Patterns in Electronic Brainstorming
Alan R. Dennis (Indiana University, USA), Alain Pinsonneault (McGill University, Canada), Kelly McNamara Hilmer (University of Tampa, USA), Henri Barki (HEC Montreal, Canada), Brent Galupe (Queen’s University, Canada), Mark Huber (University of Georgia, USA) and Franc¸ois Bellavance (HEC Montreal, Canada)
Copyright: © 2008
Research has shown that some groups using electronic brainstorming generate more unique ideas than groups using nominal group brainstorming, while others do not. This study examined two factors through which group size may affect brainstorming performance: synergy and social loafing. Groups brainstormed using three techniques to manipulate synergy and two group sizes to manipulate social loafing. We found no social loafing effects. We found a time effect: nominal brainstorming groups that received no synergy from the ideas of others produced more ideas than electronic groups in the first time period and fewer ideas in the last time period. We conclude that synergy from the ideas of others is only important when groups brainstorm for longer time period. We also conclude that electronic brainstorming groups should be given at least 30 minutes to work on tasks, or else they will be unlikely to develop synergy.