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Forming Creative Teams: An Experimental Approach

[+] Author Affiliations
Manuel E. Sosa

INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France

Franck Marle

École Centrale Paris, Chatenay-Malabry, France

Paper No. DETC2010-28638, pp. 341-353; 13 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 22nd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Special Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4413-7 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


One of the most difficult challenges when managing innovation is to identify the individuals within the organization that need to work closely with each other to maximize the generation of creative ideas. This paper introduces a structured approach to guide managers on their decisions to form a temporary team (or task force) from which creative solutions would be demanded. Our general approach exploits the notion of creative interactions, which recognizes that people trigger the generation of creative ideas when interacting with each other for task-related matters. The basic premise in this paper is that the occurrence of creative interactions in the past predicts the occurrence of creative interactions in future design efforts. We designed an experiment in which participants enrolled in an Executive MBA program rated the easiness to generate creative ideas after interacting with each of their classmates during the first modules of the program. Then, participants were randomly assigned into teams to complete a product design exercise. After the exercise, each participant assessed the easiness to generate creative ideas while interacting with other team members during the design exercise. The results suggest that creative interactions are predicted by a combination of both past creative interactions and class’ assessment of the ability of a colleague to trigger creative ideas on others. Implications for developing a structured approach to form creative teams are discussed.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Teams



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