The Moderating Effect of Extraversion-Introversion Differences on Group Idea Generation Performance

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J. H. Jung, Catholic University of Daegu, Younghwa Lee and Rex Karsten, both of University of Northern Iowa, published “The Moderating Effect of Extraversion-Introversion Differences on Group Idea Generation Performance” on September 21, 2011 in Small Group Research. To view other OnlineFirst articles in this issue, please click here. Professor Jung kindly provided the following responses to the article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

Those who are interested in factors affecting computer-mediated group (CMG) technique’s idea generation performance.

 What Inspired You To Be Interested In This Topic?

Creativity that allows thinking out of the box holds a key to obtain and sustain competitive advantages in today’s business environment. Idea generation is one such method to measure creativity. Starting with Osborn’s face-to-face brainstorming technique, much of the research thus far has focused on identifying and developing better techniques to overcome its limitations. While the CMG technique had been identified as a viable solution, when compared to other idea generation techniques its performance has been inconsistent. Researchers have speculated that the presence of moderating factors might affect CMG technique’s performance, but there has been a lack of empirical studies. In this study, we examined the individual difference of introversion-extraversion as a potential moderator of idea generation idea generation performance in CMG.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The results were consistent in that extraverts performed better than did introverts. However, we were surprised to find no performance differences for introverts across different levels of idea stimuli.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

Research: This study confirms that individual differences can be a significant moderator of idea generation between computer mediated groups and nominal groups. It also validates that individual differences can moderate the relationship between the level of idea stimulation and idea generation in computer-mediated groups. Given these findings, we suggest that additional investigation into the influence of individual differences, as well as other potential moderating factors on computer-mediated idea generation is warranted.

Practice: Although additional validation is necessary, this study indicates that the CMG technique may be a more suitable technique for enhancing the generation of unique and diverse idea generation for extraverts than is the nominal group technique. In addition, the finding of no performance differences for introverts across different number of idea stimuli indicates a smaller number of idea seeds may be sufficient when majority of participants of CMG are introverts. Practitioners should find these insights useful when selecting subjects for the CMG idea generation and when assessing its results.

 How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

Our research has focused on investigating factors that might foster or hinder CMG idea generation performance. This study fits well into our line of research in that it assesses an important, well-recognized individual difference as a moderating factor affecting CMG’s idea generation performance.

How did your paper change during the review process?

The basic theme of the paper was not changed. However, our paper has been revised to focus on the moderating effect of individual differences through the review process.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back and do this study again?

The stimuli intervals (i.e., 0, 20, 40, and 80) used in this study were somewhat large. More granulized degrees of stimuli (e.g., 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40) should be employed in follow-up replicate studies to validate the findings of this study.

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