Successful Idea Generation (IG) is more likely to lead to original and innovative products. It is usually recommended that idea generation is done in groups. Specifically, progressive idea generation methods, such as 6-3-5/C-Sketch, have been developed to gain from the benefits of group based ideation while being less subject to the peer pressure of a typical brainstorming session, where people can call out ideas simultaneously. In this study, we investigate the contributions that the group makes to the initial ideas in such progressive idea generation.

Participants developed concepts for one of two products, namely alarm clocks or litter grabbers. Statistical analysis was used to compare the results of the initial ideas to the entire group for both products. Samples were rated at feature level using three metrics: originality, number of innovation characteristics hit, and feasibility.

Results indicate that, in general, the originality and innovativeness of the initial concepts is improved by the rest of the group members. Non-original initial ideas were improved in all four sample groups. Highly original initial ideas also were improved in most cases. Feasibility was generally lowered, but not with statistical significance. Results from the perspective of particular product feature and innovation characteristic categories were varied; some more popular than others.

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