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Exploring a Convergence Technique on Ideation Artifacts in Crowdsourcing

Gert-Jan Vreede (), Robert O. Briggs () and Triparna Vreede ()
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Gert-Jan Vreede: University of South Florida
Robert O. Briggs: San Diego State University
Triparna Vreede: University of South Florida

Information Systems Frontiers, 2022, vol. 24, issue 3, No 17, 1054 pages

Abstract: Abstract Convergence is a collaborative activity in which members of group focus on what they consider the most promising or important contributions resulting from an ideation activity. Convergence is critical in helping a group focus their efforts on issues that are worthy of further attention. In the current study, we further research in this area by exploring and characterizing the effects of a particular convergence intervention, the FastFocus technique, in the context of a crowdsourcing project. We conducted an exploratory case study of artifacts generated by a crowd of managers addressing a real problem identification and clarification task in a large financial services organization. Using an online crowdsourcing tool, a professional facilitator led participants during preset periods through a convergence activity that focused on the brainstorming contributions that had been generated prior. To better understand the effects of the convergence technique on the group’s ideas, we compared the raw problem statements to the final output of the convergence activities in terms of the number of unique ideas present, as well as the ambiguity of the ideas. Using the FastFocus convergence technique reduced the number of concepts by 76%. Ambiguity was reduced from 45% in the set of problem statements to 3% in the converged set of problem statements. We demonstrate with these findings that the outcomes of group convergence processes in real settings can be measured, enabling future research which seeks to evaluate and understand convergence in groups. Aspects of brainstorming instructions were also identified that may make it possible to reduce the ambiguity of problem statements.

Keywords: Collaboration; Convergence; Crowdsourcing; Information overload; Facilitation; ThinkLets; Collaboration engineering (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10796-021-10120-0

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