Date of Award

6-25-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

David Foster, PhD

Second Advisor

Jay Thomas, PhD, ABPP

Abstract

With the emphasis on using groups to solve complicated societal and environmental challenges today, understanding the process of group creativity is extremely important. By identifying team composition variables that enhance the group creative processes and in turn predict greater group performance, organizations will be better able to design and facilitate problem solving groups. The current study examined how group creativity mediates the relationship between expert-mediated exploration, operationalized as variance in openness to new experience, extroversion, and self-esteem, and group performance, operationalized as group added value. Seventy-five 3-person groups from a university in the Pacific Northwest participated in the study (mean age 20.7 years). Participants completed two survival tasks, first individually and then as a group. The relationships between the identified variables were assessed using structural equation modeling. Results revealed an indirect relationship between expert-mediated exploration and group-added value, as mediated by group creativity. Possible explanations, implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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