles to creativity in the work environment. Unlike many instruments that are designed as comprehensive descriptions of the work environment, the WEI focuses on those factors in the work environment that are most likely to influence the expression and development of creative ideas. Designed to be used at any level within any function of an organization, the WEI is intended as an organizational development instrument to improve the climate for creativity. Conceptually grounded in previous empirical and theoretical work on creativity and innovation, the WEI has been administered to 645 respondents drawn from five different groups. Factor analyses, scale reliabilities (internal consistencies), and between/within scale correlations indicate a high degree of integrity in the WEI scales. Furthermore, test‐retest reliability is high. Preliminary validity analyses indicate that the WEI does discriminate between different work environments, and that some of the scales are significantly related to creativity within the organization.
This article describes three efforts to design research on aspects of innovation in organization, along with the theoretical and empirical assumptions behind them. Each study occupies a different, progressively more macro-oriented tier in terms of level of analysis—from the innovation project as the unit, to the organization, to the extraorganizational environment.