SUPPORTING IDEA GENERATION IN DESIGN TEAMS Ricardo SOSA and Diana ALBARRAN Design Department, Tecnologico de Monterrey
creative teamwork  is increasingly crucial in education  and in professional environments but there is a  lack of heuristi...
the structure of teams   may have key effects on the creative process of teams and their output
our motivation is to systematically improve teamwork practices in creative activities
<ul><li>background </li></ul><ul><li>classic research on brainstorming (‘groupthink’) </li></ul><ul><li>more recent resear...
our study team formation based on the societal factor of social tie strength
social ties links between nodes in a social network  have a ‘strength’ based on how frequent  is the link reinforced
computational simulations we have shown that social groups  facilitate or block novel ideas  depending how they are social...
our hypothesis is… “ Teams of strong ties (teams of friends)  and teams of weak ties (strangers)  produce different creati...
matrix of familiarity
results Tw = teams of weak ties (strangers) Ts = teams of strong ties (friends)
Tw (strangers) tend to regard the task as easier to solve perhaps due to emergent coordination from extended communication?
Tw (strangers) report a higher rate of leadership and coordination in their work bottom-up organisation instead of rapid r...
Ts (friends) report more extended discussions of ideas coordination time is saved and team focuses on task contents?
novelty vs. quality Tw (strangers) produce more original solutions Ts (friends) stand out in technical correctness
<ul><li>all this may mean… </li></ul><ul><li>team creativity not only depends on how creative are the team members </li></...
working with strangers  may facilitate our performance,  motivate coordination, encourage exploration,  and provide a sett...
working with friends may encourage focalisation,  improve efficiency, and improve the quality of our work
teams of strangers more suitable for situations  that require higher degrees of creativeness
teams of friends better equipped to address problems  in shorter time periods  where quality is preferred  over originality
Acknowledgements This research is gratefully supported by
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Idea generation in teams

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  • To create teams of strong ties, the lecturer selects sets of up to 5 students with high tie values (&gt;6), as reciprocal as possible. To create teams of weak ties, the lecturer selects students with low ties (≤5). Figure 1 shows a sample collection of scores in a matrix of 23 students. The tie between every pair of students is bi-directional, i.e., student A assigns a value to student B (tie AB) and receives a value from student B (tie BA). An average tie strength can be defined to simplify the process of team formation ((AB+BA)/2), although further refinement could be explored exploiting the divergence in bi-directional tie strength. Bi-directional tie strength is illustrated by the difference between the cumulative values of social capital in a group. In the sample case shown in Figure 1, an extra column in the right side is labelled “KNOWS” showing an average of the tie-strength scores as reported by each student. An extra row in the bottom is labelled “IS KNOWN BY” showing an average of tie-strength scores received for every student by the rest of the group. Whilst in most cases both values are fairly similar, a significant difference may occasionally exist between how a student perceives their social relation to others, and how others perceive their relation to that person.
  • It may be the case that in teams of strangers, leadership emerges from the extended communication required to coordinate their work, whilst students that have collaborated before tend to self-organise without the need of a leader. An extended period of team coordination may also account for the ability of heterogeneous teams to avoid rapid convergence and enable a higher exploration rate of solutions that yields more creative results.
  • It may be the case that in teams of strangers, leadership emerges from the extended communication required to coordinate their work, whilst students that have collaborated before tend to self-organise without the need of a leader. An extended period of team coordination may also account for the ability of heterogeneous teams to avoid rapid convergence and enable a higher exploration rate of solutions that yields more creative results.
  • This result may suggest that in this type of tasks, teams of weak ties spend most of their time in coordination activities, whilst teams of strong ties are able to focus on discussing the task at hand.
  • Fourthly, the experts’ assessments indicate a clear advantage of teams of weak ties in the originality of the final solutions, whilst teams of strong ties stood out in technical correctness.
  • Teams of strangers may be more suitable for situations that require higher degrees of creativeness, arguably because team mates are more likely to express their opinions, and the team is likely to explore the solution space more exhaustively.
  • In contrast, teams of friends may be better equipped to address problems in shorter time periods where quality is preferred over originality. Continuing this research, we aim to shed light on the best strategies to create teams both in learning environments and the workplace
  • Idea generation in teams

    1. 1. SUPPORTING IDEA GENERATION IN DESIGN TEAMS Ricardo SOSA and Diana ALBARRAN Design Department, Tecnologico de Monterrey
    2. 2. creative teamwork is increasingly crucial in education and in professional environments but there is a lack of heuristics or guidelines based on evidence
    3. 3. the structure of teams may have key effects on the creative process of teams and their output
    4. 4. our motivation is to systematically improve teamwork practices in creative activities
    5. 5. <ul><li>background </li></ul><ul><li>classic research on brainstorming (‘groupthink’) </li></ul><ul><li>more recent research on teammembers diversity and skills </li></ul>
    6. 6. our study team formation based on the societal factor of social tie strength
    7. 7. social ties links between nodes in a social network have a ‘strength’ based on how frequent is the link reinforced
    8. 8. computational simulations we have shown that social groups facilitate or block novel ideas depending how they are socially connected
    9. 9. our hypothesis is… “ Teams of strong ties (teams of friends) and teams of weak ties (strangers) produce different creative processes and solutions”
    10. 10. matrix of familiarity
    11. 11. results Tw = teams of weak ties (strangers) Ts = teams of strong ties (friends)
    12. 12. Tw (strangers) tend to regard the task as easier to solve perhaps due to emergent coordination from extended communication?
    13. 13. Tw (strangers) report a higher rate of leadership and coordination in their work bottom-up organisation instead of rapid role assignment?
    14. 14. Ts (friends) report more extended discussions of ideas coordination time is saved and team focuses on task contents?
    15. 15. novelty vs. quality Tw (strangers) produce more original solutions Ts (friends) stand out in technical correctness
    16. 16. <ul><li>all this may mean… </li></ul><ul><li>team creativity not only depends on how creative are the team members </li></ul><ul><li>the picture seems rather complex and worth investigating </li></ul>
    17. 17. working with strangers may facilitate our performance, motivate coordination, encourage exploration, and provide a setting for genuine leadership
    18. 18. working with friends may encourage focalisation, improve efficiency, and improve the quality of our work
    19. 19. teams of strangers more suitable for situations that require higher degrees of creativeness
    20. 20. teams of friends better equipped to address problems in shorter time periods where quality is preferred over originality
    21. 21. Acknowledgements This research is gratefully supported by

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