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Effects of Size and Task Type on Group Performance and Member Reactions

J. Richard Hackman and Neil Vidmar
Sociometry
Vol. 33, No. 1 (Mar., 1970), pp. 37-54
DOI: 10.2307/2786271
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786271
Page Count: 18
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Effects of Size and Task Type on Group Performance and Member Reactions
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Abstract

The effects of group size (2 through 7 members) and certain task characteristics (production, discussion, and problem solving type tasks) on group performance and member reactions were assessed. Subjects were students at two universities who performed three 15-minute tasks. Results showed that size had negligible effects on performance characteristics and strong effects on member reactions. Dyads tended to be most satisfied, and dissatisfaction increased in approximately linear fashion for larger groups. Type of task strongly affected both performance characteristics and member reactions. Contrary to expectations, there were no substantial interactions between size and task type in predicting member reactions or group performance. Several implications of the results were discussed: (a) the uniqueness of dyads in comparison to other groups sizes; (b) the question of what is the "optimal" group size; (c) the means by which the strong effects of task type may take place; and (d) questions raised by the finding that some substantial differences were obtained for subjects run at the two different universities.

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