The research, conducted by [George S.] Davidson, Courtney Dornburg, Susan Stevens, Stacey Hendrickson, Travis Bauer and Chris Forsythe, had some surprising results.
“In this day and age of email and the internet, our expectations were that computer-mediated group brainstorming, i.e. across the web with no face-to face contact, was going to have the best results,” Davidson says. “What we found, however, was that people working as individuals were at least as effective and possibly more so than those brainstorming in a group over the web when trying to solve ‘wicked,’ tangled problems, both in terms of quality and quantity.”
As Bob Horn and I have noted, we believe that processes for resolving Wicked Problems that entail at least some face-to-face interactions leverage collective intelligence and lead to better solutions.