The power motive as an influence on group decision making


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Abstract

40 groups of 5 undergraduates came together to discuss a business study case; each group member had a different role and a role sheet specifying items of information available only to him/her. The case featured most of the characteristics I. L. Janis (1972) identified as the kinds of policy decisions that produce “groupthink.” Need for power was assessed by the TAT. Extreme top and bottom scorers were group leaders, and an attempt was made to create group cohesiveness in 20 groups by offering a reward for best group performance. Groups whose leaders scored low on the power motive brought more factual information from their role sheets into group discussion and considered more action proposals than did leaders who scored high. Group cohesiveness did not affect the quality of the decision-making process. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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