Effects of System and Social Variables on Gender Differences in Communication and Team Decision Making
STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
This report presents two studies of gender differences within mixed-sex problem-solving teams. The first study compared teams working face-to-face to teams utilizing a novel telecommunications system. The second examined the consequences of assigning a woman to a team leadership role. Altering the communication system did not alter the tendency for women to participate less than men. However, the system did affect the quality of interactions, as well as members perceptions of the dynamics within the team. Altering status relationships by appointing a woman to a dominant role reversed the tendency for men to dominate discussions. Teams also made effective use of the unique knowledge available to female leaders. Nevertheless, these women did not generally view themselves as leaders. Modifying established differences in participation levels and psychological reactions within work teams will require additional research on the interactive effects of system, task, and social- personal factors on team processes and products.
- Sociology and Law