Exploring Divergent and Convergent Production in Idea Evaluation: Implications for Designing Group Creativity Support Systems

Frank Ulrich*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Most organizations need to evaluate novel ideas to identify their value. However, current idea evaluation research and practice hinder creativity by primarily facilitating convergent production (narrowing down ideas to a few tangible solutions) but discounting divergent production (the development of wildly creative and novel thoughts patterns). In this paper, I challenge this dominant view on idea evaluation by presenting a new theory I call dynamic idea evaluation and exploring the theory through a group creativity support system (GCSS) prototype. I designed the GCSS prototype as an idea portal that uses the knowledge created from the evaluation process to facilitate both convergent and divergent production. I designed the GCSS using an inductive and theory-building design science research (DSR) approach and interpretively analyzed it through an exploratory study in a Danish IS research department. I found that the GCSS demonstrates the ability to facilitate both divergent and convergent production during idea evaluation. Moreover, I add four design requirements and process architecture to help designers to build dynamic idea evaluation into this class of systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
    Volume43
    Pages (from-to)101-132
    ISSN1529-3181
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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