The Personality Composition of Teams and Creativity: The Moderating Role of Team Creative Confidence


Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130. E-mail:


We examined the possibility that teams composed primarily of individuals with personality characteristics conducive to team creativity (e.g., high extraversion, high openness to experience, low conscientiousness, high neuroticism, low agree-ableness) would show synergistic increases in creativity when they experienced high levels of “team creative confidence”, a shared understanding that the team is more creative than each team member individually. We tested these hypotheses using a sample of 145 three-student teams that worked on a set of idea generation tasks at Time 1 (T1) and a second set two weeks later at Time 2 (T2). As expected, results of cross-lagged regression analysis indicated that when team creative confidence at T1 was high, team creativity at T2 increased quadratically as the number of team members who scored high on extraversion, high on openness, or low on conscientiousness increased. However, the number of individuals composing a team who scored high on neuroticism or low on agree-ableness had no relation to team creativity under conditions of high or low team creative confidence. Implications of these results for the design of creative teams are discussed.