Polyphonic Orchestration: The Dialogical Nature of Creativity

  • Ingunn Johanne NessEmail author
  • Vlad Glăveanu
Part of the Creativity Theory and Action in Education book series (CTAE, volume 4)


In this chapter, we aim to propose and develop a dialogical account of creativity. While creativity is often understood as a feature of a person or products, we offer a different account. We believe creativity is not a static “object” (personal trait or product feature) but rather the dynamic and evolving quality of the relationships we develop with others within a shared cultural environment (Glăveanu VP, The creative self: effect of beliefs, self-efficacy, mindset, and identity. Academic Press, Waltham, 2017). The chapter builds on an extensive ethnographic fieldwork of innovative idea development in organisational settings. Our focus is thus on the concrete case of creativity in multidisciplinary groups in order to illustrate and develop further the concept of Polyphonic Orchestration (see Ness IJ, Eur J Innov Manag 20:557–577, 2017). The empirical research we build on showed that when leaders are open to co-construction and dialogue in the groups, the chance of succeeding in building a creative culture improves considerably. This is in contrast to the way leadership is often viewed as a set of managing strategies, almost coming in from the “outside”, to manage the creative processes. The concept of Polyphonic Orchestration portrays creativity at once, as an individual and social, personal and cultural process. This notion is central, we propose, to a dialogical account of creating as it brings forward the pre-condition of dialogue and points to the necessity of guiding the social exchanges that are at the heart of creativity.


Creativity Dialogism Polyphonic orchestration Multidisciplinary groups Innovation Organisations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Webster UniversityBellevueSwitzerland

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