Brainstorming is Just the Beginning: Effects of Convergence Techniques on Satisfaction, Perceived Usefulness of Moderation, and Shared Understanding in Teams

I. Seeber, R. Maier, B. Weber, G. de Vreede, T. de Vreede and A. Alothaim

In: Proc. HICCS'15, pp. 581–590, 2015.

Abstract. Much research exists regarding (computer-supported) idea generation, yet little is known about how teams can be facilitated to efficiently converge on a set of ideas. Convergence is a critical activity in collaborative problem-solving and decision-making as teams need to focus their cognitive resources on the most promising ideas resulting from a brainstorming activity. This paper investigates the effects of facilitation on team outcomes to foster our understanding of convergence. We tested three facilitated convergence techniques, SelfSifter, FastFocus, and TreasureHunt that offer different levels of procedural structuring and discussion allowances. An experiment with 138 subjects in 34 teams showed significant improvements in satisfaction with process and product after convergence. SelfSifter and TreasureHunt outperformed FastFocus in terms of shared understanding, while FastFocus and TreasureHunt outperformed SelfSifter in terms of usefulness of moderation. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of how teams can benefit from facilitated convergence techniques.

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Barbara Weber