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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Information sharing is essential for learning and performance in groups and organizations. This chapter examines factors that either encourage or discourage information sharing, particularly during group meetings convened for the purpose of solving a problem or making a decision. Such purposes are usually best served when members share with one another the task-relevant information they hold that others in the group do not possess (i.e., uniquely held information). Yet meetings are often dominated by discussion of information that most members already know (i.e., commonly held information), to the relative exclusion of their uniquely held information. We examine in some detail the information sampling process that gives rise to this phenomenon, and we consider a range of situational and motivational factors that moderate it, including features of the information held, the task performed, and the group performing it. Finally, we offer recommendations for how information sharing during group meetings might be improved.

Keywords: distributed information, hidden profiles, collective information sampling, problem solving, decision-making, motivated information sharing, situational determinants, task characteristics, group structure and norms, individual differences

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