Asynchronous Brainstorming in an Industrial Setting: Exploratory Studies

P. B. Paulus, R. M. Korde, J. J. Dickson, A. Carmeli, R. Cohen-meitar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this study was to examine the effectiveness of brainwriting in an industrial setting.

Research has demonstrated that group interaction can inhibit idea generation. Written exchanges of ideas in groups have been found to be an effective way to increase idea generation. To our knowledge, no study has examined the potential of brainwriting for group idea generation in work settings or the impact of different sequences of group and individual idea generation.

Participants in a high-technology company participated in two brainwriting studies. In one study, participants generated ideas either first alone and then in a group or in the reverse order. In a second study, participants either generated as a group during the entire session or alternated individual ideation with a periodic review of the group’s ideas.

In the first study, participants who generated ideas first as a group and then as individuals performed best. In the first session, group writing also tended to lead to more ideas than did individual writing. In the second study, participants with periodic reviews performed best.

The results suggest that alternation in individual and group brainwriting can enhance the number of ideas generated. The group-to-alone sequence is also beneficial since it allows group members to build on shared ideas.

This research indicates that collaborative idea sessions can be beneficial in work sessions if the brainwriting paradigm is used with an appropriate alternation of group ideation or review sessions with individual idea generation sessions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1094
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Issue number6
Early online date4 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • creativity
  • brainstorming
  • brainwriting
  • idea selection
  • collaborative innovation
  • groups


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