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Creativity is essential for research and development efforts. Research and development endavours are typically organized in teams. Unfortunately, little is known about how the polarity or in other words the conflict potential determines the creativity of such teams. Based on a sample of 51 research and development teams (R&D teams), this study examines the effects of polarity on team creativity and attemps to explore situational conditions when conflict potential is detrimental or facilitating R&D team creativity. The results show that foremost in the conceptualization phase of R&D efforts polarity positively influences the creative performance of R&D teams, whereas at lower degrees of complexity or in situations later in the development cycle polarity negatively impacts the creative performance of R&D teams.