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Requisite variety of expertise within a group in idea generation

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Presented at ISPIM 2008 Conference, Tours, France together with Anu Suominen, co-writen with Heli Aramo-Immonen and Kaj Koskinen. Received Best Student Paper Award.

Presented at ISPIM 2008 Conference, Tours, France together with Anu Suominen, co-writen with Heli Aramo-Immonen and Kaj Koskinen. Received Best Student Paper Award.

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  • 1. 1 REQUISITE VARIETY OF EXPERTISE WITHIN A GROUP IN IDEA GENERATION ANU SUOMINEN MSc., PhD-student JARI JUSSILA MSc., PhD-student Co-writers: Heli Aramo-Immonen, PhD Dr. Kaj U. Koskinen, docentIndustrial Management
  • 2. 2 Pauling: ”The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas…”Industrial Management
  • 3. 3 INTRODUCTION: TERMS CREATIVITY • Individual’s capability • Within every person • Involved in all human activities (with problem solving etc.) • Prerequisite for organizational innovation INNOVATION by OECD “...the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (goods or services), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.” IDEA GENERATION • The 1st phase of innovation process • Without any ideas, no innovations will emergeIndustrial Management
  • 4. 4 CREATIVITY AND IT’S LINK TO INNOVATION Resources Management practises Creativity feeds Innovation innovation Work Organizational Motivation Environment I IM PA PA CT CT Task Expertise S S Motivation Creativity Individual/Team Creativity Creativity Skills Amabile CTC, CTOCI (1997)Industrial Management
  • 5. 5 REQUISITE VARIETY Asbhy’s Law of Requisite variety: • the internal complexity of a system should correspond to the multiplicity and complexity of the environment; otherwise the system will not function effectively enough in its environment Innovation requires Requisite variety: • diversity is necessity (Florida) • value of diversity (Martins & Terblanche) • diverse range of skills; Hybrid nature of people and managers (Trott) • team diversity (Farr et al.) • Requisite variety of information (Nonaka & Takeuchi) • Leveraging diversity: seeing differences as richness, being able to benefit from different viewpoints and opinions • Requisite variety: employment of range of people with different backgrounds and skillsIndustrial Management
  • 6. 6 EXPERTISE Professional expertise: • includes the mastery of job-related knowledge: technical, professional, or managerial • the motivation to use, develop, and share work-related knowledge with others • Expertise & Challenges => Flow (Csikszentmihalyi) Self-development • different levels • most basic level: used to sustain the current professional and technical expertise • higher levels: extending knowledge beyond the current work tasks or current field of expertise Creative tension (Senge) • is generated by the difference between a vision and a clear picture of current reality (where we are relative to what we want) - a force to bring them togetherIndustrial Management
  • 7. 7 METHODOLOGY: CASE STUDY 4 TEST GROUPS: Test persons from many industrial branches Technically oriented people GROUP 1: Experienced experts with higher level technical education GROUP 2: Experienced experts with lower level technical education GROUP 3: Less experienced, young experts with higher level tehcnical education GROUP 4: mixed group with bothh young and older experts with both higher and lower level technical education • Expertise minimum: 5 years in project work • Higher education minimum: BSc or MSc or correspondingIndustrial Management
  • 8. 8 METHODOLOGY: CASE STUDY TWO TEST SETTINGS: 1. Individual test • Four types of innovations were studied: • 4 P = Product, Process, Position, Paradigm • paper and pencil • look at the video • simultaneously capture as many ideas of four innovation types as possible • write them down 2. Pair test • Same procedure with pair • Conversation allowed (and encouraged)Industrial Management
  • 9. 9 RESULTS Quantity Quality GROUPS 1 SETTING 2nd SETTING 2nd SETTING Average amount ideas per group of ideas 1 (4+7) EXPERIENCED Average: 51,6 Group 1 50 % EXPERTS ideas per group generated Position & Paradigm innovations WITH HIGH altogether most (especially in the Test setting 2) EDUCATION ideas: 77 pcs 2 (11) EXPERIENCED Group 2 generated 44 % of just Product innovations Average: EXPERTS only 3,45 ideas WITH LOWER 15 % more with per person pairs EDUCATION 3 (7) YOUNGER 40 % Position & Paradigm EXPERTS WITH innovations HIGHER EDUCATION Group 4 generated 4 (7) MIXED 65 % of Product & Process most ideas: innovations 10,42 per personIndustrial Management
  • 10. 10 RESULTS Test setting 1: • ideas by individuals: 0 - 31pcs • 12 ideas on the average Test setting 2: • with pairs 15 % more ideas on the average • people generate even more ideas while working in pairs than as individuals.Industrial Management
  • 11. 11 RESULTS • the mixed age structure and variation of expertise and experience also influenced on the capability to capture the ideas from the video (group 4) • the lower the education level of the test group was => the less new ideas were generated (group 2) • the higher the education was, the higher the quality of ideas was (group 1 and group 3); process and paradigm innovations => more complex ideas • the highest number of new ideas was generated by the homogeneous group of highly educated expertise in the second phase as working in pairs (group 1) • both the expertise group (group 1) and mixed group (group 4) were able to generate over 70 pieces of different ideas in two times 13 minutes sessionsIndustrial Management
  • 12. 12 RESULTS • people of all backgrounds generate ideas • requisite variety of expertise adds both to the quantity and quality of idea generation in a group • working additionally with pairs adds considerably to the quantity of the generated ideas  pair working causes stimuli to idea generation and also pairs learn from each other while generating ideas togetherIndustrial Management
  • 13. 13 CONCLUSIONS The requisite variety of expertise • important feature in idea generation within a group • grows the quantity of the generated ideas • expertise generate more complex ideas, but  Innovations require a lot of new ideas – and especially different types of ideas Working in pairs: • Two people working together generate greater number of ideas than two individuals accumulated singularly • people learn from each other during idea generation Working in a project work context: • working in mixed groups conducts more new ideas => fruitful to have mixed aged groups • expertise is partially based on experience • variation in individual’s capability to idea generation creates a risk of failure in innovation process, whereas working in teams reduces the risk significantly Organizations should build up groups with people having various types of expertise and ages; also working as pairs or within a group should be encouraged, in order the idea generation to flourish in organizationsIndustrial Management
  • 14. 14 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION CONTACT INFORMATION Tampere University of Technology at Pori PL 300, 28101 PORI, FINLAND Anu Suominen E-mail: anu.suominen@tut.fi GSM: +358 40 556 2303 Jari Jussila E-mail: jari.j.jussila@tut.fi GSM: +358 407178345Industrial Management