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Leadership and Group Creativity Under Varying Conditions of Stress

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[Technical Report, Technical Report]

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The experiment investigated the influence of the leaders ability and interpersonal attitudes toward co-workers on the creative performance of discussion groups on two tasks and under three conditions of stress. Interpersonal attitudes were measured by means of the leaders esteem for his least-preferred co-worker LPC which had yielded consistent relations with group performance in previous studies. Fifty-four three-man groups, composed of senior cadets of the Army and Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps program participated. Nine groups in each condition had high and nine had low LPC leaders. Internal stress was induced by the task which engendered divisive attitudes in groups in which Army and Navy cadets were to work together external stress was induced by having senior Army Field officers closely watch and rate the groups of Army cadets while they were working the control condition attempted to minimize stress by de-emphasizing the military aspects of the problems and by assuring the men that their performance would not affect their records. On the first task the more directive, managing, low LPC leaders had better performing groups in the control condition the more nondirective, permissive, human relations-oriented high LPC leaders had better performing groups in the internal stress condition. No differences were found in the external stress condition. On the second task, low LPC leaders performed better in all conditions.


Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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[A, Approved For Public Release]