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Posted: comet.paws on  Jan 31 11:52:55 AM
Title: Competition and Collective Intelligence: Do Women Always Make Groups Smarter?  
Anita Woolley
Carnegie Mellon University
Sponsor: Carnegie Mellon University  >  Tepper School of Business
Series: Tepper Organizational Behaviour and Theory Seminar
Date: Feb 05, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Faculty Conference Room 322
Groups Posted: Human-Centered Computing Information Science Social Computing 
Detail: Abstract of Competition and Collective Intelligence: Do Women Always Make Groups Smarter?

Team performance is increasingly important to organizational success, and recent studies have noted a significant advantage for teams that include higher proportions of women (e.g., Woolley, et al, 2010). But do female-dominated teams have an advantage under all conditions? In a laboratory study with 146 groups, we examine the question of how competitive behavior relates to a team?s collective intelligence, particularly as the proportion of women in the team increases. We examine intra-group competitive behavior by first instilling a leadership hierarchy in teams. Teams with an unstable leader (one who can later be replaced) exhibit greater levels of intra-group competitive behavior, as evidenced by members interrupting each other while speaking, than do teams with a stable leader. In teams with higher proportions of men, competitive behavior is associated with higher collective intelligence. However, for teams with greater proportions of women, competitive behavior is indirectly associated with lower collective intelligence; interruptions lead to higher perceptions of task conflict, and, for female-dominated teams, a higher perception of task conflict is associated with lower collective intelligence.
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