Creativity in design teams: the influence of personality traits and risk attitudes on creative concept selection

Christine A. Toh, Scarlett R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Concept selection is recognized as a crucial component of the design process that largely involves informal group discussions within design teams. However, little is known about what factors affect the selection or filtering of creative ideas during this process. This is problematic because in order for innovation to occur, individuals must first identify and select the creative concepts developed in the early stages of design. However, prior research has shown that individuals tend to select conventional alternatives during this process due to the inherent risk associated with creative concepts. Therefore, the current study was developed to understand how personality traits, risk attitudes, and idea generation abilities impact the promotion or filtering of creative ideas in a team setting. The results from our empirical study with engineering students reveal that teams who have higher levels of conscientiousness, agreeableness, and tolerance for ambiguity are more prone to select novel concepts. In addition, the results revealed that the teams who generate creative ideas did not necessarily select creative ideas during concept selection. These results add to our understanding of team-based decision making during concept selection and allow us to provide guidelines for increasing the flow of creative ideas through this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalResearch in Engineering Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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