Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dr. Jo Yudess: Grounded Theory on Teaching Creativity and Leadership

I have been asked to share pieces of my dissertation, “The Synergies, Efficacies and Strategies Involved in Teaching Creativity and Leadership Together: A Grounded Theory” since the research was done with eight faculty members and represents their thoughts on specific topics. Several main concepts related to creativity and leadership emerged which were woven into my final theory. Each of them is expressed as a gerund to facilitate making relationships between them (Charmaz, 2009). They were:

• Creating: This includes comments about the general field of creativity.
• Leading: The category references leadership as it is practiced, understood, studied, or observed by the participants.
• Creative Problem Solving: These are direct responses referring to the Creative Problem Solving process which is the basis for all the courses in this program.
• Thinking skills: Most recently a new problem solving model, Creative Problem Solving: The Thinking Skills Model (TSM) (Puccio, Murdock & Mance, 2007) was adopted and is being integrated into the program. While it is similar to the Creative Problem Solving process described above, there are differences significant enough to warrant a category.
• Instructing in Creative Studies: The backgrounds, experiences, visions and interests of the faculty are in this category.
• Structuring Classes: Included are codes from the curriculum and instructors comments on various courses.
• Contributing to students: The value of the program in the learning it offers to students is the gist of this category.
• Connecting Leadership and Creativity: This offers the views of the instructors on how creativity and leadership are connected along with information from the curriculum to illustrate where and when the connections occur.
• Comparing Creative Studies to other programs: The instructors identify the differences between this program and other potential leadership training programs they may know about, particularly MBA programs.
• Evaluating Creative Studies: This involves the instructors’ views of the program, how far they’ve seen it come, how they work together, how well the program works and what else might be done to improve the degree.
• Creating Environment: Comments made by the instructors emphasized various elements of the environment necessary for creativity to take place.

Over the next few weeks I will be detailing each of these concepts in this blog, and then finally, sharing the theory that I developed. Stay tuned! Jo Yudess, Ed. D.