Seminar  |  11.04.2018 | 12:00  –  13:30

Brown Bag-Seminar: Problem Solving Without Problem Formulation: Documenting Need-solution Pairs in a Laboratory Setting

Christian Holthaus (TU Darmstadt)

Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb, München, Raum 313

It has been hypothesized by von Hippel and von Krogh (2016) that problem solving often occurs via the simultaneous recognition of both a need and a responsive solution – without prior formulation of a problem being required. If this hypothesis is correct, significant new opportunities are opened up for both research and practice. The absence of a requirement for problem formulation can significantly reduce the effort and complexity of problem-solving. It also eliminates constraints on the range of possible solutions that a problem statement inevitably imposes, and so may enable the discovery of more creative, novel, and valuable solutions. In this talk, I will give an introduction to the phenomenon of need-solution pairs and then report on a first test of the von Hippel and von Krogh hypothesis that we conducted via a laboratory experiment. In summary, we find that need-solution-pairs can be triggered in everyday life situations and that both the novelty and creativity of solutions discovered via need-solution pair recognition are significantly higher than solutions discovered via the traditionally assumed need-first pattern. I will conclude by demonstrating the practical implications of this new phenomenon and our experimental research.

Ansprechpartner: Felix Poege