Creativity and Psychological Safety: A proposed model on the links between psychological safety, ambiguity tolerance, playfulness and creativity

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: Creativity has been of research interest for centuries and its relationship with other constructs has been established; however, these links mostly study creativity with a single other construct. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between psychological safety, tolerance of ambiguity, playfulness and creativity; they have been individually linked together but no complex model encompassing them all is known to the author. The study tested a proposed model that links the four concepts together. Data was collected from 90 participants in two adult education schools in Sweden. The constructs were measured by Swedish translations of the Team Psychological Safety Scale, the Multiple Stimulus Types Ambiguity Tolerance Scale-II (MSTAT-II), the Short Measure of Adult Playfulness Scale (SMAP) and the Work Climate Questionnaire. The link between psychological safety and creativity and between ambiguity tolerance and playfulness were the strongest. Psychological safety significantly contributed to creativity even when playfulness and ambiguity tolerance were controlled for. The discussion includes the role of psychological safety in understanding creativity, possible limitations and suggestions for future research directions. Keywords: organizational creativity, play, adult playfulness, ambiguity tolerance, psychological safety, theoretical model

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