Does working in a group increase innovation? Or do too many cooks make a boring broth?
Does group work encourage creativity? Not according to the art and writing instructors that I surveyed determine which classroom environments induced creativity. Encouraging students to work in groups is suppose to improve creativity, but most instructors observed the opposite result.
More unique ideas surfaced when the learners worked on projects individually. Students collaborating in groups did not seem able to piggyback on each others’ ideas to produce elaborate and sophisticated products. Sometimes everyone followed a leader’s instruction, but the leader rarely was the most creative person. Others spent time in long discussions. Then, under time pressures they put together something that had already been done before and therefore was already familiar to the group. In a few cases, the disagreement between members caused the end product to appear piecemeal and shoddy.
Brainstorming has been touted as the way for groups to multiply innovative thinking in the workplace. Groups sessions produce more…
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