Title page for ETD etd-03032009-040758


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kern, Wilfried
URN etd-03032009-040758
Title The effects of group cohesiveness on group conformity and member satisfaction
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Koelling, Charles Patrick Committee Chair
Hensley, Wayne E. Committee Member
Torgersen, Paul E. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Group decision making
Date of Defense 1992-07-13
Availability restricted
Abstract

This study investigated the effects of group cohesiveness on group conformity, and on member satisfaction. In this study, group cohesiveness, group conformity, and member satisfaction were considered to be constructs. The definition of the construct of group cohesiveness included the interrelated components of psychological closeness, interpersonal liking, group affiliation, and trust. The definition of group conformity included the components of compliance and acceptance. The definition of member satisfaction included the components of satisfaction with the group decision, satisfaction with the group process, and satisfaction with the group atmosphere. The major research hypotheses suggested that group cohesiveness has an effect on member satisfaction, on acceptance of social influence, and on compliance with the group. The study examined also the role of the moderating variables of self-esteem, sociometric status, and gender.

A total of 77 undergraduate students at Virginia Tech participated in a decision-making experiment. The students were led to believe they were assigned to congenial work groups based on their responses to pre-experimental questionnaires. In fact, the students were randomly assigned to groups, and randomly assigned to one of the two treatment conditions high or low cohesiveness. Verbal and written manipulation instructions wereused to induce high and low cohesiveness in the groups. This manipulation was significant, and moderately successful. During the experiment, the subjects had to work on two rank-ordering exercises as individuals, and as groups.

The experimental results suggested that group cohesiveness and member satisfaction are significantly correlated. Subjects who perceived their group to be highly cohesive were more satisfied with the experimental group meeting than subjects who perceived their group to be less cohesive. There was no evidence for a relationship between group cohesiveness and acceptance of social influence. This finding, however, should not be generalized since it is possible that group cohesiveness has no immediate impact on acceptance in emerging groups. The results also suggest there is a relationship between group cohesiveness and compliance. Students who were assigned to the high cohesiveness treatment complied more frequently with their group than students who were assigned to the low cohesiveness treatment.

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