team climate; team building; creative methods
International Journal of Technology Management, 79 (3/4), 299-
This study employs a mixed methods approach to investigate the effect of creative methods, the combinative use of model building and storytelling, during team initiation on team climate, a critical people-related factor in the management of collective innovation work. Qualitative analysis provides empirical evidence that creative methods benefit team initiation by raising participative confidence, engagement with the social environment as well as the team activities, friendly competition among team members, and by reducing fear of failure and habitual thinking. We also find support that the use of creative methods initiates and supports the development of positive team climate over the span of a team’s life. A quantitative comparison with two control groups using the 14-item team climate inventory (TCI) 13 weeks after the team initiation indicates that the test group has significantly higher values in all dimensions of the TCI than the two control groups. Overall, this examination informs the work of innovation managers and scholars with vital insights about the effectiveness of using creative methods during team initiation.