Self-Regulation and Information Exchange in Groups
September 2010 - open-end
German Research Foundation (DFG)
Organizations usually rely on groups to make relevant decisions. In order to reach high-quality decisions and to positively affect organizational success, teams must take advantage of all their potential resources. Therefore, the information available to individual group members needs to be exchanged properly.
However, research on group decisions demonstrated that groups mostly fail to achieve their maximum performance level and that group decisions often fall below the quality of individual decisions. Therefore, this study aims at identifying conditions that facilitate information exchange within group discussions and increase group performance.
The core concept of this research project is self-regulatory focus (Higgins, 1997). Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between two motivational systems: a focus on ideals and potential gains driven by eagerness needs (promotion focus), and a focus on obligations and potential losses driven by security needs (prevention focus). While information is processed fast and inaccurately in a promotion focus, e.g., errors are often overlooked or taken for granted, a prevention focus is associated with slow and more accurate information processing. Hence, it can be assumed that self-regulatory focus should also affect information exchange within groups.
The project also studies the impact of goal setting and motivation as well as information exchange via modern communication technologies. In the process, groups are examined in laboratory as well as field settings.