Article

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

ABSTRACT

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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    • "The following table shows the positive and negative effects of group creativity techniques. Positive effects Negative effects Stimulate idea generation [25] [41] Social loafing [17] and free-riding [19] Evaluation support (combined and improved ideas) [25] [41] [36] Evaluation apprehension [6] [8] Idea quantity [25] Production blocking [6] [8] "
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