Dr Sarah Harvey, University College London School of Management

Novel ideas are the foundation of creativity, offering the potential of distinct competitive advantage to organisations. Yet, research suggests that the collective processes enacted to identify, value, and assess the quality of novel ideas often result in the most novel ideas dying an early death. If groups routinely fail to keep novel ideas alive, then their efforts to generate ideas – and researchers’ efforts to improve idea generation – will be wasted. At the heart of this problem is a tension between novelty and quality: the more novel an idea, the more uncertainty exists about its quality. In this talk, Sarah aims to provide new insights into the processes involved in keeping novel ideas alive by exploring how to engage productively with this tension. Sarah will present qualitative data from two settings – healthcare policy and fashion design. The results challenge our understanding of collective creativity in three ways. First, in this study, keeping novel ideas alive involved developing an integrated understanding of novelty and quality rather than evaluating one then the other. Second, the process moved towards moments of agreement around liminal ideas rather than elaborating and implementing literal ideas. Third, keeping novel ideas alive involves retaining divergent interpretations rather than building consensus. The results further surprisingly suggest that novelty can and often is enacted through quality, providing new insight into our understanding of what it means to engage in a creative process.

Speaker bio

Sarah Harvey is an Associate Professor in the UCL School of Management. Sarah studies the dynamic processes through which groups and teams engage in creative and knowledge work. She is particularly interested in how interdisciplinary groups synthesise knowledge, identify creative ideas and decide which ideas to pursue.

Sarah’s research appears in leading international academic publications including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Annals, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Research in Organizational Behavior, and Small Group Research. She is on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Small Group Research. Sarah has developed and taught courses on creativity, organisational behaviour, leadership, team effectiveness, negotiations, and research methodology at UCL, the London School of Economics, and London Business School.

Sarah holds a PhD from the London Business School and a BComm (Hons) from Queen’s University in Canada. Prior to her PhD, Sarah worked for the Boston Consulting Group.

Address

Trumpington St
Cambridge
CambridgeshireCB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Date & time

Date: 21 February 2018
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 13:45

Audience

Open to: Members of the University of Cambridge

Category:

 

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Event location


Trumpington St
Cambridge
CambridgeshireCB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Event timings

Date: 21 February 2018
Start Time: 12:15
End Time: 13:45