Foundational elements of a managerial framework to support team creativity in engineering organisations: Organising and expanding the body of knowledge.

Bam, Louzanne (2019-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Creativity plays a role throughout the engineering design process, and therefore in the problem-solving activity that lies at the root of engineering work. Due to the complex interaction between creativity and the range of factors that influence it, engineering organisations cannot simply be assumed to be conducive environments for creative activity. The research presented in this dissertation seeks to lay the foundation for the development of a managerial framework to support team creativity in engineering organisations, primarily by organising and expanding the body of knowledge on antecedents and outcomes of team creativity. A key perspective that is adopted in the research is that creativity in itself is not a desirable outcome for organisations to pursue. A framework should, therefore, include information on boundary conditions that cause team creativity to lead to positive outcomes that are meaningful to the organisation, rather than to negative outcomes. The large body of empirical research on antecedents of team creativity is deemed sufficiently mature to support the development of a framework. Hence, a metaanalysis is conducted to determine the construct-level relationship between team creativity and various antecedents that have been proposed in literature. The body of empirical research on the outcomes of team creativity is limited, with notable gaps including a lack of research on potential negative outcomes. Consequently, this body of research is deemed not to be sufficiently mature to support the development of a framework. A number of contributions to the body of knowledge on the outcomes of team creativity is offered in this research, including: the outcomes that have been studied are summarised into an extension of an organising framework for knowledge on antecedents of team creativity; and empirical research is conducted on a potential negative outcome, namely unethical behaviour by the team. The findings of the empirical study indicate that, when team members experience increased levels of either challenge or hindrance stressors, team creativity can lead to unethical behaviour by the team. The mechanism of moral disengagement which facilitates this unethical behaviour differs, based on the type of stressor that is experienced. Specifically, increased levels of hindrance stressors lead to unethical behaviour by the team through a process of displacement of responsibility, while increased levels of challenge stressors lead to unethical behaviour by the team through a process of both moral justification and displacement of responsibility. Seven elements of a managerial framework to support team creativity in engineering organisations are also recommended, based on the systems perspective on creativity, namely: person; process; place; product; leadership; persuasion; and potential.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kreatiwiteit vervul ’n rol deur die hele ingenieursontwerpproses, en dus ook in die probleemoplossingsaktiwiteit waarop ingenieurswerk berus. Weens die komplekse interaksie tussen kreatiwiteit en die verskeidenheid faktore wat dit be¨ınvloed, kan ’n mens nie sonder meer aanneem dat ingenieursorganisasies bevorderlike omgewings vir kreatiewe aktiwiteit is nie. Die navorsing wat in hierdie verhandeling aangebied word, beoog om die grondslag te lˆe vir die ontwikkeling van ’n bestuursraamwerk om spankreatiwiteit in ingenieursorganisasies te ondersteun. D´ıt word hoofsaaklik gedoen deur die beskikbare kennis oor die antesedente en uitkomste van spankreatiwiteit te organiseer en uit te brei. ’n Kernperspektief wat in die navorsing gebruik word, is dat kreatiwiteit op sigself nie ’n gewenste uitkoms is waarna organisasies moet streef nie. Daarom behoort ’n raamwerk inligting in te sluit oor grenstoestande wat verseker dat spankreatiwiteit positiewe uitkomste het wat sinvol is vir die organisasie, en nie negatiewe uitkomste nie. Die groot hoeveelheid bestaande empiriese navorsing oor antesedente van spankreatiwiteit word as ontwikkeld genoeg beskou om die ontwikkeling van ’n raamwerk te ondersteun. Daarom word ’n meta-ontleding onderneem om die verwantskap tussen spankreatiwiteit en die verskillende voorgestelde antesedente in die literatuur op konstrukvlak te bepaal. Daarteenoor is die bestaande empiriese navorsing oor die uitkomste van spankreatiwiteit beperk en is daar merkbare leemtes, waaronder ’n tekort aan navorsing oor moontlike negatiewe uitkomste. Die navorsing is dus ni´e ontwikkeld genoeg om die ontwikkeling van ’n raamwerk te ondersteun nie. Hierdie verhandeling lewer ’n aantal bydraes tot kennis oor die uitkomste van spankreatiwiteit So byvoorbeeld word die bestudeerde uitkomste saamgevat in ’n organiserende raamwerk van kennis oor antesedente van spankreatiwiteit, en word empiriese navorsing oor ’n moontlike negatiewe uitkoms, synde onetiese spangedrag, onderneem. Die bevindinge van die empiriese studie dui daarop dat spankreatiwiteit tot onetiese spangedrag kan lei, maar slegs indien spanlede verhoogde vlakke van hetsy uitdaging- of stremmingstressors beleef. Die meganisme van morele ontkoppeling wat hierdie onetiese gedrag in die hand werk, wissel na gelang van die tipe stressor wat ervaar word. Verhoogde vlakke van stremmingstressors lei tot onetiese spangedrag deur ’n proses van verplasing van verantwoordelikheid, terwyl verhoogde vlakke van uitdagingstressors tot onetiese spangedrag lei deur ’n proses van sowel morele regverdiging as verplasing van verantwoordelikheid. Daarbenewens word sewe elemente van ’n bestuursraamwerk ter ondersteuning van spankreatiwiteit in ingenieursorganisasies aanbeveel. Di´e elemente, wat op die stelselsperspektief van kreatiwiteit gegrond is, is persoon, proses, plek, produk, leierskap, oorreding en potensiaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107021
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