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Group Creativity and Team Innovation Bernard Nijstad University of Amsterdam.

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1 Group Creativity and Team Innovation Bernard Nijstad University of Amsterdam

2 Collaborators / Co-Authors Carsten K. W. De Dreu (University of Amsterdam) Myriam N. Bechtoldt (University of Amsterdam) Eric F. Rietzschel (University of Groningen) Wolfgang Stroebe (Utrecht University) Matthijs Baas (University of Amsterdam)

3 This talk Background: defining (group) creativity and (team) innovation Overview of group creativity/team innovation research Towards a unified theory: The MIP-G model Illustrations –Lab studies of group creativity –Field study of team innovation Discussion

4 This talk Background: defining (group) creativity and (team) innovation Overview of group creativity/team innovation research Towards a unified theory: The MIP-G model Illustrations –Lab studies of group creativity –Field study of team innovation Discussion

5 Pablo Picasso

6 Emily Dickenson

7 Thomas Edison

8 Creative products A product is creative to the extend it is both new (novel, original) and appropriate (useful, feasible) (e.g., Amabile, 1983; Paulus & Nijstad, 2003; Sternberg & Lubart, 1999)

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10 Creative people Create creative products (paintings, poems, inventions, equations, theories, etc.) The best predictor of creative eminence is productivity (Simonton, 1999, 2003) –Picasso produced 147,800 works of art (Guinness book of records) –Dickenson wrote 1789 poems (latest count) –Edison has 1093 patents (in the US alone) The equal odds rule: every product has an equal chance of being creative

11 Creative process The process that results in creative products Flexible thinking, but also hard work (cf. De Dreu, Baas, & Nijstad, 2008; Dietrich, 2004) Different stages (e.g., Osborn, 1953; Nijstad & Levine, 2007) –Problem finding (definition, preparation) –Idea finding (divergent thinking) –Solution finding (selection, implementation)

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13 Group creativity The creative product resulted from the input of more than one person This does not imply group involvement in all stages of the creative process (cf. Nijstad & Levine, 2007) Examples: –Music, theater, film, art (e.g., Sawyer, 2003, 2006; Simonton, 2004; Farrell, 2001) –Organizational teams (e.g., Dewett, 2004; Sutton & Hargadon, 1996) –Student groups (e.g., Taggar, 2002) –Research groups (e.g., Dunbar, 1994) –Classrooms (e.g., Hennesey, 2003)

14 Team innovation The intentional introduction or application of ideas, processes, products, or procedures that are new to the team and that are designed to be useful (West & Farr, 1990) Two differences with creativity: 1.Newness to the unit of adoption (relative rather than absolute) 2.Implementation is crucial (e.g., West, 2002)

15 Innovation implementation

16 This talk Background: defining (group) creativity and (team) innovation Overview of group creativity/team innovation research Towards a unified theory: The MIP-G model Illustrations –Lab studies of group creativity –Field study of team innovation Discussion

17 Some history In psychology interest started in the 1950s: Guilford, 1950; Mednick, 1962; Torrance, 1969; Stein, 1975) Initial focus on divergent thinking

18 Divergent thinking and brainstorming Alex Osborn (1953, 1957, 1963) Principles –Quantity breeds quality –Deferment of judgment “always we should keep asking our imagination ‘what else?’ and again ‘what else’”

19 Does brainstorming work? (1) Brainstorming versus non-brainstorming procedures Brainstorming instructions enhance idea production (number; Parnes & Meadow, 1959) Quantity is related to quality (number of good ideas) (e.g., Diehl & Stroebe, 1987, r =.82; Parnes & Meadow, 1959, r =.69)

20 Does Brainstorming work? (2) Group versus individual brainstorming Osborn (1957): “the average individual can think up twice as many ideas when working with a group than when working alone” (p. 229) But: productivity loss (Taylor et al., 1958; Diehl & Stroebe, 1987; Mullen et al., 1991) –Interactive versus nominal groups: large and robust effect –Increases with group size

21 Social-motivational factors Based on social facilitation/social loafing literatures Social loafing/free riding (e.g., Diehl & Stroebe, 1987) Social matching (cf. co-action paradigms; e.g., Paulus & Dzindolet, 1993; Camacho & Paulus, 1995; but see Munkes & Diehl, 2004 ) Evaluation apprehension (cf. social facilitation; e.g., Maginn & Harris, 1980; Diehl & Stroebe, 1987 )

22 Evaluation apprehension

23 Production blocking Production blocking (turn-taking) is a major cause of productivity losses Evidence: –Introducing blocking in nominal groups causes productivity loss (Diehl & Stroebe, 1987, 1991) –Removing production blocking in interactive groups eliminates productivity loss (EBS, Gallupe et al., 1991; writing, Paulus & Yang, 2000) –Introducing blocking in EBS causes productivity loss (Gallupe et al., 1994) The effect is due to cognitive interference (Nijstad et al., 2003)

24 Cognitive stimulation? In (large) EBS groups (e.g., Dennis & Valacich, 1993; Valacich et al., 1994) In brainwriting (Paulus & Yang, 2000) In presentation paradigms (Dugosh et al., 2000; Nijstad et al., 2002)

25 The creativity perspective 1.Brainstorming is just one stage of creativity Studies of idea selection (Faure, 2004; Putman & Paulus, in press; Rietzschel et al., 2006) No consistent advantage of nominal groups Ineffective selection and focus on feasibility 2.The reality of groups and teams Refocus: what determines (high quality) group creative output? Comparing groups with other groups

26 A few recent examples Effect ofDirectionReference Membership change + Choi & Thompson, 2005; Nemeth et al., 2007 Positive moods + Grawitch et al., 2003 need for closure (time pressure, dispositional) - Chirumbolo et al., 2005 Previous competitive interaction + (originality) Beersma & De Dreu, 2005 Individualism + (originality) Goncalo & Staw, 2006

27 Innovation Economist, 2001: “Ideas are ten a penny. Put a handful of bright engineers in a brainstorming session and they will come up with literally scores of clever ideas […]. Invention is the easy bit. Innovation, by contrast, is the genuinely difficult part […]. What it does depend on is the single-mindedness with which the business plan is executed, as countless obstacles on the road to commercialization are surmounted, by-passed or hammered flat.”

28 Team innovation versus group creativity Group creativity: mostly ad hoc laboratory groups doing a brainstorming task Team innovation: field studies of intact teams –With a history and a future (team climate) –Less homogeneous (team heterogeneity) –With leader/supervisor (leadership) –Working at more complex tasks (task factors)

29 A few examples Effect ofDirectionReference Task autonomy, intrinsic motivation + West, 2003; Amabile et al., 1996; Kim & Leigh, 1985 Team climate (safety, support) + West & Anderson, 1996; Anderson & West, 1998 Team diversity and leadership + Shin & Zhou, 2007; Somech, 2006 Team diversity and interdependence + Van der Vegt & Janssen, 2003

30 In sum… “Somehow it fills my head with ideas — only I don’t exactly know what they are!”

31 This talk Background: defining (group) creativity and (team) innovation Overview of group creativity/team innovation research Towards a unified theory: The MIP-G model Illustrations –Lab studies of group creativity –Field study of team innovation Discussion

32 Motivated information processing in groups (MIP-G) De Dreu, Nijstad, & Van Knippenberg, Groups performing cognitive tasks can be conceptualized as information processors (Hinsz, Tindale, & Vollrath, 1997) Individual level processing (encoding, retrieval, etc) Group level communication 2.Group members provide the resources (KSA) 3.Trough information processing the member contributions are turned into a group product

33 Motivation and information processing 1.Information processing can be shallow and deep (cf. dual process models): epistemic motivation 2.Information processing can be directed at individual or collective goals (cf. mixed motive tasks, e.g., negotiations): social motivation

34 Epistemic motivation “the willingness to expend effort to achieve a thorough, rich, and accurate understanding of the world, including the group task, rather than relying on routine or habitual thought” Rooted in individual differences –Need for cognition (+) –Need for closure/need for structure (-) –Openness to experience (+) Affected by situational factors –time pressure (-) –process accountability (+) –Preference diversity, minority dissent (+)

35 For example: High need for structure

36 Social motivation “the preference for outcome distributions between oneself and other team members” pro-self (own outcomes) – pro-social (joint outcomes) Rooted in individual differences –Social Value Orientation –Agreeableness (+) Affected by situational factors –Transformational leadership (+) –Team climate (e.g., participative safety) (+) –Task and outcome interdependence (+)

37 Social motivation (TEAM)

38 The different combinations Low EM, Pro-self: Lack of task interest, social loafing Low EM, Pro-social: Focus on harmony, groupthink High EM, Pro-self: Strategic behavior, lying and deception High EM, Pro-social: Deliberative integration of information, high creativity and innovation

39 The basic prediction Groups and teams are most creative/innovative when high levels of epistemic motivation are paired with high levels of pro-social motivation Members are processing information to reach collective goals Boundary condition: the inputs of different members are necessary

40 This talk Background: defining (group) creativity and (team) innovation Overview of group creativity/team innovation research Towards a unified theory: The MIP-G model Illustrations –Lab studies of group creativity –Field study of team innovation Discussion

41 Study 1 & 2:Group creativity Brainstorming task: improve teaching Creativity: original and useful Three dependent variables: –Fluency (# ideas) –Originality –Feasibility

42 Study 1 Design: Epistemic Motivation x Social Motivation EM: process accountability (no/yes) SM: incentive schemes (reward personal performance or collective performance) 3-person groups (N = 39 groups) 10 min sessions (individually write down your non-redundant ideas)

43 Results (Study 1): Fluency

44 Results (Study 1): Originality

45 Results (Study 1): Feasibility

46 Conclusion Study 1 The combination of high EM and pro- social motivation increased originality It did not affect fluency and feasibility Conceptual replication: Study 2

47 Study 2 Design: EM x SM EM: time pressure (yes (5 min) vs. no (15 min)) SM: agreeableness (continuous, group average) 3-person groups (N = 36 groups) 10 min sessions (individually write down your non-redundant ideas)

48 Results (Study 2): Fluency

49 Results (Study 2): Originality

50 Results (Study 2): Feasibility

51 Conclusions Study 2 The combination of high EM and pro- social motivation led to: –Higher fluency –High originality –Relatively high feasibility (correlation originality-feasibility r = -.70) More good ideas! (Both original and feasible)

52 Study 3: Top management team innovation N = 36 top management teams, team size: 3-17, Average company size: 1750 employees Questionnaire team members (N = 196) –Minority dissent (EM): 4 items, α =.68 (e.g., “individuals disagree with the rest of the team”) –Participative safety (SM): 8 items, α =.84 (e.g., “We have a ‘we are in it together’ mentality”) Interview with CEO: list innovations and judge them on radicalness and effectiveness –Number –Radicalness and effectiveness –Number of high quality innovations

53 Results (Study 3) On number of innovations: –only a main effect of minority dissent (MD): ß =.61, p <.01 On average radicalness –A minority dissent X participative safety (PS) interaction: ß =.40, p <.05 Low PS: ß = -.35 (ns) High PS: ß =.19 (ns) On average effectiveness –No effects On number of influential innovations: –A minority dissent X participative safety (PS) interaction: ß =.46, p <.05 (next slide)

54 The interaction

55 Conclusion Study 3 Minority dissent as a proxy for EM leads to more innovations (main effect) These are only turned into high quality innovations with high levels of participative safety (as a a proxy for SM)

56 This talk Background: defining (group) creativity and (team) innovation Overview of group creativity/team innovation research Towards a unified theory: The MIP-G model Illustrations –Lab studies of group creativity –Field study of team innovation Discussion

57 MIP-G model can potentially integrate many findings For example: –Heterogeneity may associate with EM (Van Knippenberg et al., 2004) –Task reflexivity and EM (e.g., De Dreu, 2002) –Task interdependence and SM (Van der Vegt & Janssen, 2003) –Transformational leadership and SM (Shin & Zhou, 2007) We need direct evidence, and some issues remain

58 Standing out and fitting in Willingness to stand out and SM –Previous competitive, not pro-social interaction (Beersma & De Dreu, 2005) –Individualism, not collectivism (Goncalo & Staw, 2006) Besides SM, one also needs high EM (otherwise focus on harmony) Standing out can be perceived to be in the interest of the group

59 Cultural differences Study in Korea, with different results –Time pressure X incentive schemes –High epistemic motivation + pro-social motivation increased feasibility (not originality) Reason –What is important for the group? What are collective goals? –Relations vs. task; originality vs. tradition

60 Conclusion The combination of high epistemic motivation and high pro-social motivation leads groups to systematic and deep information processing to reach group goals High levels of creativity and innovation follow if this is perceived to be in the interest of the group

61 Questions?


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