In organizations, creative work is often carried out in teams, yet the mechanisms that lead teams to perform well on creative tasks are not well understood. Drawing on previous research, we argue that reframing, defined as a switch in the frame of reference from which a problem is approached, constitutes an important process to consider in explaining creative benefits on the group level. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature on group composition and processes we identify the interplay of a group's diversity and the degree to which group members engage in perspective taking as crucial antecedents to both reframing and group level creativity. We hypothesize that perspective taking moderates the effect of functional role diversity on group creativity and that this moderation effect is mediated by reframing. Results of a group experiment manipulating both diversity and perspective taking in students groups (N=77) performing a creative task largely confirm our propositions. Perspective taking and diversity interact to predict group creativity. Furthermore, audio-video coded use of reframing in the group interaction partially mediates this moderated effect. Our results indicate the importance of perspective taking to realize the potential diverse groups hold. Accordingly, in order to increase our knowledge on how to manage diverse teams, further research of the factors conducive to perspective taking represents a promising avenue for future research.

Creativity, Diversity, Teams
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Hoever, I.J, van Knippenberg, D.L, van Ginkel, W.P, & Barkema, H.G. (2010). Fostering team creativity: Perspective taking as key to unlocking diversity's potential. Retrieved from