Networked Flow in Creative Collaboration: A Mixed Method Study

Andrea Gaggioli, Elvis Mazzoni, Martina Benvenuti, Carlo Galimberti, Antonio Bova, Eleonora Brivio, Pietro Cipresso, Giuseppe Riva, Alice Chirico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent model of Networked flow (NF) mapped out factors underlying optimal creative collaboration in blended spaces (physical and digital). NF conceives creativity as an evolving network bridging material and symbolic resources of the creative collaboration process at both inter and the intra-group levels. First, this model posits that optimal group creativity is characterized by highest levels of the experiences of flow and social presence. Secondly, these experiences should stem from a peculiar group communicative structure. Therefore, group creativity should be studied through a mixed-method approach focusing on experiential and structural features of group collaboration, on their evolution, and on group artifacts. Here, we measured the evolution of 10 groups’ structural dynamics by means of Social Network Analysis (SNA), and we assessed group experience through group flow experience (Flow State Scale) and social presence (NMSPI). Moreover, four independent raters evaluated the creative products through a domain-based approach, that is the Consensual Assessment Technique. Finally, we deepened the analysis of the highest creative group’ micro-interaction through the qualitative approach of Interlocutory Logic. Group flow and social presence were positively related. Both experiential dimensions and creative outcomes were predicted by specific SNA indexes. Qualitative approach of Interlocutory Logic and an analysis of most and least creative groups’ sociograms, suggested two structural patterns underlying optimal group creativity instances. Specifically, even a few but well-aimed interactions could facilitate the emergence of higher creativity levels, which could emerge silently, with few but effective interactions, or explicitly, with several (mostly) democratic exchanges among members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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