Productivity Loss in Idea-Generating Groups: Tracking Down the Blocking Effect

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 09/1991; 61(3):392--403. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.61.3.392


Four experiments were conducted to identify the mechanisms that mediate the impact of production blocking on the productivity of idea-generating groups and to test procedural arrangements that could lessen its negative impact. Experiment 1 manipulated the length of group and individual sessions. Although Experiment 1 failed to find a closing of the productivity gap over time in equal man-hour comparisons, real 4-person groups produced more than nominal groups when given 4 times as much time. Because lengthening the time of session increases thinking as well as speaking time, speaking time was manipulated in Experiment 2. The finding that individuals who brainstormed for 20 min but were allowed to talk either for all or for only ƈ of the time did not differ in productivity eliminates differences in speaking time as an explanation of the productivity loss in idea-generating groups. In Experiments 3 and 4, procedural strategies to lessen the impact of blocking were examined.

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    • "The term was popularized by Faickney Osborn in the 1953 book Applied Imagination. Osborn claimed that brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone in generating ideas, although more recent research has questioned this conclusion (Diehl & Stroebe, 1991). Today, the term is used as a catch all term for all group ideation sessions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Brain-writing is an alternative method to brainstorming. It is particularly useful with a group of people who are somewhat reticent and would be unlikely to offer many ideas in an open group session such as brainstorming. 6-3-5 Brain-writing (also known as the 6-3-5 method or Method 635) is a group creativity technique used in marketing, advertising, design, writing and product development. The technique involves 6 participants who sit in a group being supervised by a moderator. Each participant thinks up to 3 ideas every 5 minutes. The ideas are written down on a worksheet and passed on to the next participant. The participant reads the ideas and uses them as inspiration for more ideas. Participants are encouraged to draw on others’ ideas for inspiration, thus stimulating the creative process. After 6 rounds in 30 minutes the group has thought up a total of 108 ideas. Brain-writing involves silently sharing written ideas in groups. Relative to brainstorming, brain-writing, potentially, minimizes the effect of status differentials, dysfunctional interpersonal conflicts, domination by one or two group members, pressure to conform to group norms, and digressions from the focal topic. It might also eliminate production blocking, reduce social loafing, and encourage careful processing of shared ideas. The authors think that this method would help in the energy sector, with fast resolution of small failures in the system. To study the effectiveness of this method, 30 students were divided into groups of six persons. The results will be presented in this paper.
    Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 06/2015; 191:387-390. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.452
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    • "From this point of view, some leader's different skills are needed. With regard to team innovation, among other works, we have considered the work of Hoegl and Parboteeah (2007), on creativity in innovative projects, on how important collaboration and teamwork is based on massive tradition on research on this topic (Amabile, 1983; 1996; Watson et al., 1991; Diehl & Stroebe, 1991; Tannenbaum et al., 1992; Weick & Roberts, 1993; Ford, 1996; Ruscio et al., 1998; Madhavan & Grover, 1998; Sicotte & Langley, 2000; Schulz et al., 2000; Hoegl & Gemuenden, 2001; Taggar, 2002; Okhuysen & Eisenhardt, 2002; Thompson, 2003). This is a very interesting work, in which it was verified that the group work tremendously facilitates the development of technical skills, but, at the same time; he can be a barrier in the implementation phase and for the application of divergent thinking techniques. "
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    ABSTRACT: for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Francesco Pisanu, Paola Menapace. All Copyright © 2014 are guarded by law and by SCIRP as a guardian. This paper is about creativity and innovation in the educational field. Through a literature review, we de-scribe the results of two decades of research on creativity and innovation in the educational and organiza-tional field, to underline what seemed to work and what did not, to enable these processes function ef-fectively. In this literature review, a search of publications dealing with the issues of innovation and crea-tivity and the links between these two issues has been made. We decided to put these studies in four theo-retical, ex-post created, dimensions: organizational structures, individual characteristics, training methods and pedagogical practices and training content. The content of this article is based on one of the outputs of the European Commission funded project, named CLEAR (Creativity and innovation: pedagogical framework for the learning chain).
    Creative Education 02/2014; 5(03):145-154. DOI:10.4236/ce.2014.53023
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    • "More than just the number of ideas , quantity refers to the number of different ideas in a set to the exclusion of completely overlapping ideas . Therefore , the number of nonredundant ideas is often used to measure the quantity of ideas in a set ( Diehl and Stroebe , 1991 ; Friedman and Förster , 2001 ; Rietzschel et al . , 2007 ) . "
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of new product development (NPD) teams to generate ideas and develop high-quality concepts for new products is a crucial determinant of NPD success. Although prior research in this area has developed various interventions to enhance the ability of teams to generate ideas, such interventions have limited impact on innovation management theory and practice. Partly, this is because of practical reasons: The interventions are often costly and impractical. However, there are also more fundamental, theoretical issues regarding these interventions: Knowledge of which interventions are effective in what situations is lacking. Even more importantly, there is no theory (or empirical evidence) about the effects of these interventions on the success of developing initial ideas into concepts. Together, this has caused the usefulness of these interventions for NPD teams to be uncertain at best. To remedy this situation, this study focuses on a costless and easy-to-implement intervention: suspending group debate. Suspending group debate refers to a team idea generation and concept development process in which groups debate a problem, ideas for solutions are generated individually, and these ideas are debated and developed into concepts collectively. The authors developed a new theory about the impact of suspending group debate on idea generation and on further concept development. Specifically, they argue that suspending group debate causes groups to generate a higher number of ideas, a higher number of original ideas, and a more diverse set of ideas, but that only the number of original ideas and the diversity of the set of ideas will translate into higher concept quality. The authors also developed new theory about when suspending group debate is especially effective. Specifically, they argue that suspending group debate is especially effective when at least one group member is low on extraversion. This theory is tested using an experimental design in which groups generated ideas and developed concepts for a specific organizational problem. Some groups suspend group debate, while others do not. Results show that suspending group debate indeed causes groups to generate a higher number of ideas, a higher number of original ideas, and a more diverse set of ideas. Importantly, results demonstrate that the effects of suspending group debate are more pronounced for groups with one or more group members that are low on extraversion. Furthermore, suspending group debate also affects concept quality, mediated by the number of original ideas and the diversity of ideas that groups generate (and thus not by the sheer number of ideas generated). Specifically, results show that both the diversity of the idea set as well as the number of original ideas positively influence the innovativeness of the final concept, while only the diversity of the idea set influences the comprehensiveness of the final concept.
    Journal of Product Innovation Management 12/2013; 30(S1). DOI:10.1111/jpim.12063 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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