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.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
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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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    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jan 2015
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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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