Minority Influence in Work Teams: The Impact of Newcomers
Author(s): Hoon-Seok Choi, John M. Levine
Abstract: Although initial work on minority influence was spurred by interest in group processes, relevant research has rarely examined interactions between majority and minority factions. In particular, little is known about how current members of work teams respond to newcomers' efforts to change existing work practices. In this study, three-person teams (a commander and two subordinates) used a computer-based air-surveillance system to monitor planes flying through a simulated airspace. After either choosing or being assigned a task strategy, teams completed a work shift and received feedback that they had either failed or succeeded. One subordinate was then replaced by a confederate (newcomer) who suggested a new strategy for the next shift. As predicted, newcomers were more influential when teams had been assigned rather than chosen their initial strategy and had subsequently failed rather than succeeded. Although newcomers are often portrayed as passive recipients of influence, this study identifies conditions under which they can function as influence agents.
Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 40(2)
Pub Year: 2004
Pages: 273 – 280
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1031(03)00101-X
Keywords: innovation, newcomers, minority influence, work teams, small groups ,social influence

Related Publications
Related publication for Keyword(s): innovation, newcomers, minority influence, work teams, small groups, social influence