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What characterizes creative knowledge processes in multidisciplinary groups working with developing

As a researcher I thrive in settings in which I can explore creativity and innovation and how people interact and learn in various contexts.

Parts of my reserach focus has been on Organizational creativity - which is a precondition of innovation. Consequently, organizational creativity is a field that is becoming more and more important in organizations aiming to survive and thrive in our complex knowledge society. Organizational creativity can be defined as “the creation of a valuable, useful new product, service, idea, procedure, or process by individuals working together in a complex social system” (Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993, p. 293). Further, in this thesis creativity is understood as a collaborative process (Moran, 2010b).

My first aim in my research on organizational creativity is to provide a deeper insight into organizational creativity and how group members develop innovative ideas through collaboration. The second aim is to enhance the understanding of organizational creativity by connecting it to knowledge processes. The third aim is to add conceptualizations and models describing how innovative ideas are developed in multidisciplinary groups. To address these aims, this research focused on investigating the creative knowledge processes in multidisciplinary groups working with developing innovative ideas. The focus is on the relational processes and the social interaction and how the group members use mediating tools when they co-construct new knowledge and ideas across disciplines. This project views knowledge as an act of creation and is thus within a constructivist paradigm that partly overlaps with a sociocultural ontology of human activity.

The analyses are based on my interpretations of the creative knowledge processes in the groups, as well as the interpretations of the group members’ and leaders’ views as stated in the interviews. Findings from the data collection are presented and discussed in three articles.

In the first study, I asked "What characterizes creative knowledge processes in multidisciplinary groups working with developing innovative ideas?

"I found that creative knowledge processes developed over time and identified six phases of initial innovation work. These six phases can again be seen as two separate processes in which 1) the groups shared knowledge and built a common knowledge platform which 2) again enabled idea development. However, the creative processes peaked in the three middle phases and these phases can be seen as a separate «Room of Opportunity» characterized by circular movement and different views in a polyphony which stimulated imagination.

Read more:

Ness, I. J., & Søreide, G. E. (2014). The Room of Opportunity: Understanding phases of creative knowledge processes in innovation. Journal of Workplace Learning, 26(8), 545-560. doi:

Ness, I. J., & Riese, H. (2015). Openness, curiosity and respect: Underlying conditions for developing innovative knowledge and ideas between disciplines. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 6(September 2015), 29-39. doi:

Ness, I. J. (2017). Polyphonic Orchestration: Understanding how leaders facilitate creative knowledge processes in multidisciplinary groups working with innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management.

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