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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    • "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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    • "The decrease in fixation could be due to the effect of solving a second design problem more than the ANC lecture. However, this seems improbable as fixation effects are known to build up over time (the more one works on a problem, the higher the level of fixation) (Diehl and Stroebe, 1991; Nijstad, 2000) and we would hence expect an increase in fixations in relation to practice effects. Also, as all of the participants were engineer students and experienced with solving these kinds of design problems, we would expect practice effects in this regard to be minimal. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article investigates how neuroscience in general, and neuroscience of creativity in particular, can be used in teaching "applied creativity" and the usefulness of this approach to creativity training. The article is based on empirical data and our experiences from the Applied NeuroCreativity (ANC) program, taught at business schools in Denmark and Canada. In line with previous studies of successful creativity training programs the ANC participants are first introduced to cognitive concepts of creativity, before applying these concepts to a relevant real world creative problem. The novelty in the ANC program is that the conceptualization of creativity is built on neuroscience, and a crucial aspect of the course is giving the students a thorough understanding of the neuroscience of creativity. Previous studies have reported that the conceptualization of creativity used in such training is of major importance for the success of the training, and we believe that the neuroscience of creativity offers a novel conceptualization for creativity training. Here we present pre/post-training tests showing that ANC students gained more fluency in divergent thinking (a traditional measure of trait creativity) than those in highly similar courses without the neuroscience component, suggesting that principles from neuroscience can contribute effectively to creativity training and produce measurable results on creativity tests. The evidence presented indicates that the inclusion of neuroscience principles in a creativity course can in 8 weeks increase divergent thinking skills with an individual relative average of 28.5%.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10/2013; 7:656. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00656 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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