The relationship between individual creativity and team creativity: aggregating across people and time



This paper investigates how the creativity of individual team members is related to team creativity, and the influence of climate for creativity in the workplace on individual and team creativity. A multilevel theoretical model is proposed, and the authors report a study which tests the model using a sample of 54 research and development teams. The results showed that team creativity scores could be explained statistically by aggregation processes across both people and time. Team creativity at a particular point in time could be explained as either the average or a weighted average of team member creativity; the creativity of project outcomes was explained by either the maximum of or average of team creativity across time-points. According to the model, failure to account for aggregation across time as well as across individuals can result in misleading empirical results, and can result in the erroneous conclusion that team climate influences team creativity directly rather than indirectly via individuals. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.