Newcomer Entry and Team Creativity: The Roles of Coworkers, Leaders, and Newcomers




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This dissertation examines newcomer entry into teams and team creativity in a field setting. Unique information and perspectives brought by newcomers have been proposed to provide “fresh blood” for teams, which can benefit team creativity. However, the addition of newcomers can also disrupt the optimal team processes and reduce team effectiveness. To provide insight into the relationship between newcomer entry and team creativity, the present study bridges the socialization and team creativity literatures and theorizes that socialization efforts from coworkers, leaders, and newcomers themselves can independently and jointly influence post-entry team creativity when pre-entry creativity is controlled for. The results of a longitudinal field study show that newcomer entry did not automatically increase post-entry team creativity. However, post-entry team creativity increased, compared with pre-entry team creativity, when coworkers engaged in helping behaviors toward newcomers or newcomers were proactive. Moreover, coworker helping behaviors and newcomer proactive personality interacted with each other to affect team creativity. Specifically, the relationship between team coworker helping behavior and post-entry team creativity (with pre-entry team creativity controlled for) became weaker as newcomers were more proactive. I also found that leader and coworker helping behaviors toward newcomers jointly affected team creativity. I further explored the possible mechanisms explaining why socialization efforts from coworkers, leaders, and newcomers would influence post-entry team creativity. The present research offers important theoretical and practical implications.



Socialization, Team creativity, Newcomers, Helping behavior, Proactive personality