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How Idea Generators Juggle Between the Pros and Cons of Teamwork?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1130 words Published: 18th May 2020

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The article which the researcher has chosen for reviewing the journal is  I can do that alone.. or not? How idea generators juggle between the pros and cons of teamwork.  This study has been undertaken and written by Dirk Deichmann and Michael Jensen. As this study wanted to understand the logic behind the tendency of the idea generators to ignore the advantages of teamwork and go for developing their ideas alone, therefore, they conducted a research work in a large European Company within the time period from 1996 to 2008. Therefore, this article falls under the category of empirical study because the results of the study consists data based on experimentation and observation (Salmon, W.C., 2017). Though, it has also included some theoretical arguments as well.

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The main idea behind this research work is to understand that despite having advantages of working in a team, why do idea generators develop ideas alone? The author has provided an extensive range of arguments by referring to different scholarly works on the advantage of team work. It is found that even though the advantage of working in a team develops newer ideas, idea generators ignores these advantages and develops idea alone. Therefore, it would focus on two important trades off: a) team work leads to increased coordination cost; b) sharing the risks and costs of developing an idea necessitates sharing the potential rewards of a successful idea (Deichmann and Jensen., 2017).

After assessing the hypothesis undertaken and the research conducted in a European multinational energy company called Enco (an anonymous name was being used) of an innovation program, the main finding showed that the success rate is higher for team ideas yet, idea generators have developed incremental ideas alone to cut down the coordination cost. They only imply the coordination cost once it has to develop the radical ideas.  Even once they have the prior team experience, then only these cases are undertaken. Once the idea generators were successful before and if they are open to share the rewards and risks of developing another idea with the team.

In this empirical research article, there have been certain limitations to the undertaken research work like the strict Enco’s policy for personal data privacy. Therefore, collecting the demographic data for the people who generated and developed ideas was limited. There was a limitation in terms of direct assessment of the theorized mechanism. It opens up avenues of new research work like were idea generators more prone to working in a team and how this is driven by considerations related to different trade-offs. The innovation programs studied here were formalized however, the informal aspects also could be measured and a different viewpoint could be attained. It has often been noticed that if the structure are informal in nature, idea generators might have a different approach.

The authors have adhered to both the empirical and normative philosophy. A large number of statistics have been used to substantiate the argument. The methodology which was undertaken suits the purpose of the research work. As an unanimous multinational energy company have been used where innovation programs could be studied, therefore, the role of idea generators and their  work could be assessed. Though this methodology appropriates the study but the study might be insufficient because there have been no comparative analysis to it. This might happen the undertaken research work and the innovative program involves in this case suited the hypothesis but could have been different for other organization. Therefore, the data collected was insufficient to some extent and was one dimensional in nature (Deichmann and Jensen., 2017).  

The authors tried to link the variable of idea generator with the various factors. They wanted to understand the issue of access to resource and thus that lead to coordination. Thus, the following hypothesis was framed as radical ideas positively associates with team idea development and it moderates positively team idea development and radical ideas.  It also tried to address possibility of risk and sharing rewards. For that, the authors have formulated the hypotheses as prior idea success positively associated with team idea development. It has also tried to enquire into the relational variable between Prior team idea development which negatively moderates the positive association between prior idea success and team idea development (Deichmann and Jensen., 2017). The main question asked by the author in this research work is to address the logic behind the idea generators ignoring the team work using the incremental ideas of decision making.

Though this research work uses extensive information from the database consisted of 12 years of archival records of 2,352 ideas.  They have elaborately discussed about the role and ways in which idea generator process the ideas and some ideas were excluded as they were ‘in process’. They used the models of dependent and independent variables to conduct the study and statistically represented the correlation and established the findings. But, the theoretical terms like team idea development or idea generator or the role of the same were not adequately defined. This makes the study not well defined.

The major idea could be interpreted as the positive correlation between radical idea and prior idea success associated to decision making and the team to develop the second idea. Even when the ideas are developed alone, there is prior team idea behind it. Hence, the idea generator evaluates the pros and cons of teamwork carefully.

In this particular context, the research work and its evaluation have been very effectively done but could be biased in nature because it focuses on only one company as its case study.

It does make some original contribution by highlighting the question of how sustained and successful ideas could be achieved. Thought- provoking ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of the team work versus alone was shown. Finally, idea generators often have different viewpoint than the organization regarding the cost and benefits of working with a team.


  • Deichmann, D., Jensen, M., 2017, I can do that alone…or not? How idea generators juggle between the pros and cons of teamwork., Wiley., DOI: 10.1002/smj.2696
  • Salmon, W.C., 2017. Logical empiricism. A companion to the philosophy of science, pp.233-242.


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