We examined the impact of secret conversation opportunities during virtual team discussions on majority opinion holders’ motivation to attend to minority opinion holders. Studies 1a and b showed that majorities were more motivated to process others’ arguments when secret conversation opportunities were available (vs. not), provided these arguments contained unique (vs. shared) information and this information was offered by the minority (vs. majority). Study 2 demonstrated that this effect occurs because secret opportunities made majorities feel less powerful after being exposed to unique information from the minority (Study 2a), especially when majority members expected others to use these channels (Study 2b). Study 3 used an interactive group decision-making task and demonstrated that the increased majority motivation triggered by secret opportunities increased group decision quality. Study 3 also examined whether secret opportunities influence the minority and whether the effect is robust across different communication settings.
Secret conversations, Communication, Minority influence, Power, Dissent, Group decision-making, Virtual teams
Business and Corporate Communications
Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
SWAAB, Roderick I.; PHILLIPS, Katherine W.; and SCHAERER, Michael.
Secret conversation opportunities facilitate minority influence in virtual groups: The influence on majority power, information processing, and decision quality. (2016). Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 133, 17-32. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5170
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