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Lucy  Gilson - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Lucy Gilson Lucy  Gilson

Associate Dean | University of Connecticut


Gilson studies how creativity, employee empowerment, diversity, leadership, & virtual communication influence team effectiveness.


Lucy Gilson is a professor and the Management Department Head at the University of Connecticut. She is the Academic Director of the Geno Auriemma UConn Leadership Conference (www.genoleads.com), and a research fellow at the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa.

Her research primarily examines teams in different organizational settings performing a diverse range of jobs to understand how creativity, empowerment, leadership, and virtual communication influence effectiveness. She has also done work on Mentoring and Leadership – in particular the mentoring of women and minorities.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Organizational Psychology

Virtual Teams


Women and Leadership

Team Effectiveness


Education (2)

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business: PhD, Management 2000

Georgetown University: Bsc, Foreign Service 1987

Affiliations (4)

  • Group and Organization Management, senior associate editor
  • Journal of Management, editorial board member
  • Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management, former executive board member
  • Southern Management Association, board member

Accomplishments (9)

Distinguished Civilian Participant, U.S. Army War College (professional)

2015 - National Security Seminar

Eastern Academy of Management International. Best Paper (personal)

2013 - Research Methods Track Gilson, L., Lowe, K., Goldberg, C., & Burton, L. Pilot testing in organizational behavior research: A methodological overview and example from a study on the effects of gender and sport participation on perceptions of leadership.

University of Connecticut (professional)

2012 - School of Business MBA Teacher of the Year

University of Connecticut (professional)

2012 - MBA (Management) Teacher of the Year 2011 - MBA (Management) Teacher of the Year

University of Connecticut (professional)

2008-2010 - School of Business Ackerman Scholar 2006-2008 - School of Business Ackerman Scholar

School of Business (professional)

2008 - School of Business Outreach Award

University of Connecticut (professional)

2007 - MBA (Management) Teacher of the Year 2006 - MBA (Management) Teacher of the Year

Academy of Management. Careers Division - Best Symposium (personal)

2003 - Ortiz-Walters, R. & Gilson, L.L. (Chairs). Diversity and mentoring relationships: A closer look at the mentoring of racial minorities and women.

Academy of Management. Conflict Division - Best Student Paper (personal)

1998 - Gilson, L.L. Social context and fairness: The relationship between gender and workgroup composition on perceptions of fairness.


Media Appearances (1)

Creativity is for Everyone

Forbes  online


The image of a creative person as a special breed isn’t just misleading, it’s wrong. Researchers have pushed back against that monolithic concept of creativity. Lucy L. Gilson and Nora Madjar at the University of Connecticut, for instance, argue that there are actually two main sorts of creativity: radical and incremental.

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Event Appearances (10)

Harnessing the power of multiculturalism for team creativity

European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) - 2016  Naples, Italy

Creativity in multicultural teams: The ARC of team cultural metacognition.

London, England - 2016  Imperial College

Leading Creative Collaboration in Dance.

European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) - 2015  Athens, Greece

Virtual team research: Ten years, ten themes, and ten opportunities.`

Lubbock, Texas - 2015  Rawls College of Business – Texas Tech University

Creativity in multicultural teams: the ARCS of team metacognition

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) - 2015  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The impact of biased perceptions of leadership potential on job prospects for male and female athletes.

Eastern Academy of Management International - 2015  Lima, Peru

The Impact of Personal and Professional Familiarity on Team Information Elaboration and Performance: An Examination in Global Virtual Teams.

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) - 2015  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Innovation processes and team effectiveness: The role of clarity and commitment to team objectives, and team affective tone

Atlanta, Georgia - 2014  Scheller School of Business

The Curvilinear Relation between Creativity and Performance: A Moderating Effect of Team Creativity

Storrs, Connecticut - 2013  University of Connecticut

An Integrated Model of Team Creativity and Innovation: The Roles of Leadership, Climate, and Team Creative Processes

Hamden, Connecticut - 2012  Quinnipac University

Articles (6)

Creativity and Standardization: Complementary or Conflicting Drivers of Team Effectiveness?

Academy of Management Journal

Lucy L. Gilson, John E. Mathieu, Christina E. Shalley, and Thomas M. Ruddy

We examine relationships between creativity, the use of standardized work practices, and effectiveness (measured as both performance and customer satisfaction) among 90 empowered teams of service technicians. Despite the seemingly contradictory natures of creativity and standardized procedures, our results indicate that they can be complementary. Specifically, standardization was found to moderate the relationship between creativity and both team performance and customer satisfaction, although the pattern of results differed for the two measures of effectiveness. We discuss how and when teams can effectively employ both work practices.

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Creative Contributions: Toward a More Nuanced Approach.

SAGE Publications

Litchfield, R., Gilson, L.L., & Gilson, P.W.


Organizational creativity research has focused extensively on distinguishing creativity from routine, non-creative work. In this conceptual article, we examine the less considered issue of variation in the type of creative ideas. Starting from the premise that creativity occurs along a continuum that can range from incremental to radical, we propose that unpacking variation in the mix of novelty and two common conceptions of usefulness—feasibility and value—results in seven meaningfully different types of creativity. We group these types of creativity into four creative continua scaled according to novelty to provide an organizing framework for future research.

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Virtual team research: Ten years, ten themes, and ten opportunities

Journal of Management

Gilson, L.L., Maynard, T., Vartiainen M., & Hakonen, M.


Ten years ago, Martins, Gilson, and Maynard reviewed the emerging virtual team (VT) literature. Given the proliferation of new communication technologies and the increased usage of work teams, it is hardly surprising that the last decade has seen an influx of VT research. In this review, we organize the last 10 years of empirical work around 10 main themes: research design, team inputs, team virtuality, technology, globalization, leadership, mediators and moderators, trust, outcomes, and ways to enhance VT success. These themes emerged inductively because they either represent areas with consistent results, a large proliferation of studies, or a grouping of studies and results that differed from where the literature stood a decade ago.

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Innovation processes and team effectiveness: The role of goal clarity and commitment, and team affective tone

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

Ferreira, C., Lopes, P., Gilson, L., Lourenço, R., & Pais, L.


Using two distinct samples, this research unpacks the relationships between team innovation processes and effectiveness (measured as performance and reputation). Furthermore, we examine the moderating role of two team emergent states: goal clarity and commitment, and affective tone. We find that the relationship between innovation processes and performance is moderated by goal clarity and commitment, such that the relationship is more strongly positive when goal clarity and commitment is high. Conversely, innovation processes are more positively related to reputation when teams have lower levels of negative affective tone. Implications for research on innovation processes, emergent states, and effectiveness are discussed along with implications for practice.

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Unpacking the cross‐level effects of tenure diversity, explicit knowledge, and knowledge sharing on individual creativity

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology

Gilson, L.L., Lim, H.S., Luciano, M.M. & Choi, J.N.


The composition of the workforce with regard to organizational tenure is rapidly changing. In this paper, we examine the cross‐level effects of tenure diversity on individual‐level creativity. In keeping with the categorization‐elaboration model, we propose individual‐level explicit knowledge as a mediating mechanism between tenure diversity and individual creativity, and knowledge sharing as moderating the relationship between tenure diversity and individual explicit knowledge. Using a sample of 341 Korean insurance agents from 76 groups, we find that knowledge sharing moderates the relationship between tenure diversity and individual explicit knowledge. Results further support the direction of the hypothesized relationships, with tenure diversity positively influencing individual explicit knowledge at high levels of knowledge sharing and exhibiting a negative influence at low levels. Individual explicit knowledge carries these indirect effects to individual creativity, although directional significance was only found at extremely high and low values.

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The Role of Shared Mental Model Development in Understanding Virtual Team Effectiveness

SAGE Journals

Maynard, T., & Gilson, L.L.


In this article we develop a conceptual framework that examines the relationship between shared mental models, task interdependence, and virtual team performance. In addition, we use media synchronicity theory to examine how various attributes of the technologies used by virtual teams to communicate can influence the development of shared mental models. Finally, we employ a sense-making lens to explore in more detail how features inherent to different communication technologies influence the development of shared mental models. Our goal is that through examining these relationships, some of the mixed findings in prior virtual team research may be better explained.

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