Group Creativity explores the unique form of creativity that emerges from collaborating groups. Dr. Sawyer draws on his studies of jazz ensembles and improvisational theater groups to develop a model of creative group processes. He applies this model of group creativity to a wide range of collaborating groups, including group learning in classrooms and innovative teams in organizations.
In group creativity, a group comes together to collaboratively create in real time. The creative inspiration emerges from the interaction and communication among the members, and makes the result more than the sum of its parts. The dynamic, moment-to-moment communication among jazz musicians and improvising actors is the primary topic of the book. Sawyer explores performers' close listening and sensitivity, the submerging of the ego to the group mind, and the ways that performers work together to create something better than and different from what one solitary individual could create alone. These explorations provide insight into all forms of group creativity and collaboration.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction. Jamming in Jazz and Improv Theater. Interaction and Emergence: An Interactional Semiotics. Group Creativity and the Arts. Group Creativity as Mediated Action. Degrees of Improvisation in Group Creativity. Collective Ideation: Creativity, Teamwork, and Collaboration.
"...the book is interesting and well written, and provides an excellent introduction to the subject."
"...Sawyer managed to write an interesting and inspiring book that tries to capture the elusive phenomenon of interdependent performance in improvisation....the book offers interesting new perspectives and a theoretical elaboration that can contribute to a better foundation of analyses of improvisation in organizational settings. ....for scholars interested in improvisation in teams or organizations it is certainly worthwhile to study."
—EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WORK AND ORGANIATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
"Creativity across disciplines is a timely subject, and Sawyer combines a sophisticated analysis with a very lively, accessible--yet highly articulate--presentation. It fills a void in the existing literature. This book will have widespread appeal since it touches on virtually all disciplines."
Chair, Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation, University of Michigan
"Sawyer has rapidly established himself as the primary expert on improvisational creativity and this book will be viewed as an important contribution to this previously neglected but theoretically and practically significant field. Group Creativity will be a valuable, influential, and widely-cited book."
University of California at Santa Cruz
"This book on improvisational creativity is a timely, interdisciplinary treatment of a neglected topic in the human sciences. Sawyer's theatre examples are delightful, his theoretical integration is learned and effective, his contribution to the creativity literature is substantial."
—Vera John Steiner
Presidential Professor of Education and Linguistics, University of New Mexico; a