Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Inderrieden, Edward J.

Second Advisor

Guastello, Stephen J.

Third Advisor

Keaveny, Timothy J.


Research on group performance has focused primarily on task performance and task strategy. Less attention has been given to non-task related measures such as cooperation among group members. Additionally, recent theoretical work has suggested that the type of task strategy development schemes used by groups may impact task performance. The purpose of this project was to study the impact of variables affecting cooperation as a performance outcome in groups. Control theory, which has been used to model individual behavior, was considered as the basis for a group performance model. Group task performance and the behavioral outcome of cooperation were the dependent variables. Variables thought to influence group task and behavioral outcomes included effort, sources of motivation, goal commitment, self and group efficacy, strategy effectiveness, and type of strategy. The original interest for developing and testing a model of work group effectiveness based on control theory stems from an interest in exploring organizational culture change. The assumption of a stable state with control theory raised a question about feedback in the context of self-organization, which led to exploring catastrophe theory as the basis for modeling some of the relationships. The research design was a laboratory study that utilized a simulation of an earthquake survival exercise. Participants worked individually and in groups. Self-report questionnaires were used to obtain measurements for the variables. Feedback and competition were experimentally manipulated to further test relationships in both models. New scales used directed and emergent adaptation as ways to develop task strategy. Both linear and non-linear models were analyzed to arrive at results.



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