Group problem solving under two types of executive structure

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Speed of problem solving by 4-man teams of airmen was measured for 2 conditions of group organization: (a) with responsibility centered in 1 team member, and (b) with responsibility shared equally by all members. Problems in algebraic form required Ss to acquire environmental state information and to adjust the settings of certain response switches. The 2 conditions of group structure and 2 types of problems were varied factorially. Analysis of variance indicates (a) that problems requiring reaction to environmental changes are more quickly solved under the shared responsibility condition, and (b) that problems involving coordination of action among operators are more efficiently solved with a competent centralized authority. Designation of a low aptitude group member as leader produced inferior performance on both problem types. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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