chapter  6
Explaining Psychological Safety in Innovation Teams: Organizational Culture, Team Dynamics, or Personality?
WithAmy C. Edmondson, Josephine P. Mogelof
Pages 28

An organization’s ability to innovate-whether to develop new products, implement new technologies, or formulate new strategies-is critical to success in a changing world. In contrast to activities that support execution, activities supporting innovation involve risk, uncertainty, and even failure along the way to success. Team members are often reluctant to offer novel contributions for fear of being wrong (Edmondson, 1999) or for fear of slowing team progress and creating frustration (Ford & Sullivan, 2004). One of the core challenges of innovation, therefore, is coping with the increased risk of failure that the creative process entails. Past research has identified an interpersonal climate characterized by psychological safety as conducive to interpersonal risk taking and hence to creativity and innovation in teams (Edmondson, 2002; West, 1990), yet we know less about factors that give rise to psychological safety.