Pro-active neutrality: The key to understanding creative facilitation

Agata Ewa Wróbel, Philip Cash*, Carina Lomberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Facilitation is a critical means of supporting creative processes in teams. Previous studies have shown that neutrality is central to effective facilitation but no clear conceptualisation of neutrality has been provided to date. The aim of this paper is to explore how neutrality is enacted by facilitators, what its key elements and mechanisms are, and how it is perceived in the creative facilitation context. We adopt a theory building mode and conduct an in-depth case study, following an innovation project in the IT sector with a series of facilitated creativity workshops. Our results show that neutrality is a multi-dimensional construct that interacts with several outcome dimensions of facilitation, i.e. people, process and product. We introduce a pro-active neutrality framework, which explains the mechanisms of neutrality in facilitation and thereby extend theory on both neutrality and facilitation. We further outline a number of propositions that could be explored by future research as well as provide important creativity management implications that will enhance creativity and innovation in the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Volume29
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)424-437
ISSN0963-1690
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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