Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Double-edged Impact of Future Expectations in Groups: Minority Influence Depends on Minorities’ and Majorities’ Expectations to Interact Again

Access the publisher's website Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes (forthcoming)

Two studies examined whether expecting future interaction with the same group members affects minority influence. Holding constant majority members´ expectation of future interaction, Study 1 demonstrated that minorities had more influence on majorities' private decisions and the group's public decision when they did not expect future interaction with the majority than when they did. Study 2 demonstrated that this minority influence effect only emerged when majority members themselves expected future interaction. Study 2 also shed light on the early information sharing dynamics underlying this effect: minorities expressed more dissent when they did not expect future interaction and majorities were more open to divergent information when they expected future interaction. These two forces combined promoted more systematic information processing by the group as a whole and, eventually, resulted in greater minority influence on both private and public decisions. Implications for our understanding of minority influence and group decision-making are discussed.