DOI: 10.18536/bcce.2017., Sonnenburg and Manz

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Sonnenburg, S., & Marz, L. (2017). Moments to despair in the co-creative process. Business Creativity and the Creative Economy, 3, 75-87. https://doi.org/10.18536/bcce.2017.

Moments to Despair in the Co-Creative Process

Stephan Sonnenburg
Karlshochschule International University

Lena Manz
Karlshochschule International University


Collaborative creativity is highly dynamic, turning the creative process into a multidimensional phenomenon, where it is impossible to exclude emotions, especially negative ones. However, the effect of emotions on co-creativity is ambiguous and mostly seen as harmful for the team performance. This paper examines negative emotions in project teams to be able to (re-)enter into the group flow. Based on empirical data in the form of diaries, a typology of moments leading to despair is elaborated. It is highlighted that inter-personal problems should not be underestimated. The paper contributes not only to a more profound understanding of the relationship between constraints, emotional reactions and co-creativity but it also enables managers and team leaders to understand their teams’ behavior to stimulate creativity in a natural way. Negative emotions might not be as bad as they seem when experienced in collaboration and could lead to the rebirth of the phoenix during the co-creative process.