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  • 2017ShreevePhD

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CreativeTeams: exploring the creative performance of co-located and virtual teams

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
Publication date2018
Number of pages185
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Sawyer, Pete, Supervisor, External person
Award date1/08/2017
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This thesis compares the creative performance of traditional co-located and virtual teams. Motivation for this research is twofold. Firstly there is the reluctance shown by many organisations to adopt virtual working practises. Second, there is the gap in existing research ex- ploring how virtual teams collaborate synchronously when addressing complex tasks. In particular there is a lack of empirical research com- paring co-located and virtual team performance. The CreativeTeams tool has been created to address this by providing an objective method of measuring team creative performance regardless of location. Cre- ativity is assessed because it is an important socio-cognitive process, and is often key in addressing complex tasks requiring extensive team collaboration such as designing, problem solving and emergency plan- ning. Such complex tasks have traditionally been the sole domain of co-located teams. This thesis therefore provides a point of compar- ison. The tool itself incorporates a number of activities, the core of which are adapted from the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.
A study has been run with 150 student participants, working in 50 teams. Each team completes the CreativeTeams activities in either a co-located or virtual environment. Outputs from these activities are assessed by multiple markers and analysed along with meta data from the tool. A comparison of these metrics indicates no significant differ- ence in co-located and virtual team performance across the majority of metrics. This demonstrates that virtual teams can be as effective as co-located teams in addressing complex tasks and is a key research contribution, as is the formation of the CreativeTeams tool itself.