Innovation is researched significantly throughout academic literature, ranging from leadership to organizational culture, with the aim of understanding how to enable greater creativity. This study attempted to address the knowledge gap on the common strategies of facilitating innovation in a group setting by evaluating this condition through four specific areas: environment, process, team dynamics, and facilitator behavior. This study built upon those four areas aiming to understand the process a facilitator puts a group of individuals through to stimulate innovation. Applying a qualitative phenomenological study, the researcher interviewed 15 facilitators of innovative thinking to understand the common strategies applied by practitioners in the field. Upon completion of the interviews, the best practices discovered in academic literature were compared against practitioner best practices, identifying the strategies that intersected both environments. Key elements that elicited greater innovation in a group setting were as follows: (a) leadership supporting experimentation cultures where taking risks is encouraged, (b) stretching the mind to enable ambiguous thought, (c) achieving a cognitively diverse team, and (d) striving to keep everyone engaged from the beginning to the end.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PhD) -- Global leadership and change; Group problem solving; Creative thinking

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Jago, Martine;