Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Brainstorming lessons from working in ambiguous environments
by Kamischke, Richard A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2010, 177; 3427053
Abstract (Summary)

The literature is unequivocal: individual brainstorming is superior to group brainstorming in both the number of ideas generated and the quality of those ideas. However, previous brainstorming experiments focused primarily on idea-generation without regard to practicality or application, so the veracity of the generated ideas was never tested. The present study investigates whether established brainstorming principles have practical application by requiring groups to use their brainstorming outcomes to reach their goal. Utilizing a submarine simulation that created an ambiguous situation, teams were asked to use a four-step learning cycle (Observe, Reflect, Design, and Act) and brainstorm twice during each cycle: once for reflecting on what has just occurred in the simulation and once for designing changes to the submarine controls that would allow them to reach their goal. The five-person teams with one member acting only as a facilitator produced some surprising results. Despite being taught to use group brainstorming (control groups) or individual brainstorming (experimental groups), few, if any, teams followed the fundamental rule of brainstorming, which is to delay evaluation until the end, but used an emergent process which combined ideation, discussion, and evaluation. Additionally, successful teams exhibited behaviors which led to better visualization of their current knowledge, and they used the skills of at least one member who was adept at using the appropriate investigative paradigm.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hannon, John
Commitee: Boyington Wall, April, Edmondson, Amy C.
School: Capella University
Department: School of Business
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social research, Organization Theory
Keywords: Ambiguity, Brainstorming, Decision making, Group learning, Group process, Learning
Publication Number: 3427053
ISBN: 9781124300788
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