Newcomer Innovation in Work-Teams: The Effects of Performance Optimism and Newcomer Assertiveness

by Hansen, Thomas

Abstract (Summary)
Most of the theoretical and empirical work on newcomers views them as targets, rather than sources, of influence. This is not surprising given that newcomers often experience a great deal of stress. However, under certain conditions newcomers may be able to produce innovation in the group they enter. The present study examined two potentially important determinants of such innovation: (1) the groups optimism regarding its future performance and (2) the newcomers assertiveness. Three-person groups (composed of a commander and two subordinates) completed three work shifts on a computer-based air-surveillance task. After the second shift, groups received feedback designed to induce low, moderate, or high performance optimism for the third shift. Then, one of the subordinates was replaced by a (confederate) newcomer who, using either an assertive or non-assertive behavioral style, suggested a new strategy for the last shift. As predicted, groups receptivity to the newcomers suggestion varied negatively with performance optimism and positively with newcomer assertiveness.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Janet W. Schofield; Richard L. Moreland; John M. Levine

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/23/2007

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