Profiling Group Dynamics Within Business and Design Student Teams: Relationships Among Personality Traits, Problem-Solving Styles, and Creative Performance
This study examined relationships among personality traits, problem-solving styles, and creative performance of business and design student teams. Forty-two business, merchandising, and interior design students, divided into six teams of seven, participated in an interdisciplinary competition to solve a real-world retail design problem. Students completed the Adjective Check List (ACL) and the Creative Problem-Solving Profile to gauge personality traits and problem-solving style, respectively. The ACL was scored using Domino's Creativity Scale (ACL-Cr) to identify personality traits associated with creative behavior and seven additional subscales associated with team dynamics. The sample also completed a Team Process Survey (TPS), created by the researchers to identify team strengths, challenges, conflicts, and resolutions during the process. Finally, a panel of judges with business, merchandising, and design expertise rank ordered the final design solutions and accompanying business proposals to determine the winning competition entry. Findings indicated that individual creative personality traits might be a necessary but not sufficient condition for creative team performance. Also, teams that displayed more diversified problem-solving profiles outperformed less diverse teams, with the winning team having the most equal representation of all problem-solving styles. All teams reported conflicts and challenges during the process; however, the bottom three placing teams took conflicts personally, whereas the top three placing teams perceived emerging conflicts as a positive force to develop their thinking and strategy.