The influence of a team development intervention (improvisational theatre) on climate for work group innovation
Thesis (MComm (Industrial Psychology))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.
The present study evaluates the influence on the four factors of an innovative work group climate, namely participative safety, vision, support for innovation and task orientation, of a team development intervention based on improvisational theatre exercises. In the literature study, these four factors are compared with the principles of improvisational theatre, namely trust and support, agreement, listening and awareness, and narrative skills. A quasiexperimental study was conducted. Differences in pre-test and post-test scores of an experimental group (ne=15), who took part in a half-day improvisation theatre team development intervention, are compared with the differences in pre- and post-test scores of a control group (nc=13). The sample consisted of two teams from a health care management unit, which formed part of the health care department of a large insurance company in South Africa. The results show that, for innovative work group climate as a whole, the experimental group’s scores improved significantly (p<.01) in comparison to the control group’s scores. The experimental group’s scores for the three factors, vision, participative safety and task orientation, also improved significantly in comparison to the control group’s scores (p<.05 for all three factors). However, the experimental group’s score for support for innovation did not improve significantly. It is therefore concluded that the intervention had a positive influence on climate for work group innovation, based on its impact on the three factors, vision, participative safety and task orientation. In conclusion, this study builds on previous research that endorses the application of improvisational theatre techniques in organisational development settings.