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Adding new members to group increases distrust among older members, impacts coordination

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Adding a new member to a working group can create distrust between members and hinder group functions, but a new study suggests that the distrust created is between older group members rather than about the newcomers- especially when previous group performance with just the older group members is poor.
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Adding a new member to a working group can create distrust between members and hinder group functions, but a new study suggests that the distrust created is between older group members rather than about the newcomers- especially when previous group performance with just the older group members is poor.

The results are part of a study published January 30 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Matthew McCarter and Roman Sheremeta from Chapman University (U.S).

Previous studies report that changing members in an existing group hurts group performance, but the underlying reasons have been unclear. To identify these, the researchers in this study asked participants to play a 4-person coordination game. After a group had played, two members of the group were replaced and the newly formed group asked to repeat the game.

The authors found that replacing old group members with new individuals decreased trust across the group, which caused a drop in the group's performance. This effect was mitigated if the group knew the newcomers' performance history, but only if the new members also knew the older members' history.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew W. McCarter, Roman M. Sheremeta. You Can’t Put Old Wine in New Bottles: The Effect of Newcomers on Coordination in Groups. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e55058 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055058

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Public Library of Science. "Adding new members to group increases distrust among older members, impacts coordination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130184153.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, January 30). Adding new members to group increases distrust among older members, impacts coordination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130184153.htm
Public Library of Science. "Adding new members to group increases distrust among older members, impacts coordination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130184153.htm (accessed July 27, 2015).

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