Effective Strategies for Creative Idea Evaluation and Feedback: The customer's always right

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Idea evaluation has been identified as a critical step in the creative problem-solving process. Yet, it is unclear how exactly individuals evaluate and compensate for weaknesses in their creative ideas. In the present study, both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to identify the compensatory strategies that undergraduate participants applied during the creative idea evaluation process. Additionally, the impact of the application of these strategies and the impact of leader feedback was examined on the production of high quality, original, and elegant solutions to a creative problem. Eleven compensatory strategies were identified and subsequently categorized as effective or ineffective based on their impact on the creative solutions developed. It was found that effective strategies were those that focused on improving product value with respect to the customer, and ineffective strategies were those that focused on profit and marketing strategy. It was also found that negative leader feedback reduced the application of ineffective compensatory strategies, and leader feedback that applied both innovative and operative standards led to the production of more original creative problem solutions. The implications of these findings for improving performance on creative tasks are discussed.

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