Teams represent a dominant approach to getting work done in a business environment. Creativity enables teams to solve problems and leverage opportunities through the integration of divergent thoughts and perspectives. Prior research indicates that a collaborative culture, which affects how team members interact and work together, is a critical antecedent of team creativity. This study explores other antecedents of team creativity, namely, team emotional intelligence and team trust, and investigates the relationships among these precursors to creative effort.
Using a survey of 82 student teams at a large university in the northeast United States, our findings suggest that team emotional intelligence promotes team trust. Trust, in turn, fosters a collaborative culture which enhances the creativity of the team. Cognitive trust also moderates the relationship between collaborative culture and team creativity. Implications of these results for managers and academics are discussed.