Training in creative problem solving: Effects on ideation and problem finding in an applied research organization

Basadur, M.S., Graen, G.B. and Green, S.G. (1982). Training in creative problem solving: Effects on ideation and problem finding in an applied research organization. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, Vol. 30, pp 4l-70.

Abstract

The effects of training in a multistage "complete process of creative problem solving" on attitudes and behaviors of individuals were assessed both immediately after training and return to work. A controlled field "true" experiment was conducted within an engineering department doing applied research in a large industrial organization. Multiple methods and measures were employed on trained (n = 16), placebo (n = 16), and non-placebo (n = 13) groups. The process trained addressed three critical stages: problem finding, problem solving, and solution implementation, each containing a fundamental diverging-converging two-step process called "ideation-evaluation." The main findings strongly suggest the training resulted in significant, systematically measurable effects both immediately after training and 2 weeks later at work. The trained participants were significantly higher in preference for ideation in problem solving, practice of ideation in both problem finding and problem solving, and performance in problem finding. The data give rise to speculation that there may exist differing "optimum ideation-evaluation ratios" for each of the problem finding, problem solving, and solution implementation stages. These ratios may also differ by field of endeavor.

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