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Collective creativity: wisdom or oxymoron?

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate ways in which collective creativity and individual creativity exist in an "and/both" rather than in an "either/or" relationship. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This study uses and interrelates a number of dualities using "metalectics", the principal task of which is to balance seemingly conflicting opposites by revealing them and locating them on their strengths. Findings ‐ Collective creativity, as a bridging metaphor, renders itself as an oxymoron, both literally and as an outcome: where individual and collective creativity are dichotomised, diversity is treated as a constraint, and collaboration is confused with coordination. Research limitations/implications ‐ An essential of creativity is deviancy, and that this has to be valued to bring about change. Practical implications ‐ Heterogeneous communities of practice should not be confused with homogenous communities of practice because this causes artificial dialogues that destroy the very creativity they claim to ignite. Originality/value ‐ The paper offers an alternative way of thinking, arguing for a move away from simplified, unbalanced perspectives of creativity that focus on one-dimensionality and asymmetry.
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Keywords: Collectivism; Communities; Imagination

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 2, 2007

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