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Implications Of Individual Differences In The Context Of Work Teams.

910 words - 4 pages

Individual differences can have a great impact in a team's ability to solve problems and make decisions. Cooperation in small learning groups is expected to promote active learning because the differing opinions, ideas, suggestions and knowledge of other team members draw each learners' attention to more alternatives and force them more often to make decisions. Cooperation is an essential part of active learning (Slavin, 1997).Researchers have studied the relationship between personality characteristics and problem-solving strategies (Heppner, Neal, & Larson, 1984; Hopper & Kirschenbaum, 1985; Myers, 1980), with Jung's (1971) theory on psychological type serving as the basis for much of this work, especially as measured by the MBTI (Myers & McCaulley, 1985). It is important to consider the individual differences in problem solving and decision making to adequately understand the dynamics of the team and these processes (Stice, 1987).Two important considerations in problem solving and decision-making are personality type and temperament. Research has primarily focused on the relationship of Jung's theory of individuals' preferences and the approach to problem solving and decision- making (Myers & McCaulley, 1985).Introverts take time to think and clarify their ideas before they begin talking. Extroverts want to talk through their ideas in order to clarify them, sensing individuals will pay attention to facts, details, and reality. They will use selections that worked in the past. Intuition individuals attend to the meaningfulness of the facts, the relationships among the facts, and the possibilities of future events that can be imagined from these facts. They will develop new, original solutions (Huitt, 1992).Thinkers tend to use logic and analysis during problem solving. They value objectivity and tend to be impersonal in drawing conclusions. They want things to make sense. Feelers are more likely to consider values and feelings. They will be more subjective in their decision-making and to consider how their decisions affect others. Judgers prefer structure and organization and want the problem-solving process to bring closure. Perceivers prefer flexibility and adaptability and want the process to consider a variety of techniques and provides for unforeseen change (Huitt, 1992).Kiersey and Bates (1978) provide a different view of Jung's theory, focusing on temperaments. These temperaments can also be useful in discussing individual differences related to problem solving and decision-making (Huitt, 1992).The first dimension of temperament is related to differences in the perceptual processes used in gathering information (the Sensing - iNtuitive dimension). The second dimension of temperament depends on the first dimension (Kiersey & Bates, 1978). For individuals with a sensing preference, the second dimension to be considered relates to the utilization of data (the Judging - Perceiving dimension). On the other hand, intuition...

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