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Knowledge about the distribution of information and group decision making: When and why does it work?

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  • van Ginkel, Wendy P.
  • van Knippenberg, Daan

Abstract

Research has shown that decision-making groups with distributed information perform better when group members know which member is knowledgeable about what. Thus far research has been unable to identify the process responsible for this effect. In the present study, we propose that group members' task representations mediate the effect of knowledge about the distribution of information on decision performance. Building on this proposition, we also propose that reflection about the task moderates the effect of knowledge about distributed information through its effect on task representations. These hypotheses were put to the test in an experimental study of decision-making groups (N=125). As predicted, knowledge of distributed information interacted with reflection to affect decision quality. Findings confirmed the proposed mediating role of task representations and information elaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • van Ginkel, Wendy P. & van Knippenberg, Daan, 2009. "Knowledge about the distribution of information and group decision making: When and why does it work?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 218-229, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:108:y:2009:i:2:p:218-229
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gurtner, Andrea & Tschan, Franziska & Semmer, Norbert K. & Nagele, Christof, 2007. "Getting groups to develop good strategies: Effects of reflexivity interventions on team process, team performance, and shared mental models," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 127-142, March.
    2. Parks, Craig D. & Cowlin, Rebecca A., 1996. "Acceptance of Uncommon Information into Group Discussion When That Information Is or Is Not Demonstrable," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 307-315, June.
    3. van Ginkel, Wendy P. & van Knippenberg, Daan, 2008. "Group information elaboration and group decision making: The role of shared task representations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 82-97, January.
    4. Gruenfeld, Deborah H & Mannix, Elizabeth A. & Williams, Katherine Y. & Neale, Margaret A., 1996. "Group Composition and Decision Making: How Member Familiarity and Information Distribution Affect Process and Performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-15, July.
    5. Moreland, Richard L. & Myaskovsky, Larissa, 2000. "Exploring the Performance Benefits of Group Training: Transactive Memory or Improved Communication?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 117-133, May.
    6. Lewis, Kyle & Belliveau, Maura & Herndon, Benjamin & Keller, Joshua, 2007. "Group cognition, membership change, and performance: Investigating the benefits and detriments of collective knowledge," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 159-178, July.
    7. Stasser, Garold & Vaughan, Sandra I. & Stewart, Dennis D., 2000. "Pooling Unshared Information: The Benefits of Knowing How Access to Information Is Distributed among Group Members," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 102-116, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Corporate culture and behaviour: A survey," DNB Working Papers 334, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Nouwen, Eva & Decuyper, Stefan & Put, Johan, 2012. "Team decision making in child welfare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2101-2116.
    3. Veltrop, D.B. & Hermes, C.L.M. & Postma, T.J.B.M. & de Haan, J., 2012. "A tale of two factions," Research Report 12001-HRM&OB, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    4. Nederveen Pieterse, Anne & van Knippenberg, Daan & van Ginkel, Wendy P., 2011. "Diversity in goal orientation, team reflexivity, and team performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 153-164, March.
    5. van Knippenberg, Daan & Mell, Julija N., 2016. "Past, present, and potential future of team diversity research: From compositional diversity to emergent diversity," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 135-145.
    6. van Knippenberg, Daan & van Ginkel, Wendy P. & Homan, Astrid C., 2013. "Diversity mindsets and the performance of diverse teams," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 183-193.
    7. Resick, Christian J. & Murase, Toshio & Randall, Kenneth R. & DeChurch, Leslie A., 2014. "Information elaboration and team performance: Examining the psychological origins and environmental contingencies," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 165-176.

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