The Effects of Framing Instructions and Membership Change on Team Creativity

Open Access
Mulhearn, Tyler James
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Thesis Supervisor
  • William Ray, Honors Advisor
  • Creativity
  • Team
  • Brainstorming
  • Conflict
  • Change
  • Framing
The present study investigated the effects of framing instructions and membership change on team creativity. The framing instructions condition compared the effects of task conflict instructions with that of brainstorming instructions. I hypothesized that teams exposed to instructions endorsing task conflict would produce more creative outcomes in comparison to teams given brainstorming instructions. The membership change condition compared the effects of membership change, in which two team members were randomly selected to change places with one another halfway through a creative task, with a control condition. I hypothesized that membership change teams would produce more creative outcomes compared to teams in the control condition. I also hypothesized that an interaction would take place, such that teams receiving the task conflict instructions and undergoing membership change would produce the most creative outcomes. To test these hypotheses, sixty-three three-person teams participated in an hour-long experiment in which they were asked to develop a plan for a new charitable event for the university. None of the proposed hypotheses were supported. An exploratory analysis revealed that an interaction took place between membership change and participative safety on originality. Limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.