DISCUSSION GROUPS WITH A TREND AWAY FROM ROLE DIFFERENTIATION.
STANFORD UNIV CALIF GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
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Twelve case discussion groups, each consisting of five MBA students, met for four sessions. After the first and fourth sessions each subject ranked all subjects on 1 ideas, 2 participation, 3 guidance, 4 leadership, and 5 liked. An observer recorded the frequency and length of time each person talked. Less role differentiation as measured by these variables was found in the high and low status-consensus groups and in the fourth session in this study than in a study performed by Bales and Slater. Role differentiation did not occur in the six groups whose members enjoyed the group sessions the most. Commitment to the task and inherent interest in the task may tend to reduce the amount of role differentiation that occurs in small decision-making groups. Author