The effect of group process training on team effectiveness
Henry, Leah Jean
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The purpose of this study was to determine if differences existed in subject-reported team effectiveness scores and group satisfaction between members of class project teams who participated in group process training and those who did not. This research used a multi-method, quasi-experimental design to investigate the hypothesis and research questions. A total of 47 female college students, enrolled in three sections of First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation at Texas Woman's University, volunteered to participate as subjects in this exploratory study. Prior to starting an in-class group project, the intervention group received 75 minutes of group process training, including activities designed to satisfy criteria of the formative stages of group development as defined by Bruce Tuckman (1965). The comparison group received no group process training. During four class sessions, the intervention and comparison groups worked to complete a group project requiring teams to produce a written report and perform a skills demonstration for other teams. Following completion of the team project, participants completed the Team Effectiveness Inventory (TAI) to assess team effectiveness (Elledge & Phillips, 1994). Analysis of TAI scores and subscales using Mann-Whitney U revealed no significant difference in self-reported team effectiveness between the two research groups (p $<$.05). Qualitative analysis of focus group discussions revealed that members of both the intervention and comparison groups believed their teams performed effectively enough to produce an acceptable product. Further analysis indicated that members of the intervention group were more satisfied with their team membership and processes than members of the comparison group. Comparison group participants more frequently mentioned the need to utilize problem-solving strategies, made responses regarding the need to practice conflict management, and made notably more references to the issues of group development. The qualitative analysis indicated that providing group process training which satisfies the criteria of the early stages of group development prior to starting group projects in the classroom may be of benefit. Such training may reduce time spent on issues characteristic of the early stages of group development, thus allowing groups to move more quickly to the performance of tasks related to completion of the project.