the-brainstorming-myth1(2)

On the task individually identifiable participants

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Unformatted text preview: formances can be greater than the output from subjects working alone and social facilitation is then said to be occurring. In order to explain why social facilitation happens, investigators have argued along the lines of a “presence theory” The Brainstorming Myth 25 and an “evaluation theory”. According to presence theory, the mere presence of others increases motivation to perform. According to evaluation theory, the presence of others becomes associated with evaluation and/or competition, along with other things, which again increases the motivation to perform. Social loafing studies have tended to identify a “group versus individual effect” rather than an “evaluation effect”: in traditional brainstorming sessions, some individuals can easily loaf, contributing very little. q Jackson and Harkins (1985) offered two explanations for social loafing: hiding in the crowd or the idea that people expect others to loaf and hence reduce their own efforts to establish an equitable division of labour. This expectation of how others behave is a crucial factor. It is what Robbins called the “fear of playing the sucker effect”. Evaluation Apprehension A second possible interpretation which has been offered to account for real group productivity is evaluation apprehension, literally fear of being judged or – more likely – not wanting to look stupid. Many group members refrain from expressing their views in various social settings, such as the classroom or the boardroom, because they are uncertain about how they will be received. Is this notion of “the unpleasant experience of negative evaluation from other group members” a plausible cause of productivity loss in brainstorming groups? The research findings are somewhat contradictory. Colaros and Anderson (1969) concluded that productivity was lowest in siuations which aimed to produce the highest amount of evaluation apprehension. But Maginn and Harris (1980) found that individual productivity in the presence of observers was not significantly different from that of individual subjects working without observers. Williams et al (1981) demonstrated that the ability to identify each individual’s output was an important factor in evaluation. However, Harkins and Jackson (1985) tested this notion using brainstorming techniques and found that, although identifiability was one factor in evaluation, this was only when the output evaluation took place as a result of competition with co-workers. Karau and Williams (1993) reviewed studies and came up with a Collective Effort Model. This sees individual effort (or loafing) as a function of three things: (a) the perceived relationship between individual performance and group performance; (b) the perceived relationship between group performance and group outcomes; and (c) the perceived relationship between group outcome and individual outcomes. The model has interesting implications. q “Even if outcomes are highly valued, high levels of effort are unlikely...
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This document was uploaded on 09/30/2013.

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