EFFECT OF MEMBERS’ PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY IN GROUP ON CREATIVE THINKING
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: FUSE, Emi; WAKABAYASHI, Kazuki; SAITO, Shigeki
Institution: Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design and Engineering Education
In this study, we experimentally investigated the effect of members’ professional diversity in a group on creative thinking, by adopting a new evaluation method of group creativity. The creative thinking is a process of developing creative ideas, both original and effective ideas. According to some past literatures, it is generally believed that the professional diversity is one of the important factors for promoting group creativity, but such diversity effect is not sufficiently studied yet. In order to clarify the effect of the professional diversity, four diverse and four non-diverse groups conducted creative thinking tasks. Participants were either art or engineering students. Group creativity was evaluated by generation ratio of creative ideas instead of the number of generated ideas. As the result, the effect of the diversity appeared in the tendency of the quality of selected ideas in each group and members’ individual idea generation. However, the effect of the diversity did not appear in the generation ratios of creative ideas sufficiently. To understand mechanism of the effect of the diversity, we analysed members’ verbal interaction in a group in creative thinking. It seems that there is a correlation between members’ utterances and the quality of selected ideas. Also, it is suggested that the diversity does not affect group creativity sufficiently by mainly participants’ lack of understanding of the difference of majors. In order to take advantage of the professional diversity, creative thinking should be designed so that members can understand each other’s professional difference and make use of their expertise.