The Emergence of Team Creativity: A social network perspective
To overcome complex and dynamic economic challenges, organizations increasingly employ teams and build their competitive advantages on the inimitable capital of creativity. Naturally, when and how individual inputs combine to form team outcomes has therefore become one of the core questions in developing creativity theories. For years, empirical studies have been based on the assumptions of the additive model, where individual team members contribute equally to team creativity. This dissertation challenges this assumption in different ways.
In the first empirical chapter, I provide evidence for an alternative model, the disjunctive model, which predicts team creativity based on the creative performance of a team’s most creative member, and shows under which conditions this most creative member’s inputs are adopted and contribute to team creativity.
The second empirical chapter meta-analyzes the validity of both the additive model and the disjunctive model, and finds support for both across different contexts.
The third empirical chapter extends the focus from a team’s creative performance to a team’s general performance, and uses a social network perspective to examine how the ‘disjunctive’ role of team leaders promotes team performance.
The core contribution of this dissertation lies in supporting the predictive power of the disjunctive model of team creativity, thereby challenging mainstream research on team creativity which undervalues the importance of key team members and their surrounding subgroups. A contingent perspective on both additive and disjunctive models is proposed.