Organization Management Journal


Interactive brainstorming groups consistently produce fewer ideas, and fewer high quality ideas, than nominal groups, whose members work alone before pooling their ideas. Yet, brainstorming continues to be regarded as an effective method for enhancing creativity. This paper describes an engaging classroom ‘‘experiment’’ that reliably demonstrates the superiority of nominal over brainstorming groups for generating more ideas. Analyses of data from 105 student groups, collected from 12 classes, show that typical differences between the two group methods are sizable. Beyond lessons about group techniques, this exercise shows students the limits of intuition and the value of evidence-based management practices.