EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS OF A DEVELOPMENTAL MODEL FOR TASK-ORIENTED SMALL GROUPS

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe and perform an exploratory analysis of a conceptual model for task-oriented small group development. The four phases of the model were defined as: latency, adaptation, integration, and goal-attainment. To test assumptions of phasic development, data from minute-byminute observations made on 30 groups of undergraduate women were collapsed into quarters and submitted to a one-way multivariate analysis of variance for the purpose of making a priori nonorthogonal comparisons. Results from the initial a priori comparisons and subsequent data-snooping techniques did not confirm the existence of four sequential phases in group development. Results did disclose a pattern of development that began with an extended adaptation phase covering most of the first half of group interaction. Groups characteristically shifted into a partially defined integration phase where affectivity and neutrality themes appeared to follow each other. Goal-attainment themes were most prominent during the final quarter of interaction.

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