in Styles of Behavior: State- and Action-Orientation in
This study centers on differences in the ability to solve complex problems between dyads which are either heterogeneous or homogeneous regarding their style of behavior. Following the assumption that combining a more diagnostic behavior (state orientation) with a more spontaneous behavior (action orientation) could enhance a dyad's performance, a superiority of heterogeneous dyads is predicted. In this study, the SYNTEX game was used as a complex task. The experimental design included 37 dyads which were formed allowing for different combinations of the above mentioned behavioral styles. In addition, an extreme group comprised of depressed, state-orientated dyads was introduced. The results show that, generally, heterogeneous dyads, being less active than homogeneous dyads, only improve in one of three main criteria, namely in the amount of money made by the end of the game's run. Nonetheless, their results remain poorer than the results obtained by an expert. Thus, while there might be a slight improvement in the quality of decision-making in heterogeneous groups compared to homogeneous groups - or, to put it more adequately, a lesser decrease in performance quality - this composition effect does not seem to be large enough to necessitate strategic interventions in organizations.
Key words: state-orientation, action-orientation, group problem solving, group performance, motivation
Psychologische Beiträge, Volume 41, 1999, p. 308-319
Prof. Dr. Erich. H. Witte