From Cooperative to Motivated Information Sharing in Groups: Moving Beyond the Hidden Profile Paradigm

Communication Monographs, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2004

26 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2011

See all articles by Andrea B. Hollingshead

Andrea B. Hollingshead

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Gwen Wittenbaum

Michigan State University

Isabel C. Botero

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

A seminal study conducted by Stasser and Titus (1985) found that groups often make suboptimal decisions on tasks structured as hidden profiles because they tend to discuss and incorporate into their decisions information that is shared (known to all members) at the expense of information that is unshared (known to a single member). In other words, groups are not able to take advantage of the unique knowledge and expertise of their members. Over the past 19 years this unsettling finding has stimulated much research that seeks answers to the questions: why and under what conditions will groups favor shared information over unshared information in their collective decisions? This article presents a review and a critique of the literature on collective information sharing that was initiated by the Stasser and Titus study. The preponderance of research in the Stasser and Titus tradition carries with it strong theoretical assumptions that bear little mundane realism to natural decision-making groups. For example, group members are presumed to work cooperatively with one another, to be unbiased, and to present information in an objective manner. In contrast, this paper lays out the perspective that information exchange is a motivated process whereby members deliberately select what information to mention and how to mention it to particular members in order to satisfy goals.

JEL Classification: D70

Suggested Citation

Hollingshead, Andrea B. and Wittenbaum, Gwen and Botero, Isabel C., From Cooperative to Motivated Information Sharing in Groups: Moving Beyond the Hidden Profile Paradigm (2004). Communication Monographs, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1802127

Andrea B. Hollingshead (Contact Author)

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://annenberg.usc.edu/Faculty/Communication%20and%20Journalism/HollingsheadA.aspx

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Gwen Wittenbaum

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Isabel C. Botero

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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