John Berthold

Abstract

It is often suggested that most creative ideas that lead to an innovation originate from a collaborative environment.  Organizations frequently establish teams to encourage collaboration as a way of generating new and creative ideas for innovation.  Yet, teams often fail to establish a proper collaborative environment in a timely manner or to stimulate team creativity.  Team creativity, a by-product of the proper collaborative experience, and its stimulating agents are the focus of this paper.  Specifically, this paper examines how organizations can rapidly create the proper collaborative environment to induce team creativity using swift-trust.  Swift-trust, a unique form of trust and collective perception, is proposed as a stimulating agent for the quick formation of a collaborative environment that leads to team creativity.  The antecedents to the formation of swift trust are identified as team composition and team tasking.  The moderating effects of the leader-member relationship and history are examined.  Overall, results show that swift trust leads to the rapid establishment of a collaborative team environment which leads to team creativity.  A conceptual model is presented and an example is discussed.  This paper makes two important contributions.  First, the establishment of a swift-trust environment is positively linked to the early stimulation of team creativity.  Second, a practical blueprint, through the development of a conceptual model, is offered to the management practitioner desiring to quickly stimulate team creativity using swift-trust.