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Group creativity

Group or collective creativity is one of the manifestations of the social nature of creative act. This dimension of creativity has been often neglected for epistemological reasons. In the West, creativity has been traditionally associated with concepts of individual personality and it tended to emphasize the role of solitary genius in the creative process. (See Creativity as a cultural construction.) Non-individual, anonymous or group creativity have usually remained at the periphery of research interest and other evaluation criteria have been applied to such works. As Negus and Pickering (2004: 142) note speaking about the situation in the arts, "Eventually, the products of individual artistic creation in economically privileged countries are displayed in art galleries, while the artworks of so-called primitive or underdeveloped societies largely relegated to museums of ethnography or anthropology."

Group creativity has attracted the attention of researchers relatively recently. A discussion on creative collaboration has been carried on both theoretical and practical levels (Schrage, 1995; Bennis and Biederman, 1997; Hargrove, 1998; John-Steiner, 2000; Gundry and LaMantia, 2001; Honig and Rostain, 2003). There is a growing body of research into the role of creative collaboration in music (Gillis, 1966), theatre (Sawyer, 2003), film industry (Travis, 2002), psychotherapy (Lewin, 1997), group communication (Frey, 2002), and in the process of innovation (Paulus and Nijstad, 2003).

Creative collaboration is conspicuous on the Internet where it takes multiple forms. Many successful projects on the Internet from open source software to virtual communities and web sites are products of collaborative creative efforts and have, therefore, multiple authorship (Stillinger, 1991). On the other hand, most of these projects have been inspired, initiated or guided by the individuals who have won laurels as outstanding creators or leaders.

Group creativity. Dictionary of Creativity: Terms, Concepts, Theories & Findings in Creativity Research / Compiled and edited by Eugene Gorny., 2007.
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