Idea-generation in naturally occurring contexts: Complex appropriation of a simple group procedure

Michele H. Jackson, Marshall Scott Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined naturally occurring idea-generation in organizational groups completing an extended problem-solving task. Meetings held by 11 groups engaged in a quality improvement process in a governmental agency were analyzed to identify 37 idea-generation episodes. All groups had available a group decision support system (GDSS), although some opted not to use it. Across all groups, idea productivity was low though fairly efficient, but GDSS-supported idea-generation produced significantly fewer ideas. In general, idea-generation as a process appears to be more complex than has been thought; observed deviations from idealized idea-generation norms were not necessarily dysfunctional. The findings encourage reassessment of the assumptions underlying existing normative models of idea-generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-591
Number of pages32
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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