the-brainstorming-myth1(2)

Groups performance increased with group size which

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Unformatted text preview: instorming groups. Electronic brainstorming was not advantageous when only two people were involved (and thus anonymity and production blocking were minimal), but, as group size and therefore anonymity and production blocking increased, the potential of this new technique was exhibited. Per-person productivity tended to remain stable with an increase in group size (unlike nonelectronic brainstorming, where a fall was noted). This was attributed to the fact that production blocking remained at a constant low level throughout different electronic brainstorming sessions. Lastly, satisfaction is greater with electronic brainstorming groups and this increases with group size, contrary to nonelectronic brainstorming. Dennis and Valacick (1993) found bigger (twelve versus six) electronic brainstorming groups did better than smaller ones. They attributed this to the synergy obtained and the avoidance of redundant ideas in these large groups. Paulus et al (1996) noted that if computer brainstormers verbalized (spoke out loud) the ideas they were typing in it decreased performance of all concerned, as may be predicted. Thus the very features that mean brainstorming does not work can be largely overcome using computer networks. Social loafing is less likely to occur because individuals may be concerned that the ideas they key in are logged and counted. Evaluation apprehension does not occur because the source of the ideas is anonymous. Production blocking does not occur because participants can assess and attend to others’ ideas when it suits them and not when others impose it. Indeed there is an increasing interest in what have been called electronic meetings. Table 1 summarizes the benefits. Implications for Managers Research in this area is particularly fascinating because so many of the results are counterintuitive. What the findings seem to show is that brainstorming is most often used when it is least effective. It is odd that advertising agencies and design departments seem so 28 Adrian Furnham Table 1 Benefits of Electronic Meetings Benefit Feature Shorter meetings - Timescales reduced - larger meetings - electronic recording - records of past meetings available More/better ideas - Earlier meetings clear structure electronic sign-in parallel processing of input electronic display shares input immediately - electronic voting focuses the discussion anonymity sharing of input more open discussion electronic voting prioritized ideas remote participants - different time/different place - electronic meetings Better documentation - electronic recording Greater commitment - electronic display makes commitments very public - analysis of electronic voting - larger meetings - anonymity when appropriate - electronic recording Immediate actions - meeting record available instantly - discussions seen to be concluded - free anonymous votes Cash saving - different place meetings Source: Weatherall and Nunamaker 1996, p24 reliant on brainstorming techniques, when all the...
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This document was uploaded on 09/30/2013.

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