Invoking social comparison to improve electronic brainstorming: Beyond anonymity

Morgan M. Shepherd, Robert O. Briggs, Bruce A. Reinig, Jerome Yen, Jay F Nunamaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Scopus citations


This paper presents a study of electronic brainstorming (EBS) that begins with theory building, tool development, and experimentation, and ends with practical guidance for facilitators and developers. The paper argues that social loafing impairs the productivity of EBS groups, and that social comparison is a way to decrease the effect(s) of social loafing. The literature on brainstorming productivity suggests that there is a correlation between the quantity of ideas produced and the number of high-quality ideas produced. By inducing social comparison with a graphical feedback tool and increasing the salience of that social comparison with facilitation techniques, we increased the productivity of EBS groups by 63 percent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Management Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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