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Title: An experimental study of the relation between the productivity and structure of small groups
Author: Fitzgibbon, Sheila Marion
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1968
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This piece of research aimed at describing the individual roles and role structures that existed in a sample of thirty groups of women students engaged in solving a verbal puzzle. It was hoped that some association would be found between role structure and productivity. It was expected that the leader would contribute most in the most important categories of behaviour, and that she would be more intelligent than her followers. Some of the individual roles that were found were, of course, familiar, for example, the leader, the expert and the quiet member. Others were not so familiar, although they were quite common. For example, there were the member who agrees as often as she suggests and the member whose contributions noticeably decrease as one goes from suggestions and agreements to the categories "going forward with the puzzle" and "asking the group's opinion". Three types of role structure were found, groups with one leader, with two leaders, and with three or more leaders. This division was based on subjects' choice of leader but some statistical differences were found to exist as well. Disagreement was expressed with Bales' idea that multiple-led groups are marred by discontent and antagonism. It was shown that groups with multiple leadership did not differ significantly from the other kinds of group, either in productivity, amount of expressed criticism or satisfaction with personal relationships. It was not possible to link role structure with productivity for no statistical differences were found to exist for productivity among the three kinds of group. It is possible that the samples of multiple-led and double-led groups were too small. Single leaders, while not being significantly more intelligent than their followers, contributed significantly more comments in eleven categories than the remainder of their groups. The two leaders in the double-led groups contributed significantly more in ten categories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Educational Psychology