Title

Solo vs. group performance as a function of cultural orientation: A meta-analysis

Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Brian Mullen

Keywords

Solo, Group performance, Cultural orientation, Coaction

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology

Abstract

The present effort was a meta-analytic examination of the coaction performance effect as a function of three different operationalizations of the construct cultural orientation. Cultural orientation refers to the overall character of a culture or sub-culture that is a result of between culture differences in socialization at the level of the individuals within cultures. For the purposes of this study, cultural orientation has been operationalized in three ways: (1) Collectivism as a Global Geographic Designation; (2) Collectivism as an International Survey; and (3) Collectivism as a Scaling of College Campus Descriptions. The effect was further scrutinized for the impact of changes in group size, identifiability and task complexity. It was discovered that, overall, the presence of coacting others lead to an impairment in performance. When examined as a function of cultural orientation, no clear predictive relationship between performance and the presence of coacting others was revealed. When collectivism as an international survey was employed, no clear predictive relationship between performance and the presence of coacting others was revealed. When collectivism as a scaling of college campus descriptions was employed, it was discovered that the more collectivistic a particular college campus environment, the more the presence of others will enhance performance. Some of these findings tend to be contrary to what is generally expected. Furthermore, similarly unexpected findings were discovered for the impact of group size and task complexity on performance. Several possible explanations for these unanticipated results are given.

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