Golnaz Tajeddin, York University, Frank Safayeni, University of Waterloo, Catherine E. Connelly and Kevin Tasa, both of McMaster University, published “The Influence of Emergent Expertise on Group Decision Processes” on October 11th, 2011 in Small Group Research’s OnlineFirst collection. Other OnlineFirst articles can be found here.
This study examines how group decision processes are affected by the perceived emergent expertise of a group member in situations where a correct solution is not readily verifiable. Using a moderately judgmental task, as opposed to an intellective task, the results of our experiment suggest that when group members are aware of performance feedback: (a) they gradually form a perception about their colleague’s expertise, (b) the emergence of expert recognition at the group level shifts the balance of individual influence on the group decision in favor of the expert, and (c) the group decision scheme thus changes as the perception of expertise emerges in the group. Moreover, the expert’s influence is stronger when there is a greater discrepancy between the expert’s proficiency and that of his or her fellow group members.
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