Creativity as Structured Heteroglossia: Toward a Dialectical Reformulation of Group Communication and Creativity
Unformatted Document Text:
Creativity as Structured Heteroglossia:
Toward a Dialectical Reformulation of Group Communication and Creativity
Despite extensive research on the determinants of group creativity, no variables
have been identified as both necessary and sufficient to precipitate creative discovery. At
best, researchers have identified seemingly contradictory aspects of the creative process
variables that are critical at one point in the creative process yet oftentimes are
detrimental at other stages. Embracing the theoretical importance of dialectical tensions,
we propose that managing dialectical oppositions during the creative process is critical to
creative group outcomes, with communication being central to this structuring process.
We apply the perspective of multiple dialectics to creativity research on persons,
processing, processes, and product—and identify eight dialectics with sixteen tensions.
Group creativity is best viewed as multi-voiced or heteroglossic, which begets a
metaphor of creativity as a prism dissected with numerous dialogized tensions. As the
creative process unfolds, these tensions push and pull to create multiple facets by which
the creative product can be seen. We conclude with a structuration theory-based dynamic
model that takes into account (a) multiple dialectical tensions embedded in persons,
(individual) processing, (collective) processes, and products attendant to creativity; (b)
the effects of actors’ reflexivity; and (c) the recursivity between
person/processing/processes and the envisioned creative product.