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Summary of Attributions After a Group Failure: Do They Matter Effects of Attributions on Group Communication and Performance - Annotated Bibliography Example

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Although group failure does not always lead to specific changes in group procedures and improved performance, the study aims to find…
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Summary of Attributions After a Group Failure: Do They Matter Effects of Attributions on Group Communication and Performance
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Bazarova, N. & Hancock, J. . Attributions After a Group Failure: Do They Matter? Effects of Attributions on Group Communication and Performance. Communication Research 2012 39:499
Bazarova and Hancock explore the effects of attributions on the group dynamics, particularly group communication and performance, after a failure. Although group failure does not always lead to specific changes in group procedures and improved performance, the study aims to find out the conditions where changes, and possible improvements, may happen. Since there are various classifications and types of attributes, Bazarova and Hancock primarily take into account one of the most prominent classifications of attributes: internal versus external distinction. They also examine how the group level adds an additional layer to the distinction.
The study explores how the effects of attribution influence the individual level perspective and group dynamics. Weiner’s influential theory of achievement motivation and emotion is used to ground the theory of the study. The study attempts to explain how different attributions of group failure, whether to self, group, other members or situational constraints, impact task effort, communication, performance and procedural changes. Bazarova and Hancock tested their hypothesis through a controlled experiment, wherein three-member groups were given two-step tasks and, after presenting their work, were all given negative feedback. The feedback involved attributional manipulation directing the failure responsibility to one of the four attributes being studied, as mentioned above. Their findings show that attributions to internal causes, self or group, led to increase in efforts, thus showing improvement in communication and performance. Blaming other members result in a decline of communication and performance. And attributions to situational constraints triggered discussions and changes in communication factors. They, therefore, conclude that attributions influence group behavior. Read More
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