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Title:Work groups and the physical environment: The combined influence of environmental stimuli and task complexity on group process and effectiveness criteria
Author(s):May, Douglas Ralph
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Oldham, Greg R.
Department / Program:Business Administration, Management
Psychology, Industrial
Architecture
Discipline:Business Administration, Management
Psychology, Industrial
Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Business Administration, Management
Psychology, Industrial
Architecture
Abstract:This study examined how the environmental support of group boundaries influences group behavior by regulating two forms of environmental stimuli (i.e., acoustical and visual stimuli). Competing hypotheses developed from two theoretical frameworks (i.e., the environmental stimulation and absorption perspectives) were examined for how such stimuli may affect group task process and effectiveness criteria depending on the information processing demands of the group's task. Competing hypotheses from the social protection and social differentiation frameworks were also examined for how the physical environment may influence group social effectiveness outcomes (i.e., social interaction and cohesion).
Results indicated partial support for the environmental stimulation perspective for the influence of acoustical stimuli on group performance quality. That is, simple task groups performed better under high levels of acoustical stimulation, while complex task groups performed better under low levels of acoustical stimulation. On the other hand, simple task groups performed poorly under conditions that lacked acoustical stimulation, while complex task groups performed least well under high levels of acoustical stimulation. Findings for arousal level and acoustical distractions only partially supported the predicted patterns by the environmental stimulation perspective.
Results for the social effectiveness dimensions of groups revealed that the social protection framework was supported for the influence of visual stimuli on social interaction levels in simple task groups, but that the social differentiation perspective was supported for the influence of acoustical stimuli on social interaction in simple task groups.
Research findings are discussed in terms of previous environmental psychology, office design, and social facilitation literature. Future research directions and implications for organizations are offered.
Issue Date:1991
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/23574
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 May, Douglas Ralph
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210909
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210909


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