Idea generation in computer-based groups: A new ending to an old story

  • Valacich J
  • Dennis A
  • Connolly T
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Previous research on brainstorming and related idea-generating techniques has generally found interacting groups to produce fewer ideas than equivalent numbers of individuals working alone whose ideas are later pooled (i.e., nominal groups). In this paper we report four experiments. The first three contrast groups of various sizes using a computer-based idea generation system to equivalently sized nominal groups. The results of these experiments were consistent; large groups using a computer-based idea generation system outperformed equivalent nominal groups in idea-generating tasks. A fourth experiment is then reported which tests the primary hypothesis as to why groups using the computer-based idea generation system outperformed nominal groups. This study concluded that the elimination of production blocking in the computer-based groups (a problem common in groups that communicate verbally where only one member of the group can speak at a time) accounts for a significant portion of the enhanced productivity for the computer-based groups. © 1994 Academic Press, Inc.

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