UCL School of Management

Sarah Harvey

Associate Professor (Reader)
Phone number
(0)20 7679 3278
(internal 33278)
Office location
Engineering Front Building
Rm 4.04


Sarah Harvey is an Associate Professor in the UCL School of Management. Before joining UCL, she obtained a PhD in Organizational Behaviour at the London Business School.

Sarah’s areas of expertise include creativity, play, group diversity, and dynamic processes in groups. She is interested in how groups identify creative ideas and decide which ideas to pursue, particularly in the context of cross-functional and interdisciplinary teams working in science and technology. Her research appears in leading international academic publications including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Research in Organizational Behavior, and Small Group Research. She is also on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Small Group Research. Sarah has developed and taught courses on organizational behaviour, leadership, team effectiveness, negotiations, and research methodology at UCL, the London School of Economics, and London Business School.


Sarah’s research interests include creativity, innovation, dynamic processes, decision making, and diversity in small groups and teams. In particular, Sarah is interested in the processes through which interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams integrate members’ knowledge to produce new ideas and make decisions.

Sarah’s research examines how teams develop ways of understanding creative problems and evaluate creative responses to those problems, and the implications for group creativity. That research re-casts idea evaluation in groups as a generative activity that facilitates the integration and elaboration of novel ideas, whereas most research in this area focuses on divergent idea generation and assumes that evaluation disrupts this process. This provides a novel view of the process of group creativity.

A related stream of research investigates the effects of diversity and changes in diversity in cross-functional and interdisciplinary teams. It finds that diversity, although often assumed to improve creativity and decision-making, can also disrupt a groups’ ability to converge around ideas.

Sarah’s research focuses particularly on exploring the development of teams and team processes over time through qualitative research methods that examine the ongoing interactions between group members.

Research projects

The creative process in groups and teams

Understanding creative processes in groups

Understanding group diversity over time

Exploring dynamic processes in diverse groups and how the effects of diversity change over time
Selected publications
Harvey, S. (2014). Creative Synthesis: Exploring the Process of Extraordinary Group Creativity. Academy of Management Review. doi:10.5465/amr.2012.0224 [link]
Harvey, S., Peterson, R. S., & Anand, N. (2014). The process of team boundary spanning in multi-organizational contexts. Small Group Research: an international journal of theory, investigation and application. doi:10.1177/1046496414534474 [link]
Harvey, S. (2013). A Different Perspective: The Multiple Effects of Deep Level Diversity on Group Creativity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 822-832. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2013.04.004 [link]
Harvey, S., & Kou, C. Y. (2013). Collective engagement in creative tasks: The role of evaluation in the creative process in groups. Administrative Science Quarterly. doi:10.1177/0001839213498591 [link]
Mainemelis, C., & Ronson, S. (2006). Ideas are born in fields of play: Toward a theory of play and creativity in organizational settings. Research in Organizational Behavior, 27, 81-131.

Link to the publication’s UCL Discovery page