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Assessing the effectiveness of electronic brainstorming in an industrial setting : experimental design document

Adams, Susan S.; Davidson, George S.; Dornburg, Courtney S.; Forsythe, James C.

An experiment is proposed which will compare the effectiveness of individual versus group brainstorming in addressing difficult, real world challenges. Previous research into electronic brainstorming has largely been limited to laboratory experiments using small groups of students answering questions irrelevant to an industrial setting. The proposed experiment attempts to extend current findings to real-world employees and organization-relevant challenges. Our employees will brainstorm ideas over the course of several days, echoing the real-world scenario in an industrial setting. The methodology and hypotheses to be tested are presented along with two questions for the experimental brainstorming sessions. One question has been used in prior work and will allow calibration of the new results with existing work. The second question qualifies as a complicated, perhaps even wickedly hard, question, with relevance to modern management practices.