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Thomas Gillier received the CIM Best Paper Award 2022!

Publié le
28 Avril 2023

Thomas Gillier, professor at GEM in the Strategic Marketing and Innovation (MSI) was awarded of the Tudor Rickards and Susan Moger CIM (Creativity and Innovation Management) Best paper award 2022 for his paper: "Group creativity in the wild: When building on ideas enhances the generation and selection of creative ideas", written with Barry L. Bayus (Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina).

Creativity and Innovation Management (CIM) fills a crucial gap in management literature between the theory and practice of organizing imagination and innovation. It gives managers insights into introducing innovation within their organizations and accelerating the development of creative performance in their staff. The journal's central consideration is how to challenge and facilitate creative potential, and how then to embed this into results-orientated innovative business development.
The Tudor Rickards and Susan Moger Best Paper Award is voted for by CIM editorial board members, on an annual basis, in honour of our founding editors.
Brainstorming is a group creativity technique frequently applied since the 1950s. It is unclear, however, whether building on prior ideas indeed stimulates ‘ideators’  to generate more creative ideas, as one should expect according to the principles of brainstorming. The paper contributes to a better analysis of the process of building on ideas in creativity sessions and develops a compelling contribution to both theory and practice. The paper is well-motivated, rigorous in terms of the theoretical background, research design (a controlled experiment combined with, amongst others, video analyses and Linkography), and discussion, organized and structured well, and it provides interesting, yet counter-intuitive, insights for theory and practice.
Thomas Gillier is associate professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management. He is a Fulbright Research Scholar (2021) and has been a visiting scholar at Babson College. Thomas has developed and taught courses on creativity and innovation management for both undergraduate, specialized masters and executive teaching programs at GEM.
In his research, Thomas explores the process of creativity in collaborative and distributed contexts such as open innovation, crowdsourcing, open science and open foresight. Thomas specifically studies the generative and receptive side of creativity. Thomas examines how individuals and teams generate, evaluate, promote and elaborate new ideas in organizations. Inspired by recent research advances in cognitive/social psychology and design theories, Thomas seeks to reveal novel creative thinking processes that depart from the traditional divergence/convergence model of creativity. Among others, Thomas is interested in creative contexts where people develop visionary concepts and explore new knowledge. Thomas’ research works rely both on qualitative and quantitative research methods, he has conducted research projects with several high tech and innovative firms in France such as Renault and CEA.
He is member of the editorial board of Creativity and Innovation Management, he is involved in the scientific committee of the Innovation and Product Development Management conference. His research findings appear in several top management journals such as Research Policy, Journal of Product Innovation Management, European Management Review and general management magazines including Harvard Business Review.
Long-standing wisdom holds that building on ideas is beneficial for group creativity. We empirically verify this recommended practice. We analyse creativity sessions of nine groups of professionals tasked to synthesize new ideas into one final creative concept. Linkography and quantitative analysis are used for analysing the impact of building on ideas on group creativity. First, the results indicate that building on ideas does not lead to more novel, feasible, or useful ideas. Second, our study shows that building on ideas is beneficial only if the ideators build upon the “right” ideas. Ideators generate more novel ideas only when they build on novel ideas. Moreover, our research reveals a trade-off: Building on novel ideas leads to more novel but less feasible ideas while building on familiar ideas leads to less novel but more feasible ideas. Finally, we find that stimulus ideas (i.e., ideas that are built upon) are more likely to be selected and integrated into the final concept. Taken together, our results indicate that building on novel ideas enhances the generation and selection processes. Implications for theory and research on creativity in organizations are discussed.

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