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Evidence that formal selection of groups and formal selection of leaders can enhance group performance.

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Introduction

Evidence that formal selection of groups and formal selection of leaders can enhance group performance Organisational psychologists have been interested in seeing whether random selection of leaders or the usual systematic selection of leaders leads to greater task performance and greater group cohesiveness (also known as group maintenance). Finding significant results here would be beneficial in the workplace if the problem of random selection vs. formal selection is solved as it would help increase group harmony and productivity. The findings of previous research have been varied. In a study very similar in method and aims to this present study found that the random selection of leaders leads to greater task performance. ( Haslam, S.A., McGarty, C., Brown, P.M., Eggins, R.A., Morrison, B.E., & Reynolds, K.J. (1998). Three experiments were done in this study using the same survival task used in this present study. The first two experiments measured task performance and group maintenance by manipulating the process of leadership selection (random, informal and formal). The third experiment confirmed that society holds the view that formal selection is better than random selection of leaders, hence explaining the reduced group maintenance in groups with randomly selected leaders since they perceived the process of leadership selection to be less legitimate. ...read more.

Middle

And using the results of experiment 3 in this study, it is expected group maintenance and the view of effectiveness of leadership by non leader members would be greater in the systematic selection of leaders (hypothesis 2). Using common sense (since there is no previous research on this subject), self selected groups should have higher group maintenance and greater confidence in the group decision since individuals should have selected members in which they had faith or potency (hypothesis 3). Method Design We used a 2 (alphabetical allocation of groups/ self selected groups) x 3 (formal/random/informal) factorial design. The participants were placed randomly approximately evenly assigned to these conditions. The 6 different conditions were:- Allocated- Formal Self-selected- Formal Allocated- Random Self-selected- Random Allocated- Informal Self-selected- Informal In the Group allocation independent variables, the random allocation of the groups were done alphabetically in the individual tutorial groups. While the self-selected groups contained people who chose to form a group together. In the leadership selection independent variables, the formal allocation was done on the basis of the highest score on the Leadership questionnaire. The random allocation was done by alphabetical surname (e.g. the surname that is first in the alphabet) ...read more.

Conclusion

Procedure 1. There was a leadership questionnaire completed 2. The following week the survival task was completed by groups with the various experimental conditions imposed 3. Instructions were given to the leader and they were given instruction and the Nuclear Fallout Shelter task to give to the groups. 4. After the completion of the tasks, all individuals completed an Individual feedback form in order to measure group maintenance Results The difference in Group Performance in random and non-random leadership selection was non-existent. Formally selected leaders performed significantly worse than informally selected leaders (53.7 for Formal selection as compared to 51.5 for Informal selection). There was no significant difference in group cohesion levels as measured by deviation from Group Decision scores. Self-selected groups performed significantly better than allocated groups in task performance (51.9 for self-selected compared to 53.96 for allocated, remembering lower score indicates greater proximity to expert rankings and higher task performance). Group cohesion was not dependant on Group selection. The agreement with the leader was greater in formally and informally selected groups than in randomly selected groups. (The deviation in random selection was higher (24.7) compared to formally and informally selected groups (21.3 and 19.5 respectively). Informally selected groups thought their leaders were more legitimately chosen than in the formally selected groups. (4.7 compared to 4.3 respectively) Team members with informally selected leaders enjoyed the task more than those with formally selected leaders. ...read more.

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