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Creativity through interdisciplinary environments – improving innovation in students’ teams
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
2018 (English)In: Cumulus Conference Proceedings Wuxi 2018: Diffused Transition & Design Opportunities / [ed] Zhang Linghao, Lam Yanyan, Xiao Dongjuan, Gong Miaosen, Shi Di, China: Jiangnan University , 2018, p. 419-430Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Creativity is a human activity focused on the generation of new ideas or production of new products. It requires an exploration of possible alternatives; the more the ideas the more the chances to find something completely new or radical. Thus, innovation’s focus is the implementation of creativity (Mumford, 2012).

Training creativity processes in multidisciplinary students’ teams depends on the teams’ performance during both the divergent and convergent phases. Studies on effectivity in teams done among others by Kozlowski and Ilgen (2006), has showed that certain factors interrelated with a team’s performance, affect creativity and innovation. Paulus and Dzindolet have integrated these studies in a model summarizing these factors (Mumford, 2012). The framework enables an understanding of what restrains the divergent phase and helps developing strategies for improving the performance of multidisciplinary teams.

Innovation through collaborative creativity in interdisciplinary environments has become one of the most important aspects for educating agents of sustainable change. Creativity and innovation depends on factors that influence the divergent phase, where fluency, flexibility and originality are expected within the divergent phase of a creative problem solving process (Mumford, 2012). The questions are: why students in multidisciplinary teams tends to end the divergent phase too early? What is affecting the teams’ creativity when different categories of knowledge are articulated. The goals of this study are to contribute with improving the interaction of different disciplines as well as to articulate what changes are necessary for improving creativity in a interdisciplinary environment as part of educational programs towards innovation.

Using quality research methods data is gathered from courses’ evaluations, team member’s individual reflections and semi-structures interviews. The model suggested by Paulus and Dzindolet is used to distribute the data according to the parts related to the team, task and situational variables, and variables related to team processes. The interpretation of the data and the analysis of the patterns leads to conclusions which can improve the conditions in a multidisciplinary team while performing creative work in academy.

The study shows certain conditions inherent to academy work are affecting the divergent phase such as conflicts in solving the task, as students’ focus in on both creativity for the projects and academic work at the same time; a too big teams’ workload and the writing of a report as a priority before creativity; the language barrier –differences in the English language proficiency as well as differences in the professional language of the members of a multidiciplinry team. The result have led to a revision of the educational program which now is implementing changes. 

The study of collaborative creativity will continue researching the role of the teachers as leaders of interdisciplinary environments. Members in multidisciplinary team assume different roles but students not always can solve conflicts inside the team, affecting their motivation and performance during the creative phase. Thus the teachers’ academinc role needs to be completemented with the one of a leader using leadership practices that facilitate creativity and innovation (Puccio, 2011)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
China: Jiangnan University , 2018. p. 419-430
Keywords [en]
Interdisciplinary, Collaborative Creativity, Innovation, Education
National Category
Design
Research subject
Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-80887ISBN: 978-952-60-0092-3 (print)ISBN: 978-952-60-0093-0 (electronic)ISBN: 978-952-60-0091-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-80887DiVA, id: diva2:1292749
Conference
Cumulus 2018 Wuxi Conference. Oct 31st - Nov 3rd 2018, Wuxi, China. Jiangnan University
Available from: 2019-03-01 Created: 2019-03-01 Last updated: 2019-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Salinas, Miguel

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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