The act of collaborative creation and the art of integrative creativity: Originality, disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity

Diana Rhoten, Erin O'Connor, Edward J. Hackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Csikszentmihalyi (1999: 314) argues that 'creativity is a process that can be observed only at the intersection where individuals, domains, and fields intersect'. This article discusses the relationship between creativity and interdisciplinarity in science. It is specifically concerned with interdisciplinary collaboration, interrogating the processes that contribute to the collaborative creation of original ideas and the practices that enable creative integration of diverse domains. It draws on results from a novel real-world experiment in which small interdisciplinary groups of graduate students were tasked with producing an innovative scientific research problem and an integrative research proposal. Results show that while bisociative thinking assists in the creation of original research problems, both disciplinary skills and an interdisciplinary disposition are core to the integration of creative research proposals. Extrapolating from the results of this experiment, the article discusses the feasibility of preparing students for such work and the implications for universities and other intellectual centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-108
Number of pages26
JournalThesis Eleven
Volume96
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • collaboration
  • complexity
  • creativity
  • interdisciplinarity
  • sociology of science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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