Grandmaster research program

The Grandmaster research program focuses on studying those individuals who achieved the highest level of mastery that I call “grandmaster” level. Different projects in this research program study individuals in different disciplinary and cultural contexts but all of them study the thinking, learning, intuition, and creativity of grandmasters as well as how they achieved the highest level of mastery, with particular focus on the grandmaster-apprentice relationship. The conceptual background of the Grandmaster project is a speculative model of the levels of mastery. The first two pojects of this research programme targetted top scientsts and top chefs.

Methodological framing

The methodological approach of each project is grounded in phenomenology, as we are intersted in the lived experience of grandmasters. Furthermore, we have developed a specific methodological framing for investigating the extraordinary.

  • Viktor Dörfler – Marc Stierand (2019) Extraordinary: Reflections on Sample Representativeness, Vlad Petre Glăveanu – Izabela Lebuda (editors) The Palgrave Handbook of Social Creativity Research, Palgrave Macmillan, 569-584 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-95498-1_36

Trying to preserve the greatest possible richness of our empirical material, we have developd a few methods along the way, all of them within the phenomenological tradition.

  • Viktor Dörfler – Colin Eden (2014) Research on Intuition using Intuition, Marta Sinclair (editor) Handbook of Intuition Research Methodology, Edward Elgar, 264-276 DOI: 10.4337/9781782545996.00031
  • Marc Stierand – Viktor Dörfler (2014) Researching Intuition in Personal Creativity, Marta Sinclair (editor) Handbook of Intuition Research Methodology, Edward Elgar, 249-263 DOI: 10.4337/9781782545996.00030

Furthermore, we have operationalized the phenomenological concept of bracketing through transpersonal reflexivity in order to make the greatest use of insiderness and preunderstandings as sources of insight rather than negatively affecting the rigor of our studies.

  • Viktor Dörfler – Marc Stierand (2021) Bracketing: A Phenomenological Theory Applied Through Transpersonal Reflexivity, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 34(4): 778-793 DOI: 10.1108/JOCM-12-2019-0393

The to scientists project

This project, conducted with Colin Eden, focuses on scientists who have been awarded the highest accolades of their respective disciplines. Our participants included 20 top scientists, among then 17 Nobel Laureates.

  • Viktor Dörfler – Colin Eden (2019) Understanding ‘Expert’ Scientists: Implications for Management and Organization Research, Management Learning, 50(5): 534-555 DOI: 10.1177/1350507619866652

The top chefs project

This project, led by Marc Stierand, studied the creativity of top chefs, many of our research participants lead restaurants that have been awarded Michelin stars, listed in Gault Millau, etc.

  • Marc Stierand – David Boje – Vlad Petre Glăveanu – Viktor Dörfler – Usha Haley – Miriam Feuls (2019) Paradoxes of Creativity: Examining the Creative Process Through an Antenarrative Lens, Journal of Creative Behavior, 53(2): 165-170 DOI: 10.1002/jocb.224
  • Marc Stierand – Viktor Dörfler (2016) The Role of Intuition in the Creative Process of Expert Chefs, Journal of Creative Behavior, 50(3): 178–185 DOI: 10.1002/jocb.100
  • Marc Stierand – Viktor Dörfler – Jillian MacBryde (2014) Creativity and Innovation in Haute Cuisine: Towards a Systemic Model, Creativity and Innovation Management, 23(1): 15-28 DOI: 10.1111/caim.12050
  • Marc Stierand – Viktor Dörfler (2012) Reflecting on a Phenomenological Study of Creativity and Innovation in Haute Cuisine, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 24(6): 946-957 DOI: 10.1108/09596111211247254