Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.1 PSYCHOLOGY, Business and Management., *training, Organisation Theory

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


The phenomenon of creativity has been a focus of enquiry by psychologists for many years. Compared with individual creativity, much less is known about creativity in collaborative contexts (Glăveanu, 2010; Sawyer, 2010). Taking a sociocultural view of creativity, this study contributes to an emerging strand of research that focusses centrally on how creativity unfolds in the performance of creative collaboration.

The research design followed an inductive path conducive to theory building and employed a single case study method (Yin, 2009). Science Gallery Dublin, part of Trinity College Dublin (TCD), is presented as a special place for creative collaboration.

In response to calls for further detail about how ideas emerge in group contexts (Glăveanu, 2017; Hargadon and Beckhy, 2006; Harvey and Chia-Yu, 2013; Harvey, 2014; Kurtzberg and Amabile, 2010), this study contributes to the literature in a number of ways. It describes a kind of talk - Idea Talk - that is presented as characteristic of and instrumental in the collaborative development of ideas and solutions. It presents a ‘Creative Convergence framework’ as a model that seeks to explain how ideas emerge through interdisciplinary dialogue. Findings of the study also challenge an established doctrine of creative collaboration and brainstorming which holds that equality of participation is desirable.

The implications for practice include an enhanced understanding of the organisational and contextual features that can positively contribute to creative collaborations. The Idea Talk and Creative Convergence contributions, combined with further observations relating to the hosting and facilitation of groups, provide leaders and participants with new insights into how creativity emerges in groups.