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

  • van Ginkel, Wendy P.
  • van Knippenberg, Daan
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WP2-4V6RNKR-1/2/a7f1ec448296bdae6b101448ea4b93fa
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 108 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 218-229

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:108:y:2009:i:2:p:218-229
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

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    1. 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.
    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. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
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