In this article, we suggest that relationships more directly influence the creative process by enhancing individuals’ capacities and motivating them to engage with others. In particular, if individuals interrelate in ways that foster respect, relationships serve as means for endogenously resourcing individuals and fostering creativity. This endogenous resourcing viewpoint complements a more exogenous resourcing approach, as captured in a social exchange perspective.
In four studies we examine whether and why respectfully engaging with other members can augment creativity for individuals and teams. It is our hope that this initial set of studies will encourage and inspire deeper inquiry into how the everyday enactment of respect at work increases possibilities for new ideas through shaping the manner in which information is processed. In a more demanding work world the cultivation of respect is challenging, these studies remind us of the potential yield from making respectful engagement an interpersonal goal and a strategic imperative.