Behind the Scenes: How to Research Creative Processes in Multidisciplinary Groups

  • Ingunn Johanne NessEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


In this chapter, I report from an ethnographic study on creative processes in multidisciplinary groups working with developing innovative ideas and focus in particular on the methodological choices involved. The research project was grounded in a sociocultural approach and sought to explore the creative processes and understand the relational aspects, which are often invisible at first glance, but, in this study, they were found to be crucial underlying conditions for enabling creativity. When conducting research on creative processes in groups, it is important to get rich descriptions of the communication and social interactions among group members. An ethnographic design enabled me to get close to and capture these processes from the beginning to the end, identifying patterns and characteristics across the groups. In the chapter, I begin with offering some background information for the project and the sociocultural theoretical framework it adopts. I then briefly present then main findings of the study. Next, I turn to practical aspects related to the methodological procedures and analyses used in the project. Furthermore, I include a discussion of researcher reflexivity and of the ethical challenges involved in doing research in confidential innovation settings.


Creativity Innovation Ethnography Qualitative research Creativity research Multidisciplinary groups Sociocultural perspective 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of BergenBergenNorway

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