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Collective Engagement in Creative Tasks: The Role of Evaluation in the Creative Process in Groups

Harvey, S; Kou, C-Y; (2013) Collective Engagement in Creative Tasks: The Role of Evaluation in the Creative Process in Groups. ADMINISTRATIVE SCIENCE QUARTERLY , 58 (3) 346 - 386. 10.1177/0001839213498591. Green open access


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Research on group creativity has concentrated on explaining how the group context influences idea generation and has conceptualized the evaluation of creative ideas as a process of convergent decision making that takes place after ideas are generated to improve the quality of the group’s creative output. We challenge this view by exploring the situated nature of evaluations that occur throughout the creative process. We present an inductive qualitative process analysis of four U.S. healthcare policy groups tasked with producing creative output in the form of policy recommendations to a federal agency. Results show four modes of group interaction, each with a distinct form of evaluation: brainstorming without evaluation, sequential interactions in which one idea was generated and evaluated, parallel interactions in which several ideas were generated and evaluated, and iterative interactions in which the group evaluated several ideas in reference to the group’s goals. Two of the groups in our study followed an evaluation-centered sequence that began with evaluating a small set of ideas. Surprisingly, doing so did not impede the groups’ creativity. To explain this, we develop an alternative conceptualization of evaluation as a generative process that shapes and guides collective creativity.

Type: Article
Title: Collective Engagement in Creative Tasks: The Role of Evaluation in the Creative Process in Groups
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0001839213498591
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0001839213498591
Additional information: �© The Author(s) 2013. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: group creative process, collective creativity, creative idea evaluation, group decision making, idea generation, brainstorming, healthcare policy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1394399
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