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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, Vol. 51 Issue (2) : 259-268     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00259
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Eliminating the negative impact of subgroups by exchanging members in the subgroups
NI Xudong(),JI Baile
School of Economics and Management, Zhejiang Sci-tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
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Abstract  

The core of team research has shifted from team diversity to team faultlines and from faultlines to subgroups. In other words, the study of subgroups is the developmental direction of the study of team diversity and faultlines. Numerous studies have documented the negative effects of subgroups on group functioning, and scholars have explored whether team situations can eliminate such negative influence. However, no studies have explored whether the dynamic change of team composition at the subgroup level, such as subgroup member exchange, can eliminate this negative influence. This study aims to fill the research gap by focusing on this topic.
This research investigates teams with two balanced and identity-based subgroups as the research objects, and uses experimental research methods to explore whether subgroup member exchange can eliminate the negative impact of subgroups on team outcomes. By conducting experiments on 75 temporary teams (38 teams with subgroup member exchanges and 37 teams with no subgroup member exchange), this paper finds that (1) subgroup member exchange has a positive effect on team information elaboration and team decision quality and that (2) team information elaboration plays an intermediary role in the relationship between subgroup member exchange and team decision quality.
The theoretical contributions of this study are as follows: (1) it confirms whether variables at the subgroup level can eliminate the negative effects of subgroups on team functioning and proposes the concept of subgroup member exchange, and (2) it enriches the theory of CEM with subgroups involved in the path, which aims to develop team decision quality through information elaboration. The practical contributions of this study are two-fold. (1) It improves the ability of a team to solve complex tasks and managers can promote the movement of members among subgroups, such as providing them with the opportunity to work together, and valuing more interpersonal rather than inter-subgroup differences. (2) It increases team decision quality by allowing managers to create conditions to improve the degree of team information elaboration, such as fostering pro-diversity beliefs by communicating member’s belief in the value of diversity, and by explaining how task performance can benefit from the diversity of information and perspectives.
Although this research has provided theoretical contributions in subgroup research, numerous areas have yet to be explored. In the future, research on this topic can be improved by the following: (1) scholars can continue to explore how other changes in group composition can affect subgroup mechanism in the dynamic framework, and (2) scholars can continue to expand the CEM theory on subgroup backgrounds and investigate whether team information elaboration plays an active role in diversity, faultlines, and subgroups.

Keywords subgroup      subgroup member exchange      team information elaboration      team decision quality     
ZTFLH:  B849: C93  
Corresponding Authors: Xudong NI     E-mail: nienguang@126.com
Issue Date: 24 December 2018
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Xudong NI
Baile JI
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Xudong NI,Baile JI. Eliminating the negative impact of subgroups by exchanging members in the subgroups[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2019, 51(2): 259-268.
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00259     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2019/V51/I2/259
  
变量 M SD 1 2 3
1.子团队成员交换 0.51 0.50 1
2.团队信息深化 4.44 0.36 0.47** 1
3.团队决策分数 25.49 7.82 -0.38** -0.57** 1
  
变量 团队信息深化 团队决策分数
模型1 模型2 模型3 模型4 模型5 模型6
控制变量
团队专业多样化 -0.05 -0.03 0.09 0.07 0.05 0.06
自变量
子团队成员交换 0.46** -0.38** -0.15
中介变量
团队信息深化 -0.50** -0.56**
R2 0.00 0.22** 0.01 0.15** 0.34** 0.32**
ΔR2 0.00 0.22** 0.01 0.14** 0.19** 0.32**
  
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