Group Support Systems and the Removal of Barriers to Creative Idea Generation within Small Groups: The Inhibition of Normative Influence

Group Support Systems and the Removal of Barriers to Creative Idea Generation within Small Groups: The Inhibition of Normative Influence

Esther E. Klein (Hofstra University, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-93177-739-1.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter explores the use of group support systems (GSSs) with anonymous interaction capability as a means of enhancing creativity in small groups by inhibiting normative influence. GSS anonymity provides an environment in which social cues (e.g., social presence, status, gender, seniority) are masked, thus ensuring merit-based evaluation of ideas and equalizing participation rates. The central argument of this chapter is that anonymity-featured GSSs inhibit the exertion of normative influence on lower-status, junior, shy or female members and thereby removes barriers to creative idea generation. The author applies this argument to organizational small task-oriented groups, focus groups and classrooms, where GSSs have the potential for encouraging all participants to propose creative ideas by allowing all participants an equal voice.

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