UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Elizabeth Rouse, BU Questrom School of Business, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Navigating mine and ours to enable creative collaboration’
Many organizations develop creative ideas and products through collective projects. Yet, creative workers tend to value independence and protect their ideas. A tension exists, then, between how creative workers tend to behave—independent and idea-protecting—and how they are expected to behave in organizations—interdependent and idea-collaborating. Through a qualitative field study in the context of video game development, I investigated how creative workers manage their own psychological experiences to enable effective creative collaboration. I found that creative workers adopt different orientations to psychological ownership, ranging from a more partitioning to a more expansive orientation. While a partitioning orientation makes it difficult to be an effective collaborator and find satisfaction, many creative workers engage in an ongoing internal struggle to adopt a more expansive orientation. In theorizing the role of “mine” and “ours” in creative collaboration, this research enriches theories of creative workers and psychological ownership.