The Process of Information Sharing in Small Groups: Application of a Local Model
Members of small groups do not always mention available information, and this leads to inferior decision making. A local model of participation was applied to information sharing discussions to evaluate the extent to which task-relevant judgments are related to comments that contain unique (i.e., data that only one member knows) and shared (i.e., known to all members) information. In addition, the model was applied to only “incorrect” groups, ones that did not choose the optimal solution. Findings revealed that the local model applied to incorrect groups in the sense that shared information figured prominently in the development and maintenance of judgments. Unique comments, however, played a limited role in the process. Other findings showed that shared contributions were not associated within groups, indicating somewhat skewed rates of participation. Discussion focuses on the distribution of variance related to judgments.