Presentation Title

Communication and Solution Generation in Functionally Diverse Problem-Solving Groups

Advisor Information

Carey Ryan

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

8-3-2013 1:00 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 4:00 PM

Abstract

Functional diversity refers to the variability among group members in task–relevant knowledge, abilities, and experiences. From a cognitive resource perspective, teams diverse in task-relevant experiences are able to draw from a wider range of perspectives, which may improve idea generation (Williams & O’Reilly, 1998). Indeed, functionally diverse (vs. homogeneous) top-management teams have been shown to be more innovative (Bantel & Jackson, 1989). The purpose of the current study was to examine member turn-taking behaviors in problem-solving groups that varied in functional diversity. We expected that more (vs. less) functionally diverse groups would generate more solutions and that turntaking during solution discussion would mediate that relationship. Business student groups (n = 32) were video recorded solving the financial failures of a fictional company. The videos were transcribed and, turn-taking, that is, the number of utterances in each group that occurred during the problem identification and solution generation phases of the discussion, was coded. An utterance was defined as the number of separate times a group member spoke—regardless of length. Group-level regression analyses indicated that members of more (vs. less) functionally diverse groups engaged in more turn-taking (i.e., more utterances) during solution discussion, but not during problem identification. Further, the number of utterances made during the solution discussion mediated the relationship between functional diversity and number of solutions. Additionally, the total number of total utterances partially mediated the same relationship. Thus, more functionally diverse groups may generate more solutions partly because they take more turns speaking during solution generation.

This document is currently not available here.

COinS
 
Mar 8th, 1:00 PM Mar 8th, 4:00 PM

Communication and Solution Generation in Functionally Diverse Problem-Solving Groups

Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom

Functional diversity refers to the variability among group members in task–relevant knowledge, abilities, and experiences. From a cognitive resource perspective, teams diverse in task-relevant experiences are able to draw from a wider range of perspectives, which may improve idea generation (Williams & O’Reilly, 1998). Indeed, functionally diverse (vs. homogeneous) top-management teams have been shown to be more innovative (Bantel & Jackson, 1989). The purpose of the current study was to examine member turn-taking behaviors in problem-solving groups that varied in functional diversity. We expected that more (vs. less) functionally diverse groups would generate more solutions and that turntaking during solution discussion would mediate that relationship. Business student groups (n = 32) were video recorded solving the financial failures of a fictional company. The videos were transcribed and, turn-taking, that is, the number of utterances in each group that occurred during the problem identification and solution generation phases of the discussion, was coded. An utterance was defined as the number of separate times a group member spoke—regardless of length. Group-level regression analyses indicated that members of more (vs. less) functionally diverse groups engaged in more turn-taking (i.e., more utterances) during solution discussion, but not during problem identification. Further, the number of utterances made during the solution discussion mediated the relationship between functional diversity and number of solutions. Additionally, the total number of total utterances partially mediated the same relationship. Thus, more functionally diverse groups may generate more solutions partly because they take more turns speaking during solution generation.