Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1697

Full Length Research Paper

Conceptualizing group flow: A framework

Jana Duncan
  • Jana Duncan
  • Instructional Psychology and Technology Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
  • Google Scholar
Richard E. West
  • Richard E. West
  • Instructional Psychology and Technology Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 01 July 2017
  •  Accepted: 04 December 2017
  •  Published: 10 January 2018

Abstract

This literature review discusses the similarities in main themes between Csikszentmihályi theory of individual flow and Sawyer theory of group flow, and compares Sawyer’s theory with existing concepts in the literature on group work both in education and business. Because much creativity and innovation occurs within groups, understanding group collaboration characteristics, including group flow, is critical to designing, leading, and sustaining effectively creative groups. Sawyer’s theory, being the first to describe flow within groups, can be difficult to conceptualize because of the high number of included constructs. By synthesizing the ideas, we propose a simpler model for conceptualizing group flow consisting of the principles of vision, ownership and contribution, and effective communication. We propose that using this condensed version of Sawyer’s leading principles might enable more research on this important topic, as well as improved practice in developing and leading innovative groups.  
 
Key words: Flow, group flow, education, team productivity, organizational behavior.