Enhancing Group Performance

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Enhancing 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. This third experiment was counterintuitive and was done by naïve participants which justified the findings of the first two experiments that task performance was better yet group maintenance was poorer in randomly selected groups. Another study (Sosik, John, J., Avolio, Bruce, J., Kahai, Surinder, S.(1997) found that anonymity had a positive effect for transformational leadership on group effectiveness( similar to task performance). Anonymity in this case refers to group members being unidentified by the group leader on the GDSS system (the internal computer system measuring group potency and group effectiveness). The variables manipulated were the types of leadership (transactional and transformational) and group potency and group effectiveness were measured. This study shows that there is a direct correlation in the leadership style and task performance which in our study could be determined to be different in random or formal selection of leaders
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