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.
|Commitee:||Boyington Wall, April, Edmondson, Amy C.|
|Department:||School of Business|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social research, Organization Theory|
|Keywords:||Ambiguity, Brainstorming, Decision making, Group learning, Group process, Learning|
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