Cooperation structure and the relationship of leader and member ability to group performance

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Abstract

48 3-S groups of undergraduates with varying levels of creative ability among leaders and subordinates were required to carry out a creative verbal task while working under one form of cooperation structure. Each structure varied in the amount of 2 types of cooperation–collaboration and coordination. Collaboration reflects the degree to which group members have to work simultaneously with one another on each subtask. Coordination depends on the degree to which subtasks are arranged in an order of precedence. Both the form of cooperation and the level of group ability had a significant effect on group creativity. Groups with high ability leaders or subordinates were more productive than groups with low ability Ss; coordinated groups were superior to coacting groups, with collaborative groups being the least productive. There was a significant Leader Ability × Collaboration interaction because leader ability did not affect productivity in collaborative groups. Results are discussed in terms of the constraints placed on a leader's effectiveness by different group structures. Results also provide further evidence of the importance of group structure in determining productivity. (25) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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