Chiao Da Management Review Vol. 31 No. 1,2011 pp.135-168
Exploring the Creativity Performance of Virtual Teams
from the Perspectives of Leadership and Creative
王精文 Ching-Wen Wang 中興大學企業管理學系
Department of Business Administration, National Chung Hsing University 陳心懿1 Angela Shin-Yih Chen
Department ofIndustrial and Business Management, Chang Gung University 林怡君 Yi-ChunLin
Graduate lnstitute ofInternational Human Resource Development, National Taiwan Normal University
林椅章 Po-ChangLin 明道大學餐旅管理學系
Department of Hospitality Management, MingDao University 李珍玖 Chen-MeiLee
Department ofHospitality Management, MingDao University
1 Corresponding author: Department of lndustrial and Business Manageme肘， Chang Gung Universi旬，Tao-Yuan, Taoyuan Coun旬，Taiwan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Acknowledgements. We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers and the editor for their comments. The work was supported by the National Science Council, grant no. NSC 95-24 I 6-H-005峙的&NSC 96-2416-H-005-002-MY3
136 Ex.砂:plor門m咚'glhe Cr叩e，αf仰lV川、ν叫y刁仰t
t伽h仰ePer砂s:p臼e'C，l仰lVν，吧叫e臼sofLeade~吋'shi坤tψipand Crealive Pe吋'SonαIil)r. 秒J 摘要:虛擬圍隊已成為新的任務單位，為提升團隊成員的創造力績效，企業 必須同時從團隊的領導者與成員兩觀點進行探討 。 本研究採縱貫性研究方 式，探討不同的領導激勵語言與成員創造力人格，對成員創造力績效的影響， 採 2x3 實驗設計，將三校四個班級的 180 位大學生進行隨機指派分組，經四 週的網路群體決策支援系統會議後，發現在創意構想量方面，領導者的同理 心語言能明顯提升創新型與適應型人格成員的構想量，方向指引語言則能明 顯提升中間型人格的構想量。在構想品質方面，創新型人格平均表現較佳， 若成員在任務中傳達的構想量愈多，其構想品質也愈好。因此，建議虛擬團 隊領導者在帶領成員執行任務時 ， 應考量成員的人格差異，運用不同的激勵 語言來鼓勵成員多發表意見與參考他人意見，並遴選創新型人格者來執行創 意任務，此將有助於提升創造力績效 。 關鍵字:虛擬團隊;領導;激勵語言;創造力人格;創造力
Abstract : The virtual team is a new 句peof work unit. In order to promote the creative performance ofvirtual team members, enterprises should explore relevant factors from the perspectives of both leadership and team members. The present study adopted a longitudinal approach to examine the effects of leaders' motivating language and members' creative personalities on the creative performance of virtual teams. This 2x3 experimental design pr，叮叮tinc\uded 180 students from four c\asses at three universities who were randomly assigned to participate. After 4 weeks of on-line meetings on a web-based group decision support system, the following results were found: (1) the leader's empathetic language significantly improved the ideas of innovators or adaptors; (2) the leader's direction-giving language significantly improved the ideas of intermediates; and, (3) the innovators expressing more ideas showed superior quality in their creative performance. These results suggest that in order to promote members' creative performance, Leaders should consider members' creative personalities as well as choose appropriate motivating language to encourage members to express ideas. Meanwhile, leaders should select individals with higher creative personality to deliver creative tasks.
Chiao Da Managemenl Reνlew 均l.31 No. 1,2011 137
Keywords : Virtual team; Leadership; Motivating language; Creative personality; Creativity
In order to establish highly valuable and irreplaceable core competences for
enterprises in the global market, the main challenge is to increase employees'
creativity and formalize innovative environments (Shalley and Gilson, 2004).
Consideration should be given to how to implement methods to increase
employees' creativity at the individual, group, and organizational levels
(Woodman, Sawyer and Griffi.n, 1993), as well as how to create synergy between
individual characteristics and the organizational environment (Treffinger, Isaksen
and Dorval, 2000). Creativity at the individual level is related to personali旬， motivation, and knowledge (Amabile, et al., 1996). Creativity at the group or
organizational level is corre1ated with training, job autonomy, supervisor and
colleague suppo此， leadership style, leaders' motivating language, rewards, and
innovative climate (Amabile et al., 1996; Isaksen et al., 2000; Kahai, Sosik and
Avolio, 2003; Mayfie1d and Mayfield, 2004). For example, Choi (2004a)
discovered from his qualitative study of undergraduate students that dissimilar individual characteristics, motivations and abilities, and the social inf1uences of peers and leaders in a group will produce differences in creative self-efficacy and degree of innovative motivation, resulting in an effect on individual creative
behavior. Consequently, in order to increase members' creativity, organizations
need to consider the possible influences of individual and organizational factors.
Ford's (1996) creative action theory addressed some of the main factors that
a能ctcreative performance, including motivation, personali旬， beliefs, emotions,
knowledge and abilities. Furthermo悶， previous studies found that individual
creative personality was highly related to creative performance (Kirton, 1976,
1988). Zhou and Oldham (2001) explored the relationship between creative
personality and creative performance based on a sample of 68 undergraduate
students who participated in a creative task (e.g. role playing). The result showed
138 Exploring the C削tivityPe柚rmanceof Vìrtual Teams from the Perspectiνes of Leadersh伊 andCreatiνePersonality
more creative manner. Meneely and Portillo's (2005) study investigated the relationships among creative personality, cognitive style, and creative
performance based on a sample of 39 undergraduate students, and found that a
creative personality would significantly predict creative performance. Therefore, an individual's creative personality is a critical factor that influences creative performance.
However, prior studies focused primarily on the effects ofmembers' creative
performance at the individual level rather than the group level (Choi, 2004b). According to Woodman, Sawyer and Gri伍 n's (1993) organizational creativity
theory, individual creativity is influenced not only by individual factors, inc1uding personality 甘al俗，cognitive styles, knowledge and motivations, but also on group
factors, inc1uding group composition (i.e., homogeneity versus heterogeneity), group characteristics (i.e., cohesiveness), group process (i.e., information processing), and th巴 social influences generated from people's interactions with each other. Ocker (2005) recruited ten virtual teams from enterprises to participate
in a qualitative study, and demonstrated that the collaborative climate in a virtual team and the constructive social inf1uences among team members effectively
increases their creative performance. Some enterprises have used testing tools to select appropriate employees who have creative personalities, such as the Kirton
Adaptation Innovation Inventory (KAI) (Kirton, 1988) and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Torranc巴， 1974). After the selection process, employees
presented similar or homogeneous personalities or creative thinking. Hence, the present study aimed to discover whether there was any difference in members' creative performance between a team made up ofhighly creative personalities and a team made up of less creative personalities. In other words, using the scenario of
virtual teams that consisted of different levels of creative personalities, the present
study explored the effects of virtual team members' creative personality levels on creative performance
The person-environment fit theory illustrates that the higher the fit between the individual's characteristics or abilities and the organizational environment, the
greater the member's creative performance (Choi, 2004b). That is to say, environmental factors play an important ro
Chiao Da Manα'gemenl Reνlew 的1.31 No. 1,201/ 139
and Gustafson, 1988). Redmond, Mumford and Teach (1993) and Harbome and Johne (2001) agreed that leadership was the most important environmental factor that intluences employees' creativity. Etfective leadership can make employees engage more deeply in creative performance and achieve their challenging goals. Amabile et al. (1996) also found that employees' creativity and their creative performance were significantly influenced by the leaders' interaction with
subordinates and their trusting and supportive relationship with subordinates
Within the last decade, research has determined that leadership is vital for team effectiveness in a virtual environment. Evidence has shown that leadership behaviors within virtual teams had a significant impact on members' performance
(Kayworth and Leidner, 2002). Specifically, some studies have c1assified
leadership Ínto transformational leadership and transactional leadership, as it relates to members' performance (So祉， Avolio and Kahai, 1997, 1998; Kahai, Sosik and Avolio, 1997, 2003, 2004; Purvanova and Bono, 2009). Hambley,
O'Neill and Kline (2007) concluded that past studies of leadership effectiveness
in virtual teams had not yet identified the best leadership style. Based on the
contingency leadership theory, e仔ective leadership depends on various
management contexts. For example, transactional leadership was a more efficient
approach to facilitate teamwork than transformational leadership when team
members knew each other's identities on the Intemet. In contrast,
transfonnational leadership was more efficient when the lntemet behavior was
anonymous. Furthermore, based on House's (1996) path-goal theory, effective
leadership behavior emphasizes the fit between the environment and the
employees. 1n summary, effective leadership relies on different situational factors.
The present study applied the contingency leadership perspective to investigate which types of leadership behavior will increase creative performance when team
leaders face various membe俗，creative personalities.
The recent development of advanced information technology has changed the traditional face-to-face working conditions in organizations. Employees are
able to utilize a network to discuss complex tasks and cooperate with others any
time and anywhere. Due to the emergence of virtual teamwork, communication,
140 Exploring the Creativi抄 Pe吃(ormanceojVzrtual Teamsj的n
the Perspectiνes oj Leadership and Crealive Personality
Shurygailo, 2003; Curseu, Schalk, and Wessel, 2008), the virtual team has been most typically defined as a group of members who have the same goals, working to accomplish their tasks with other members primarily via information and tele-communication technology (Hertel, Geister and Konradt, 2005). This new working style has become very popular with organizations (Hertel, Konradt and Orlikowski, 2004). However, virtual teamwork is more complicated than the traditional face-to-face work style. Leaders need to deliver and exchange information with members located in different places (DeSanct時，Wright and Jung,
2001). E-mail serves as a communication medium through both verbal and non-verbal language. Therefore, those verbal and nonverbal communications are the major elements of leadership in a virtual team. Sullivan (1988) developed a motivating language theory (MLT) that combines the concepts of leadership, motivation, and communication. Its goal was to transform the leader's 甘aits into authentic communication with employees. Mayfield, Mayfield and Kopf (1995) used Sullivan's MLT as the basic linguistics of managerial communication,
designated by three core speech approaches to stimulate employees' motivation to
attain organizational goals. These three approaches include direction-giving, empathetic, and meaning-making. Virtual team leaders often use different speech approaches to motivate their team members. Therefore, the present study
examined the effects of virtual team members' creative personalities on creative performance when leaders used different approaches to motivating language.
Many previous studies regarding virtual teams focused on developing the functions of communication information tools such as group decision support systems (Klein and Dolog巾， 2000; Dennis, Wixom and Vandenberg, 2001). Massetti (1996) demonstrated what types of technology tools can be effectively delivered for training programs, especially in creativity. Hambley, O'Neill, and Kline (2007) investigated the effects of different communication media on teamwork. Kahai, Sosik, and Avolio (1997, 2003) discussed the impact of leadership style, task structure, anonymi紗，and reward-sharing on the degree of team participation, e伍ciency，and task satisfaction. Unfortunately, prior studies of
virtual teams did not consider individual trait differences before the members were randoml
Chiao Da Management Review均/.3/ No. /. 2011 141
have been done to detennine what types of leadership behavior were suitable for
virtual team members with different personalities, to increase their creative perfomrance in virtual teamwork. As virtual teams are used more 台equently in
enterprises, research on the relationship between individual and environmental
factors and creative perfonnance becomes more impo此ant. According旬， the
present study explored the effects of leaders' motivating language and creative
personalities on members' creative perfonnance, from the perspectives ofboth the leaders and the subordinates. The virtual team consisted of a group of people with similar creative personalities
2.1. Creative Personality and Creative Performance
Individuals' professional abilities and personal characteristics are key int1uences on creative perfonnance. Past research has addressed the effects of personal cognitive styles, personal characteristics and inner motivation on creative
perfonnance (Amabile, 1988; Woodman, Sawyer and Gri伍凡 1993;Oldham and Cumrnings, 1996). In tenns of cognitive 向l郎， Kirton (1976) discussed the relationship between creative personality and creative perfonnance and conc\uded
that an individual's creative personality was significantly and positively correlated
with cognitive style, and both ofthem int1uenced creative perfonnance
Kirton (1976) developed an Adaption-lnnovation (KAI) inventory to measure the creative personality by testing 532 participants in England with similar backgrounds. This inventory passed reliability and validity tests in some cross-cultural samples. Hence, the KAI was developed with 32 items divided into
three dimensions: originality, e缸iciency， and rule/group confonning. The scores
ranged from 32 to 160 and creative personality was c\assified into two types:
innovator (those with higher scores) and adaptor (those with lower scores). Kirton
(1976, 1989) demonstrated that innovators tend to be risk-seeking,
unconventional thinkers, approaching tasks from unsuspected angles, bold in ideation, and creating dissonance. They are more suitable for innovative and
142 Exploring the CI個livityPet:(ormance 01 Vìrtual Teams戶口m
Ihe Perspeclives o( Leadersh伊 andCrealive Pe悶onαIily challenging jobs. In contrast, adaptors tend to follow the original rules, solve
problems guided by the structure given, and expect to have jobs with more
continui旬，safety and stability.
There are numerous studies regarding the relationship between creative personality and individual performance. For example, Arunachalam, Sweeney and
Kurtenbach (1997) used 149 undergraduate students to examine the relationship
of KAI with task performance. The results showed that innovators performed
better than adaptors on inorganic missions. 8uttner, Gryskiewicz and Hidore
(1999) selected 105 management staff members to assess their creative
personality and performance; the results showed that staff members who tended to
be innovators had better managerial ability. In addition, Gallivan (2003) used a sample of 220 so位wareengineers and found that the creative personality had an
impact on job attitudes and performance during the so食waredevelopment process. The results revealed that innovators had higher job satisfaction and better performance than adaptors. Moreover, Cheng et al. (2007) explored the effects of creative personality and different project problems on R&D work performance by
testing 205 project managers. The results revealed that innovators performed better on assigned pr叮叮ts that had open-ended problems than adaptors did; however, adaptors performed better with assigned projects that had c\osed problems. Based on the research cited above, the conc\usion is that innovators have better creative performance when it comes to creative tasks. However, a gap remains in the understanding of whether creative personality can effectively
predict creative performance in a virtual team formed with a group of people who
have similar creative personalities. Therefore, the research hypotheses are as follows:
Hla: Creative personality has a positive main 何許ct on the creative
peφrmance (idea generation throllgh on-line meetings)
H 1 b: Creative personaU秒 has a positive main ξffect on the creative
0/creative ideas generated throllgh on-line
Chiao Da Management Review 均 1.31 No. 1,2011 143
2.2.Virtual Team Leadership
In the past, researchers have investigated leadership in virtual teams using the Input-Process-Outcome model. The leadership factor was set up as one of the input variables. The pu叩osewas to compare the effects of transformational and transactional leadership, or participative and directive leadership, on teamwork processes and on work outcomes (e.g., Kahai, Sosik and Avolio, 2003, 2004.
Among the research on virtual team leadership, Sosik, Avolio and Kahai (1997) used a Group Decision Support System (GDSS) and the electronic brainstorming method with 96 undergraduate students assigned to 36 virtual groups, to examine the impact of different leadership types on group e仔ectiveness
They found that during anonymous on-line meetings, group effectiveness was enhanced more by transformational leadership than by transactional leadership. Later, Sosik, Avolio and Kahai (1998) used Electronic Meeting Systems (EMS) and the electronic brainstorming method to conduct experimental research with 159 anonymous undergraduate students assigned to 36 virtual groups. The purpose was to discover how transformational and transactional leaderships affect group members' creativity. The results showed a positive correlation between the goal-setting behavior dimension of transactional leadership and the motivating behaviors of transfonnational leadership. However, there was a negative correlation between the direction-giving and empathetic dimensions of transformational leadership and group members' creativity. These results were interpreted to mean that the participants might be unfamiliar with use of the system, so that they misunderstood direction-giving and empathy as control mechanisms and were reluctant to perform creatively.
Kahai, Sosik and Avolio (2003) randomly assigned 118 undergraduate and 36 graduate students to 39 virtual teams to examine their leadership styles, reward methods, and Intemet anonymity. The results showed that when participants' persona1 information could be identified 011 the Intemet, the participants who
accepted transactional leadership had higher group efficacy and task satisfaction than those who accepted transformational leadership. On the other hand, when personal information was hidden on the lntemet, the results showed that the
144 Exploring the Creativity Performance of Vìrtual Teams from the Perspectives of Leadership and Crea訂閱 Personality
participants who accepted transformational leadership had better group efficacy and task satisfaction. Kahai, Sosik and Avolio (2004) assigned undergraduate students to 24 groups to examine the differing influences of participative leadership and directive leadership on creative perfonnance. The results showed that both types of leadership helped increase members' participation rate. Participative leadership helped to increase performance but led to lower task satisfaction. Furthermore, Wang, Chen and Fan (2006) randomly assigned 57 undergraduate students majoring in business management to 12 vi巾al teams The authors invited graduate students to serve as team leaders. The pu叩osewas to determine how different leadership styles and feedback influenced membe的， creative performance. The results demons仕ated that transformational leadership had a significant positive effect on members' creative thinking. The members who did not receive feedback had better creative performance than those who received rewards. Purvanova and Bono (2009) compared the relationship between transformational leadership and team performance in a virtual team and in a face-to品ce team. Each team consisted of three undergraduate students and one team leader. A total of 39 virtual teams were involved in this study. The results showed that transformationalleadership was more positively correlated with team performance in the virtual environment than in under face-to-face conditions.
In summary, there are no consistent, generalizable conc1usions about what leadership styles better promote members' creative perfonnance. Under different team conditions, different leadership styles have different effects. Therefore, an effective virtual team leader needs to consider such factors as the mission's construction, reward system, and discussion methods, and then use the most effective leadership style (Kirkman et al., 2002). Hence, the present study looked at different leaders' motivating language in a virtual team environment to examine the outcomes of different creative personalities.
,and Creative Performance
Earlier behavioral approaches to leadership suggest that the effective leaders are those who engage in two basic activities: initiating structure and consideration.
Chiao Da Management Reνzew 均1.31 No. 人 2011 145
1nitiating structure refers to task -related activiti郎， whereas consideration is related to the extent of care and concem for team members (Schriesheim, Cogliser and Neider, 1995). 8ased on this leader behavior theory and the concept of directive/supportive leadership in the Path-Goal Theory, Sullivan's (1988) Hierarchical Leadership Theory synthesized both Expectancy Theory and Goal-setting Theory. It transformed the traditional leader behavioral approach to verbal motivating language. Verbal communication is a strategic method for leaders to control, motivate and direct subordinates to reach an organization's vision, or to help subordinates reach their own goals. Leaders also use verbal communication to decrease mission uncertainty, motivate subordinates' personal development, transmit the company's rules, make members feel they are being treated considerately, and eventually improve their performance (Mayfield, Mayfield and Kopf, 1995; Mayfield, Mayfield and Kopf, 1998).
Effective communication between leaders and subordinates plays an important role in increasing organization innovation (Lievens, Moenert and S' Jegers, 1999). 1n the leader-subordinate verbal communication model, Mayfield, Mayfield, and Kopf(1995) applied Sullivan's (1988) Motivating Language (ML) theory to develop a scale to measure leaders' motivating language, which was divided into three categories: (1) Direction-giving: leaders use direction-giving language to clarify job duties, goals and responsibilities; (2) Empathetic: leaders
show their consideration to subordinates and express their emotional
understanding to them; and, (3) Meaning-Making: leaders transmit or explain the rules, cultural norms and expectations to subordinates. Motivating language has been verified as a critical communication skill' and is well established in support of modem leadership theories (Mayfield and Mayfield, 2004).
Mayfield, Mayfield, and Kopf (1995) collected a sample of 151 pairs of leaders and subordinates. The authors confirmed good reliability and validity, and also demonstrated that leaders' motivating language can positively improve subordinates' satisfaction with communication with leaders and with leaders' communication competence. Mayfield, Mayfield, and Kopf (1998) sent out 450 questionnaires to employees and 164 questionnaires were valid. The results showed that leaders'
146 Exploring lhe Creativity Performance of 仿rtualTeams from the Perspectives of Leadership and Creative Personality
job perfonnance and job satisfaction. Moreover, with every 10% increase in leaders' motivating language, there was a 7% increase in job satisfaction and a 2% increase in job performance. Mayfield and Mayfield (2004) used an experimental sample of 133 students to examine the impact of leaders' motivating language on creativity. The results showed a strong and significant link between leaders' motivating language and subordinates' creative performance. Furthermore, Sharbrough, Simrnons, and Cantrill (2006) reviewed 134 questionnaires retumed from 136 subordinates, and found that a leader's
motivating language could improve leadership efficacy, satisfaction with comrnunication with subordinates, job satisfaction, and communication
competence. ln conclusion, leaders' motivating language had significant, positive
relationships with subordinates' comrnunication satisfaction, job satisfaction, job performance, and creative performance.
To date, the self-reported questionnaire, rather than experimental design
research, has been the main method used to examine leaders' motivating language
in virtual teams. Previous literature reviews regarding leadership efficacy in
virtual teams supports the conclusion that different leadership styles might have different leadership effects. Besides, from the perspective of Contingency Theory, leadership styles need to fit with context factors such as the organizational system, mission structure, leader-subordinate relationsh巾， and subordinates' 甘aits
(Robbins, 1998). ln summaη九 when virtual leaders use different motivating language or face different creative personalities, the effects and results might vary. The hypotheses were stated as follows:
H2a: There is a positive main ~加ct of leaders' motivating language (Direction-Giving and Enψathetic) on team members' creative
performance (idea generation through on-line meetings) in a virtual team formed by a group of people with similar creative personalities. H2b: There is a positive main effect of leaders' motivating language
(Direction-Giving and Empathetic) on team members' creative
ChiaoDaManα'gement Review 均1.31 No. 1,2011 147
meetings) in a virtual team formed by a group of people with similar
H3a: There is a sign伊cant interactive 吃fJectof creative personali.砂 and
leaders' motivating language (Direction-Giving and Empathetic) on
team members' creative performance (idea generation through
on-line meetings) in a virtual team.
H3b: There is a significant interactive 吃加ctof creative personality and
leaders' motivating language (Direction-Giving and Empathetic) on team members' creative performance (quality of creative ideas generated through on-line meetings) in a virtual team.
To examine the influence of di缸erentcreative personalities and motivating language on team members' creative performance, the present study was conducted with a 3x2 experimental design in a longitudinal approach.
3.1. Participants and Experimental Design
The present study included 188 students majoring in management to partially fulfill their course requirements. They were sophomore or junior students taking Human Resource Management courses in 4 classes of three universities located in central and southem Taiwan. To minimize threats to intemal validity, students with similar ages and management backgrounds were selected. Before the experiment began, all students were required to take the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI) in order to divide them into the appropriate groups. Simultaneously, a designated researcher delivered training on the use of the group decision support system (TeamSpirit software) to all 4 classes. The study excluded 8 students due to their absence from the KAI test or the training;
so 180 students participated.
The participants were divided into 3 groups according to their KAl score rankings. The 3 groups were called the Innovators, the Adaptors and the
148 Exploring the Creativity Performance ofVìrtual Teams from the Perspectives of Leadership and Creatiνe Personality
Intennediates, as defmed by Kirton 's definition of creative personality theory. Each group had 60 students, and they were randomly assigned to 20 teams. Half of the teams were given direction-giving motivating language, and half received empathic motivating language. Table 1 illustrates the experimental design. The 6 situations were categorized by the different creative personalities and by the 2 types of motivating language.
Table 1 Experiment Design
恥10tivating KAI personality
Language Innovator Intermediate Adaptor Direction-Giving Treatrnent 1 Treatrnent 2 Treatrnent 3
(10 groups) (10 groups) (10 groups)
Empathetic ( 10 Treatrnent groups4 ) Treatrnent 5 Treatment 6 ( 10 groups) (10 groups)
3.2.Variables and Measures
The independent variables in the present study were creative personalities and motivating language.
Kirton 's KAI inventory 恨的on， 1988) was adopted to evaluate the students' creative personalities. The KAI inventory has been validated through expert evaluation of content validity, cross-cultural validity, criterion-related validity,
reliabili旬，and discriminant validity (Tul1ett and Kirton, 1995; Bagozzi and Foxal1,
1995; Bobic and Davis, 1999), making it a very reliable and valid ins甘umentto evaluate the creative personality. The KAI inventory has 32 items in three dimensions: 1) Originality, which refers to the personal attitude of developing and coping with creative ideas; 2) Efficiency, which refers to the degree that individuals pay attention to details and thoroughness; and, 3) Confonnity, which refers to the degree to which a person agrees to the rules or group nonns 悍的on，
1976). The total KAI score ref1ects the individual 's creative personality.
According to Kirton (1988), a person with a higher score can be categorized as an Innovator; on the other hand, a person with lower score is categorized as an
Chiao Da Managemenl Reνiew Vol. 31 No. 1, 20Jl 149
Adaptor. Therefore, participants' scores were ranked from high to low, and then divided them into three groups cal1ed the Innovators, the Intermediates, and the Adaptors. The Cronbach's alpha reliabilities of the three dimensions of creative personality were 0.82, 0.74 and 0.75, respectively, and the Cronbach's alpha reliability of the total KAI scale was 0.77. In addition, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed and the result was significant (F (2,177) = 31l.l4, p
< .01), indicating the three styles were distinguishable.
3.2.2. Instrumentation of the Motivating Language Scripts
We adopted the concepts of motivating language developed by Sul1ivan
(1988) for this research. In the experimental design, only two approaches to the motivating language were manipulated
,the direction-giving and empathetic approaches, with the meaning-making approach control1ed since all subjects were asked to follow the same rules and use the same web-based group decision support system to finish the required task. In addition, communication was conducted through e-mail instead of face-to-face in the virtual team environment.
Therefore, the researchers needed to design and develop motivating language scripts in order to manipulate the experimental conditions. The scripts were written with four direction-giving and four empathic approaches in order to provide feedback to the members during the experiment. Since the script is a newly developed measurement, according to SChriesheim et al. (1993), the first step to demonstrate the validity of a newly developed instrument is to show the content adequacy of the instrument. Accordingly, in order to validate the motivating language scripts developed by the researchers, the following instrumentation procedures were implemented
First, 213 EMBA students 企om 10 universities in central Taiwan were invited to test the scripts. Then, 11 students were excluded due to incomplete participation, leaving a valid sample of 202. The procedures recommended by Schriesheim et al. (1993) were followed to validate the content adequacy of the motivating language scripts. The researchers explained the definitions and examples of the three different motivating language types, and the EMBA students then read one motivating scri阱， picked at random, and indicated what
150 Eψ loring the Creat川沙 PerformanceofVirtual Teamsfrom the Perspectives of Leadership and Creative Pet古onality
kind of motivating language the script was by completing the motivating language
scale developed by Mayfield, Mayfield, and Kopf (1998). The average accuracy
rate reached 90% (Table 2). Furthermore, the content accuracy was assessed by
examining the mean scores of two di缸erent scripts (direction-giving and
empathetic). The results are sbown in Table 3. For direction-giving scripts, tbe
mean score for direction-giving was significantly higher than that for empathy.
Similarly, for empathetic scripts, tbe average score for empathy was significantly
higher than that for direction-giving. These results indicated that the participants
could distinguish the different versions ofthe scripts
1n summary, tbe construct of the motivating language scripts was
theoretically defmed, and the scripts adequately represented the content domain of
the underlying theoretical construct; therefore, the scripts the researchers
developed had high content accuracy (Schrieshiem et al., 1993).
The Content Accuracy of the 品1.otivatingLanguage Scripts
Motivating ~，___.，__ Average
Direction- 時1eaning- Accuracy
Feedback Language _.. ~~.._.. Empathetic
..~~_. -~J Tenure
(script)Giving making (%)(year)
1 st Direction-Giving 18 0 2 90.00 13.60 Empathetic 23 0 95.83 17.38 2nd Direction-Giving 22 0 95.65 14.52 Empathetic 0 23 95.83 12.36 3rd Direction-Giving 25 0 0 100.00 17.24 Emp心thetic 23 0 95.83 11.18 4th Direction-Giving 24 3 85.71 12.61 Empathetic 31 2 91.18 12.00 Total Direction-Giving 89 3 4 92.71 14.48 Empathetic 3 100 3 94.34 13.17
3.3.Definitions and Measures of Dependent Variables
Both quantitative and qualitative aspects of a participant's creative
performance were assessed in the current study. The quantitative aspect of
creative performance was defined as the number of creative ideas being produced
for a given decision task (Guilford, 1968; Sale前a， 1978). Therefore, the quantity
Chiao Da Managemenl Review Vol. 31 No. 1.2011 151
during the on-line meetings, each time and as a whole. Meanwhil巴，the qualitative aspect of creative perforrnance was defined as the quality of the decisions made for a certain task. The 3 criteria of idea quality were novelty, feasibility, and thoroughness of the idea (To叮ance， 1974; Massetti, 1996).
The Differences in Mean Scores on MotivatingLanguage Scripts Feed back Motivating Language (script) Direction- Empathetic Mean S.D. df Di rection-旦血E t Empathetic n
凡此G側一 n-S -nu 1st Direction-Giving 20 3.72 0.49 2.68 0.71 Empathetic 24 2.77 0.78 3.65 0.73 42 4.83** -4.44**
2nd Direction.Giving 23 3.61 0.64 2.88 0.82
Empathetic 24 3.00 0.90 4.21 0.64 45 2.62* -6.20**
3rd Direction-Giving 25 3.69 0.30 3.14 0.69
Empathetic 24 2.67 0.84 4.13 0.50 47 5.65** -5.67**
4th Direction-Giving 28 3.62 0.38 3.56 0.74
Empathetic 34 3.21 0.71 4.21 0.49 60 2.90** -3.90**
Total Direction-Giving 96 3.66 0.45 3.10 0.80
Empatbetic 106 2.94 0.82 4.06 0.62 200 7.74** -9.37**
N。他 +p< .10 " *p < .05 ; *句0<.01
3.3.1. The Quantity of Creative Performance (On-Iine Idea Generation) After each on-Iine meeting, the researchers reviewed and calculated the number of ideas generated during the meeting. Repetitive and simi\ar ideas were exc1uded from the ca\cu\ation. In addition, the procedures recommended by Massetti (1996); Kahai, Sosik, and Avolio (2003 and 2004) were followed to calcu\ate the amount of ideas generated by each group
3.3.2. The Quality of Creative Performance
A written proposa\ regarding the recruitment p\an for an insurance company was the fina\ assignment for the participants after the on-Iine meetings_ A standard
152 Exploring the Creativity Perfon的nance01 Vìrtual Teams Irom the PerspeCfives 01 Leadership and Creative Personality
report fonnat was used to decrease potential experimental bias. The participants were requested to submit th巴 following content in the proposal: the ideas generated in each brainstonning meeting, the best ideaJsolution generated in each brainstonning meeting, the reason the best ideaJsolution was selected, how the recruitment activity would be planned, the advantages/disadvantages of the solutions, and personal reflection on the planned activity. The proposal was required to be submitted within 1 week after the last on-line meeting. The researchers evaluated the proposals based on the following criteria: 1) novelty, the extent to which each proposal was rated as new and unique (scaled from 1 to 10); 2) feasibility, the extent to which each proposal was rated as realistic and sensible (scaled from 1 to 10); 3) thoroughness, the extent to which each proposal was rated as complete and detai!ed (scaled from 1 to 10); and, 4) overall score, a score generated by evaluating the whole proposal (scaled from 1 to 100).
3.4. The Group Decision Support System
The Group Decision Support System (GDSS) used in the present study, called
“TeamSpirit", was developed by Wang and Chen (2006). The TeamSpirit system followed the Creativity Problem Solving (CPS) processes and inc1uded 3 procedures: problem identification, solution suggestions, and solution implementation. TeamSpirit allows members to generate, consolidate, and evaluate ideas in a virtual environment and support divergent and convergent thinking in the creative problem-solving process. There are facilitating tools in the system, such as an infonnation-sharing platform, a discussion forum, and brainstonning. Members can hold on-line meetings without the limitations of time,
space, and location.
3.5. Experimental Procedures
The experimental procedures took place over 3.5 months. Before the experiment started, the researchers designed, developed, and pre-tested the motivating language scripts. The targeted participants were also asked to fill out the KAI personality questionnaire in order to assign them to the appropriate groups.
Chiao Da Management ReνleW均 1.31No. 1,2011 153
Before the experiment began, the researchers conducted training sessions for the 4 c1asses at the 3 partícipating universities. To avoid experimental bi俏， all training sessions were delivered by the same person. The training began with an introduction to the TeamSpirit system (5 minutes). The participants then began to create a log-in account and introduced themselves by 10 sentences starting with “I am..." The trainers then used activities to encourage the participants to use the information-sharing system and the brainstorming system, as well as the discussion forum system, in order to help them become familiar with the functions ofTeamSpirit.
3.5.2 On-line Meetings
There were 4 on-line meetings during the 4-week experimental period. Each meeting lasted for 5 days. Before the first meeting began, the researchers e-mailed a task announcement and announced the beginning of the on-line meeting. Members began to introduce themselves and shared information regarding the task. This information-sharing session lasted for 4 weeks before the first brainstorming began. In the brainstorming sessions, members were encouraged to generate ideas and choose the best solution to deliver the tasks. After each brainstorming session, the researchers gathered all ideas generated and eliminated the ideas that were repetitive or similar. The researchers, who also served as the team leaders, used the designed motivating language scripts to provide feedback to their members. At the end of the on-line meetings, the participants received the standard proposal format and were asked to submit the proposal on-line in a week. Table 4 shows the detailed agendas ofthe online meetings.
4.1. The Effects of KAI aod
ML00 Creative Performaoce (Idea Geoeratioo)
154 Exploring the Creat川沙 Performanceof Vìrtual Teams from the Perspectives of Leadersh伊 andCreative Personality discussion forum). Since the content of the discussion forum was less structured, and less related to creative idea generation, only the ideas generated from the 3 brainstorming sessions were considered. The final experiments excluded 6 students because they did not complete the course, which left 174 students in the final sample.
Table 5 presents the impact of the KAI and motivating language on idea generation, and the interaction effect of KAI and motivating language. The results show that KAI and motivating language had no significant main effects on creative performance. The average number of ideas generated by the innovators was 6.26, while the intermediates generated 5.44, and the adaptors generated 7.47
(F = 1.494, p > .05). The average number of ideas generated after direction-giving language was 6.74
,and 6.08 were generated after empathetic language (F = .483
,p > .05), indicating that KAI and motivating language had different effects on individuals' creative performance.
However, the results indicated significant interaction e缸ects of KAI and motivating language on idea generation (F = 3.163~5.604 ， p < .05). These results suggest that motivating language may have facilitated KAI in promoting creative performance by individuals under certain conditions. Table 6 shows a comparison of the mean values for idea generation with different KAI and motivating languages. The mean comparison results show that the innovators and adaptors who received empathetic motivating language had better idea generation results,
compared with the intermediates. The intermediates who received
direction-giving motivating language had better idea generation results, compared with the innovators and the adaptors. Specifically, the t-test results pointed out that the innovators who received empathetic motivating language had better idea generation results during the second brainstorming session (t = -2.019, p < .05) and on their total idea generation responses (t = -l.679, p < .10), compared with individuals who received direction-giving motivating language. The adaptors who received empathetic motivating language produced more ideas than the others (t = -1.682 ~ -2.182, p < .10) during the first and third brainstorming sessions and on the total idea generation responses. However, the intermediates who received direction-giving motivating language produced more ideas (t = 2.035 ~ 2.590, p
ChiaoDa Manαgement Review 均/.31 No. 1,2011 155
< .05) than those who received empathetic motivating language during the second
and third brainstorming sessions, and on the total idea generation responses.
Agendas of the On-Iine Meetings Meeting Objectives 1 st meeting 110tice and task announcement on the campus recrUltmel1t actIvlty Member introductions and infonnation Tool e-mail Duration 2 days
sbaring about tbe task. Informatiol1 Sbaring 4 weeks
包1eeting1 Idea generation on the task and cboose a best approach for delivery of tbe task
2nd meeting notice and 151 feedback from leader
Meeting 2 Members were asked to identi秒 possible ohstacles when delivering the
3,d meeting notice and 2nd feedback
Me巴ting3 Members were asked to seek out possible solutions to the obstacles
identified in Meeting 2 4th meeting 110tice and 3,d feedback from leader Meeti吟 4 Members were asked to ident均 Brainstorming 5 days e-mail 2 days Brainstorming 5 days e-mail 2 days Brainstorming 5 days e-l11ail 2 days
possible obstacles when delivering the Discussion Forum 5 days solutions identified in Meeting 3.
feedback from leader, final report
format, and report subrnission reminder e-mail 2 days were emailed out 10 all members.
Team members made final decision on
the solution and suhmined the final Information Sharing 1 week repo口
156 Exploring the Creativity Peφ rmance of Vìrtual Teams from
the Perspectives of Leadershψ and Creative Personality
Interaction Results of the KAI & ML on Creative Performance (Idea Quantity)
Main Effect Interaction
KAJ ML KAI x ML On-line Meeting F df F df F df 1st Brainstonning .392 2,135 1.235 1,135 3.163* 2,135 2nd Brainstorming .421 2,135 139 1,135 4.891 ** 2,135 3 ,d Brainstonning .150 2,135 425 1,135 5.604** 2,135 Tota! 1.494 2,168 483 1,168 4.563* 2.168 Note. *p < .05 ; **p < .01
It is interesting that within the direction-giving motivating language groups, the intermediates generated more ideas (F = 3.114, p < .10) than the other groups during the second brainstorming session, yet the intermediates generated fewer ideas than the other two during the third brainstorming session as well as for total idea generation responses (F = 5.260, p < .01; F = 4.795, P < .05, respectively). Figure 1 depicts the interaction effects of the different KAI and motivating
In summary, if the virtual team leader uses empathetic motivating language with individuals with higher- or lower-than-average creativity personalities, it will have a better effect on their creative performance. However, individuals with average creative personality will have better results if the leader uses direction-giving motivating language.
4.2.The Effects of KAI aod ML 00 Creative Performaoce (Idea
The students' proposals, submitted online, were evaluated and scored according to their novelty, feasibility, thoroughness, and the total quality of their reports. A subset of the proposals (n 20) were used to assess inter-rater reliability. Unfortunately, the ratings were not highly correlated among the raters; therefore, the ratings were transformed into standardized scores for further data analysis
Chiao Da Managemenl Review Vol. 31 No. 1,2011 157
Mean Comparisons of Idea Generation with different KAI and ML KAl Oo-lioe Meetiog ML ." Direction-Giving Br叫 2nd Direction-Giving Brainstorming Empathetic t 3,d Direction-Giving Brainstorming Empathetic Direction-Giving Total Empathetic Note: +p < .10 ; 勻<.05 2. 3.
looovator lotermediate Adaptor F Post hoc
(0 = 57) (0 = 57) (0 = 60) 1.600 2.500 1.654 1.997 2.304 1.652 3.000 1.671 -1.456 1.382 -1.792+ 2.148 4.000 2.778 3.114+ 2>1 3.652 1.842 4.000 2.347 -2.019* 2.590* -1.223 2.800 3.556 2.333 1.465 2.870 1.720 3.393 5.260** 3>2 -.106 2.173* -2.128* 5.133 7.185 6.033 0.401 7.519 3.867 8.900 4.795* 3>2 -1.679+ 2.035* -1.682+ 1 >2 Figure 1
The Effect of Interaction of KAI & ML on the Quantity of Creative Performance (Idea Generation) 10.0 9.0
.. 8.900 8.0
.7.519 7.0 6.0
---.6.033 5.0 「企-Direction 、 ' - • - Empathetic 4.0 . 3.867 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0
158 Exploring rhe Creariviry Pe拙rmanceof VÎrlual Teams 斤。m
rhe Perspecri附ofLeadership and Crearive Peηonaliry
Table 7 presents the influence of the KAI and motivating language on the quality of creative ideas. The results indicate that the KAI scores had significant main effects on the quality of creative ideas, except on the criterion of thoroughness. However, the motivating language had neither significant main
effects nor interaction effects on any of the evaluation criteria. In the post hoc
analy肘， the innovators' scores were higher than the intennediates' on novelty, feasibility, and total quality of the ideas, indicating that individuals with higher
creative personality scores will perfonn better with respect to idea novelty, idea feasibility, and creative perfonnance.
In addition, the researchers perfonned a correction analysis on idea quantity
and idea quality. The results suggest that on-line idea generation (idea quantity) is
significantly and positively correlated with novelty (r = .154, P < .05), feasibility
(r = .159, P < .05), thoroughness (r = .210, P < .01), and total quality (r = .232, P < .01). This finding suggests that the more ideas an individual produces on-line,
the better the creative quality of the proposal.
Interaction Results of the KAI & ML on Creative Performance (Idea Quali立i
Main Effect Interaction
KAI 品1L KAJxML
Criteria F dj Post hoc F df F df
Novelty 3.588* 2,166 Innovator> 2.843 1,166 847 2.166
lntermediate Feasibility 3.065* 2,166 lnnovator> 674 1,166 。 399 2,166 Intermediate Thoroughness 242 2,166 058 1,166 328 2,166 Tota1 3.024* 2,166 lnnovator> .306 1,166 079 2,166 Intemlediate Note: *p < .05
Chiao Da Managemenl Review Vol. 31 No. 1,2011 159
Virtual teams outperform the traditional face-to-face workjng environment.
They allow members to communicate with each other anytime and anywhere,
using technology tools such as web conferences, group decision support systems,
and e-mail. In other words, virtual teams reduce the constraints of time and place However, virtual teams might cause distinctive managerial contexts or problems For example, it is difficult to build mutual trust among team members, due to misunderstanding, distortion, and incomplete expression during the communication process (Warkentin, Sayeed, and Hightower, 1997). Under such circumstances, team members need to obtain more feedback from leaders and suggestions that guide them to implement tasks or provide care to other members for the purpose of increasing the team's cooperation and effectiveness. Thus, the virtual team leader's communication behaviors are one of the main factors that affect members' performance.
Past studies were concerned with the effects of transformational leadership, transactional leadership (e.g., Sosik, Avolio, and Kahai, 1997; Purvanova and 80no, 2009), and participative and directional leadership (e. 怠， Kahai, Sosik and Avolio, 2004) on team performance. However, prior studies regarding the leadership of virtual teams rarely addressed the impact of the types of motivating language on m巴mbe時，creative performance, and did not consider the differences in members' personalities before samples were randomly assigned in the experimental design. The current study explored the effects of leaders' motivatillg language and members' creative personalities on creative perfonnance, from the perspectives of both leaders' language and members' individual differ巴 nces. The first findings from tbe study revealed that the effect of leaders' motivating language varied, depending on the members' creative personalities. It helped motivate more on-Iine idea generation. The second finding was that innovators had a higher quality of idea creativity. The final finding was that the more ideas the members generated, the better the quality of idea creativi 句， which is
160 Exploring the Creativity Pe吵vrmanceofVirtual Teams卅m
the Perspectives of Leadership and Creative Personali吵
consistent with the results of some prior studies (Torrance, 1974; Massetti, 1996;
Wang and Homg, 2002).
First, the results of members' idea generation through on-line meetings revealed that neither leaders' motivating language received by members, nor creative personal旬， had a main effect on creative performance (Hypotheses la and Hypothesis 2a were rejected), but significant interaction did have a main effect on creative performance (Hypothesis 3a was accepted). For innovators and adaptors, there was more idea generation when empathic motivating language was used. This result can be interpreted to mean that when c1ear guidance was given to innovators, they were more reluctant to be bound by rules or to just follow (Kirton, 1989). If more encouragement and caring were provided to innovators by empathetic language
,they were more willing to express their ideas and their creativity. On the other hand, if more encouragement and caring were provided by empathetic language to the adaptors, who were initially more likely to follow the rules and tasks, they had much higher motivation to express their ideas. In
addition, intermediates had more idea generation when they received
direction-giving language. It may be that intermediates feel reluctant to obey the rules and dislike standard guidance. Therefore, it would be helpful for intermediates to receive c1ear and specific directions or suggestions to increase their ideas or creativity. These results could be explained by face-to-face contingency leadership theory, such as Fieldler's contingency leadership model (1967) and path-goal theory (House, 1996). 80th of these theories agreed that the style ofleadership was determined by different employees' 甘aits.
Second, the results showed that only creative personality achieved significantly positive main e在ects on the scores for innovation, feasibility and quality (Hypothesis 1 b was accepted and Hypotheses 2b and Hypothesis 3b were
肉的ted). Innovators achieved higher quality of creative performance and performed better than intermediates. Our interpretation of this result is that innovators preferred to receive new ideas and adopt creative thinking, and also were more likely to propose unique ideas. This result is consistent with prior studies regarding creativity (Kirton, 1976; Wang and Homg, 2002; Gallivan,
Chiao Da Managemenl Reνiew Vol. 31 No. 1,2011 161
through on-line meetings had a significantly positive association with the quality of creative ideas generated through on-line meetings. This result indicates that effective leadership can help motivate members to express their ideas for the
pu叩oseof increasing the quality of creative ideas and creative performance. This
result was consistent with previous studies (Amabile et a/., 1996; Shin and Zhou,
8ased on the results of the present s仙旬，enterprises can understand how to
help virtual team members increase their creative performance. First, it is
important for virtual leaders to select appropriate motivating language according
to the individual's personality. A similar concept can be found in the traditional,
face-to-face communication of contingency leadership theory. Shin and Zhou
(2003) collected questionnaires from 333 employees and 77 supervisors and
found that transformational leadership better motivated the conservation type of
members' creativity. Moreover, Oldham and Cummings (1996) discovered from
a survey of 171 employees in the manufacturing indus甘y that supportive
leadership increased the creative performance of employees with highly creative
personalities. Second, enterprises are encouraged to use the KAI to identify and
select innovators to form virtual teams, in order to improve the quality of idea creativity. Third, virtual team leaders need to encourage members to discuss and share information on-line in order to help them increase the quality of creative
performance. This is true because the opillÌons are recorded on the meeting
system, and may inspire brainstorming between members in order to produce
more creative ideas (Osbom, 1963).
5.3.Limitations and Recommendations for Future Study
As with prior studies conceming leadership in virtual teams (e.g., Sosik,
Avolio, and Kahai, 1997; Kahai, Sosik, and Avolio, 2003, 2004; Purvanova and 80no, 2009), the cause-effect relationship among variables can be examined in
this experimental research, but only targeted students were used in the
162 Exploring Ihe Crealiv句 Peφrmance01 Vìrlual Teams from Ihe Perspeclives of Leadersh伊 andCrealive Personality
difficult 10 avoid in Ihe present study. Selecting practitioners to join the virtual teams as the experimental samples for future studies is encouraged. This could
increase the reliability and the range corollary of the study results. Moreover, because the sample in the present study consisted of university students m句 oring in the management field, the experiment could develop more management-related
tasks for students. The results from the students assigned management tasks might
be distinct from real business operations. Hence, the selection of different kinds of
team tasks could be included in future studies. ln addition, there was a limitation
in the present study, in that the virtual teams were homogeneous, composed of
groups who shared similar creative personalities. The results from the
homogeneous teams in the present study were different from the results from
heterogeneous teams randomly formed by different creative personalities in business enterprises. If heterogeneous teams can be designed for study, more participants would be needed for this experimental design. Therefore, future studies can examine the different effects of leadership on members' creativity
between homogeneous teams and heterogeneous teams. The final limitation was
the difficulty in avoiding the possibility that team members within the same group
communicated via face-to-face discussion, although the sample students were
randomly selected across three universities. Virtual teams working across
countries or regions, and across samples such as Taiwanese students and
American students, or even global cooperation from different areas, is strongly encouraged.
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