University of Twente Student Theses


Selective Anonymity as a New Brainstorming Method

Wahmann, Lena (2022) Selective Anonymity as a New Brainstorming Method.

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Abstract:Organisations are dependent on continuously generating innovative ideas. Prior research has found limitations (free riding and evaluation apprehension) in anonymous and non-anonymous brainstorming, which cause a decrease in creative performance. This study presents a new brainstorming method called selective anonymous brainstorming, which combines anonymous and non-anonymous brainstorming to prevent the current limitations. It investigates whether selective anonymous brainstorming creates more and better ideas than the other two methods. It also examines whether free riding and evaluation apprehension mediate the effect of selective anonymity on creative performance and whether creative self-efficacy moderates this effect. The study defines selective anonymity brainstorming as a process in which the identity of an idea’s creator is only revealed if the idea is ranked among the top 10%. To test whether selective anonymity leads to higher creative performance, I conduct an experiment comparing the three brainstorming methods (anonymity, non-anonymity and selective anonymity). The 105 participants were randomly assigned to one of the three brainstorming treatments and asked to generate ideas for new product concepts in the field of sports and fitness products for a student-based market. Linear regression analyses analyse the results. They show that selective anonymity does not result in higher creative performance than anonymity or non-anonymity. All three methods show the same amount of free riding and evaluation apprehension, where both mediators decrease creative performance. The analyses also show no moderation effect of creative self-efficacy. The results suggest that all three brainstorming methods produce the same creative performance. Free riding and evaluation apprehension are not affected by the degree of anonymity. Therefore, selective anonymity cannot address both mediators to increase performance. On this basis, the brainstorming setup should decrease free riding and evaluation apprehension; however, the degree of anonymity is not the solution.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
Keywords:Brainstorming, Creativity, Selective anonymity, Anonymity, Idea generation, Free riding, Evaluation apprehension, Creative self-efficacy
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