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Cycles of creation: essays exploring continuous creative work

Anantha Ramakrishnan, Poornika; (2021) Cycles of creation: essays exploring continuous creative work. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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With the rise of the knowledge economy, organizations and entire industries are focused on continuously generating new products and solutions. Creators who work in these contexts are increasingly seen to be engaged in regular attempts at experimentation and exploration. However, our theories of creativity continue to be based on singular models of the creative process i.e., models where creativity is examined as a single, distinct process of generating ideas in response to a task or problem, selecting a subset and moving these towards implementation. The three studies in this dissertation take a unique approach to studying creativity by focusing on continuous creative work and developing theory that extends beyond the boundaries of a single creative process. The first study is a qualitative study in theatre and architecture investigating how creative workers engage with ideas during continuous creative work. I develop theory on idea stockpiling, a third alternative to idea selection and rejection. In the second study I develop a conceptual model which describes the process of developing a body of creative work—a set of creative products characterized by core themes that extend beyond individual ideas. To do so I move away from episodic models of creativity, and draw instead from theory and research on enduring engagement, incompleteness, and broad goal pursuit to develop a model of enduring creative engagement. The final study is a qualitative investigation of how creators draw from existing inputs, a common recommendation for continuous creativity which is often at odds with prescriptions for originality and individuality in creative work. My findings highlight two practices for navigating tensions between inspiration and imitation. The implications of each study for theory and research are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Cycles of creation: essays exploring continuous creative work
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125901
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