Groups continue to be an essential part of the workplace with organizations still stressing the importance of using groups to solve work-related problems. While a plethora of studies have identified some of the critical elements that contribute to group decision-making effectiveness, few have examined how these elements affect group process and communication during decision-making interactions. Through studying how variables such as group and leader personality interact with group development the current study aims to shed light on the actual process of decision-making. By uncovering the inner workings of group decision-making among group members, organizations can better create and facilitate problem solving groups. In the current study I examined how group level and leader level personality, namely conscientiousness; interact with the group development activity of forming to influence positive and negative communication between group members. Seventy-five 3-person groups from a university in the Pacific Northwest participated in the study (mean age 20.7 years). Participants completed two survival tasks, first individually and then as a group. Interactions between group members were coded then examined using log probabilities. Results were primarily insignificant. However, one aspect of the results indicated that high conscientious leaders responded with a positive statement each time a group member made a positive statement more often than did low conscientious leaders. Possible explanations as well as limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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