the-brainstorming-myth1(2)

Place meetings source weatherall and nunamaker 1996

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Unformatted text preview: research suggests it is not the best strategy. It is possible that brainstorming groups fulfil other needs in the organization, which may or may not compensate for the resultant loss of creativity. Further, fundamental processes at work in brainstorming groups appear to militate against good decisions being made or really creative answers being found. If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity or efficiency is the highest priority. Groups help acceptance of the decision. But when the climate is competitive and time is of the essence, use individuals working alone. However, there are things that can be done to ordinary brainstorming groups to make them more productive. For instance one could insist that Business Strategy Review group members initially brainstorm alone in writing and bring a certain number of ideas to the meeting. Groups could be encouraged to brainstorm different parts of “the problem” separately. They also produce more if they are set high targets/standards for both quality and quantity. Firms also need to keep track of the actual numbers of ideas that they generate. Giving the group several breaks (from each other) has also been shown to help the process. Certainly, as they are traditionally and casually run in most firms, they are among the least effective way of generating ideas. Adrian Furnham is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Business Psychology Unit at University College London. References Note: For a full list of references, please go to the Business Strategy Review website at www.london.edu/bsr. Bouchard, T. ( 1972) A comparison of two group brainstorming procedures. Journal of Applied Psychology 59, 418-421. Camacho, L. and Paulus, P. (1995). The role of social anxiousness in group brainstorming. J ournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 1071-1080. Dennis, A. and Valacich, J. ( 1993). Computer brainstorms: More heads are better than one. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 531-537. Diehl, M. and Stroebe, W. (1987) Productivity loss in brainstorming groups: Toward a solution of a riddle. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 497509. Furnham, A. and Yazdanpanahi, T. (1995) Personality differences and group versus individual brainstorming Personality and Individual Differences 19, 73-80 Karau, S. and Williams, K. (1993). Social loafing: A metaanalytic review and theoretical integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 681-706. Larey, T. and Paulus, P. (1995) Social comparison and goal setting in brainstorming groups. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25, 1579-1596. Osborn, A. (1957) Applied Imagination. New York: Scribner Paulus, P. and Dzindolet, M. (1993) Social influence processes in group brainstorming. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 575-586. Robbins, T. (1995) Social loafing on cognitive tasks: An examination of the “sucker effect”. Journal of Business and Psychology, 9, 337-342. Weatherall, A. and Nunamaker, J. (1996) Introduction to Electronic Meetings, Chichester: Technical Graphics....
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