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Suggested Citation:"8 Social Processes." National Research Council. 1988. Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories, and Techniques. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1025.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

8 Social Processes The chapters to this point have focused largely on individual perform- ance. Little attention has been given to the social contexts for performance or for the performance of groups and organizations. Our concern with performance in large organizations like the Army makes it imperative that we examine these topics in some detail. Social processes are treated at both the interpersonal and intergroup levels of analysis: the first section focuses on influence strategies, with an emphasis on a particular technique referred to as neurolinguistic programming (NLP). The second section discusses the cohesion of groups within organizations. Implications from research are drawn for one particular application of cohesion concepts, the Army's COHORT system. The social psychological literature on influence provides many insights that can be used to improve communication and persuasion. The academic community has not, for the most part, packaged these insights for consumption in the marketplace or for specific use by military and other organizations. One consequence has been to concede the market to entrepreneurs not trained in academic social science traditions. Neuro- linguistic Programming is a well-known package offered to a variety of consumers and professionals. Studies to date indicate that its effects on perceptions do not translate into enhanced performance; however, another use of NLP may provide an approach to modeling expert performances that can be adapted to specific training programs, and as such merits further consideration. Of the topics considered by the committee, none shows a larger discrepancy between what we think we know and the existing evidence 133

34 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE than that of cohesion. It is common for both academics and practitioners to assume that cohesive organizations perform better than those that are not cohesive or divided. However, the size of the gains may be smaller than anticipated, and there may be unintended consequences that are harmful to an organization. Available research provides few insights into the particular conditions that produce either positive or negative out- comes. The studies on the COHORT system suggest positive effects of cohesion (in COHORT units versus non-COHORT units) on attitudes and such behaviors as attrition and reenlistment. Next steps should include a focus on other group characteristics that may increase team performance and morale, as well as the observed reciprocal relationship between performance and cohesion. They should also consider the way in which cohesive units perform on tasks that require intergroup coor- dination. STRATEGIES FOR INTERPERSONAL INFLUENCE There are many ways in which training can be accomplished, from passive instruction to motor skills training to vicarious performance. One aspect of training that is often suggested is the use of interpersonal influence. In this section, we briefly examine the general nature of interpersonal influence and discuss techniques that might be applied to training. Organizational development is a widely used procedure in organizational and industrial settings; we examine its potential as a training procedure for influencing groups. Other techniques seek to modify individual performance through either influence or expert modeling; we focus in detail on one such popular technique, neurolinguistic program- ming, and the evidence for its assumptions and effectiveness. We also assess the use of neurolinguistic programming as a system for modeling behaviors of experts to use as training regimens for neophytes. Finally, we discuss the more general issues of evaluation and transfer of social psychological knowledge into practical applications and propose recom- mendations on these issues. There is a large and varied literature in social psychology and sociology on the ways in which small groups or organizations are able to influence others or persuade them to accept the influencer's point of view. These issues appear in the literature under such topics as pressures to uniformity, conformity, social influence, obedience, deviation, autonomy, resistance to persuasion, and others. Most of the research on these topics has centered on the role of influence in modifying opinions and attitudes; considerably fewer studies have focused on the modifications of behaviors or performances. Basic researchers in social psychology have shown a

SOCIAL PROCESSES 135 concern for the process by which influence-produced change becomes internalized so that the influenced individual maintains the altered beliefs after the attempt to influence has passed. In contrast, few studies of influence have been carried out with the longitudinal time frame necessary to evaluate its success or to guide one toward practical applications, such as military training. There are no simple rules for constructing a successful attempt to influence. The number of variables to be considered is very large, and the evidence suggests that the combinatorial rules for aggregating them are complex: many of them serve as moderators for other relationships. Experimental studies of influence often succeed in establishing effective influence regimens by restricting the range and the scope of variables to be studied. For example, studies of the effectiveness of an influence group as a function of its size often ignore the factor of stratification ... . .. . . .~ . . within the arour,. and studies of the role of a dissenting partner in resisting ,, . ^, ~ _ ~ , influence often ignore the nature or tne future ~n~erac~on o~ tne group members. Much of the discussion of influence attempts in actual situations has taken an analytic tack. That is, it has examined an actual influence , procedure or situation and broken it down into its constituent social psychological elements. Two recent reviews that provide good expositions and extensive references are Cialdini (198S) and Moscovici (1985~. These describe influence attempts in actual situations as well as the theoretical underpinnings of a science of influence. They are not particularly helpful, however, in designing influence procedures or in choosing between two or more proposed procedures. ATTITUDE CHANGE THROUGH PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATIONS Attitude formation, maintenance, and change have been widely studied in contemporary social psychology. A major reason for this interest was the series of research efforts conducted during World War II and collectively published as a four-volume work, The American Soldier (Stouffer, 19494. This work was continued in the succeeding decades primarily by Hovland and his colleagues at Yale. The earlier studies investigated specifics of effective communication, for example, one-sided versus two-sided messages or the relative effec- tiveness of primacy and recency. Despite initial success in establishing some general principles, it was soon discovered that each of these findings was applicable only to a particular set of circumstances (audience, communicator, type of message, social context, and a host of other factors). Research has since shifted to questions of how attitudes are formed and more recently to the cognitive steps that underlie an attitude

/36 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE how new information is processed, stored, recalled, and reconciled with existing cognitions and beliefs. The models that have been developed have been useful in a variety of situations, including political campaigns, advertising, and birth control advocacy. These models have not been intensively studied as a means of increasing motivation or as methods for improving training or performance. This lack of application restricts their usefulness to a study of performance enhancement techniques. To the extent that the models apply to elements of a composite enhancement program, however, they may prove to be useful analytic tools. A recent comprehensive review of attitude models is found in McGuire (19851. ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS One of the developments of the social psychological group that coalesced around Kurt Lewin was the application of the principles of group dynamics to organizational and industrial contexts. The applications that came from this effort were based on a belief in the effectiveness of induced motivation and an effort to bring the group's or the organization's goals into correspondence with those of the individual. The most widely disseminated of the organizational development programs were the T-groups, or sensitivity training, of the late 1960s and early 1970s. When applied to training in organizations, these programs were based on the explicit assumption that, by increasing members' or workers' satisfaction, one would also increase their performance and productivity. Many critics who regard that assumption as questionable have rejected organizational development (OD) programs out of hand. Many OD programs, however, do not rest on that belief. Rather, they focus on improving performance and satisfying the organization's goals. Porras and Berg, in their 1978 review of the effectiveness of organizational development programs, list five distinct types of programs: 1. Laboratory training with a process emphasis. This is the classic T- group, or sensitivity training, the explicit goal of which is to improve the individual, with organizational productivity to follow as a consequence. 2. Laboratory training with a task emphasis. Groups in a laboratory are given guided experience with a set of structured problems. The development of individual potential is ancillary to the group's learning to accomplish its tasks efficiently. 3. Managerial grid organizational development. This involves a group training task that consists of a set of six structured exercises aimed at teaching managers in the organization specific problem-solving skills. 4. Survey feedback. This technique teaches managers how to acquire

SOCIAL PROCESSES 137 data from the organization's members in order to identify, isolate, and construct solutions to task-related problems. 5. Residual sets of programs. These consist of a mixture of techniques and elements from the other forms of organizational development. T-groups, or sensitivity training groups, were the most common of the programs until the late 1970s, and they were the least effective. Recently, several of the other procedures have been employed. While such tech- niques are run as group sessions, their goal is often to change individual behaviors. Their success can be evaluated on two levels: the extent to which individual attitudes and behaviors are modified and the extent to which group or team performance is improved. Overall, the techniques have been more effective in changing performance variables than in changing individual satisfaction. The most effective interventions-the non T-group types-seemed to have a greater effect on individual performance than on group structure. Various time factors appear to have influenced effectiveness. The longer the program, up to about 21 days, the better the resulting performance. Increasing the length of time the program consultants were involved beyond 21 days did not further improve performance, although it increased participants' satisfaction. Finally, more effective programs used a greater number of techniques or were more eclectic in their approach. Although there are various descriptions of organizational development programs, there are fewer overall evaluations. Two of the descriptive sources are Beckhard (1969) and Hornstein et al. (19711. For a review and evaluation, there are several cogent articles, such as Friedlander and Brown (1974) and Porras and Berg (1978~. There have been numerous attempts to apply the demonstrated prin- ciples of persuasion to influence both attitudes and behavior. Advertising and political campaign strategies draw heavily on rules of thumb and loosely formulated principles that are based on social psychological studies. From the committee's perspective, these activities have several important shortcomings. First, they are not often explicitly stated in a way that leads from one situation to another. An effective TV campaign for a new cereal may not be applicable to the indoctrination of Army recruits. Second, they are not often evaluated in a way that provides cumulative evidence in support of the general principles rather than the specific intervention. Third, while these practical attempts at influence address behavior, they seek to persuade someone to buy a product or to vote in a certain way. They do not have a training component; they do not seek to impart a new skill or to improve a way of doing things. Formal patterns of change induced by influence procedures have been

38 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE studied in several traditional academic research traditions. Some re- searchers attempt to formulate theories about changes that occur in group settings, such as organizational development; others concentrate on the mechanisms by which individuals are induced to modify their beliefs and behaviors. Other procedures, developed independently of these academic traditions, offer a set of rules and practices for influencing others. These are not devised as preludes to validating research and are often sold as proprietary products in the marketplace. In addition to claims of general success in interpersonal influence, these programs also stress their divorce from academic theory with claims of novelty and revolutionary ap- proaches. Many of them are successfully merchandised, and persons who have bought them often become staunch advocates of their virtues. Because these programs are proprietary, complete descriptions may not be available, and assessment studies, if conducted, are not published in a form amenable to scientific scrutiny. One type of program that has achieved a measure of success is called neurolinguistic programming. Various purveyors of this system offer training seminars in many cities on a regular basis. Respected and responsible people who have been trained in the system report positively . . . . ~ ~ _ ~ ~ 1 ~ 1~ 1 _ . _ 4 1~ ~ ~ ., ~ ~ ~ ~ . Onthe~rpercept~onot ~mproveoper~ormance argue to ·~c By, some branches of academic disciplines, such as counseling psychology, have given serious theoretical and research scrutiny to the system. NEUROLINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING Neurolinguistic programming is a system of procedures and models that nornorts to enable neonle to increase their communicative and ~--A ~~ ~~ ~ - - - ~ ' ' , , . ~ ~ ~ _ I at_ ~ I ~ ^1~ influence effectiveness. It was developed cy Dangler aria ~rlnuer in ills early 1970s and was described in a series of books written for a broad, nontechnical audience. The background, method, and implementation of NLP are disseminated primarily through proprietary workshops and training courses. _ . . ~ · . 41 ~ ~ _ ~ ., ,t~ . . +1^ ~ ~ the system was developed In answer to one qua o~ wily `~ particular psychotherapists were so effective with their patients. Rather than explore this question in terms of psychotherapeutic theory and practice, Handler and Grinder sought to analyze what the therapists were doing at an observational level, categorize it, and apply the categories as a general model of interpersonal influence. NLP seeks to instruct people to observe, make inferences, and respond to others, as did the three original, very effective therapists. Basic Features of NLP At the core of NLP is the belief that, when people are engaged in activities, they are also making use of a representational system; that is,

SOCIAL PROCESSES 139 they are using some internal representation of the materials they are involved with, such as a conversation, a rifle shot, a spelling task. These representations can be visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or involve the other senses. In addition, a person may be creating a representation or recalling one. For example, a person asked to spell a word may visualize that word printed on a piece of paper, may hear it being sounded out, or may construct the spelling from the application of a series of logical rules. The basic NLP assumption is that a person will be most influenced by messages involving whatever representational system he or she is em- ploying at the moment. NLP postulates six representational systems: constructing of visual images, remembering of visual images, constructing of auditory images, remembering of auditory images, attending to kinesthetic sensations, and holding internal dialogues. NLP maintains that, as a person uses each of these subjective representational systems, his or her eyes and posture conform to each system's requirements. Over the course of time, the NLP system has become more detailed in characterizing the outward manifestations of these representational systems. Figure 1 shows the relation of eye movements to the representational system; NLP specifies the exact relation among eye position, posture, arid representational system. In addition, NLP postulates that a person's language, in particular the choice of predicates, will also reflect the representational system used. Thus, a person using a stored visual image will employ phrases such as "I see a way to . . ."; one in an auditory mode, "that sounds right to me . . ."; in a kinesthetic system, "I feel we should . . ."; and so on. Finally, people can be asked which system they are using. NLP descriptions suggest that each person can be characterized by the system he or she is most likely to use, called a Preferred Represen- tational System (PRS). The PRS is an individual difference variable and Visually Constructed Images Auditorily Constructed Sounds or Words Kinesthetic Feelings, also Smell and Taste Visually Remembered Images - Auditorily Remembered Sounds or Words - Auditory Sounds or Words FIGURE 1 Neurolinguistic programming scheme (adapted from Stevens, 1979).

140 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE provides the NLP practitioner with a simple key to an influence strategy for that person. NLP theory does not indicate whether the PRS is like a trait, difficult to modify, or whether it is a learned pattern, capable of change and modification. There is no definitive NLP system. Although the basic features have remained stable from exposition to exposition, the emphasis or importance of particular aspects varies from description to description, sometimes in a contradictory manner. For example, PRS is prominently placed in Frogs into Princes (Stevens, 1979) and Structure of Magic (Bandler and Grinder, 1975), two early NLP descriptions. At a meeting with Richard Bandler in Santa Cruz, California, on July 9, 1986, the influence subcom- mittee (see Appendix C) was informed that PRS was no longer considered an important component. He said that NLP had been revised, and he provided the committee with two books, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, volume 1, The Study of the Structure of Subjective Experience (Dilts et al., 1980) and Roots of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Dilts, 1983~. These two volumes reduce the emphasis on PRS in describing NLP yet offer new suggestions that PRS is correlated both with Sheldon's (1942) somatotype-personality hypotheses and with habitual EEG pat- terns. These volumes also expand or the identification of a person's currently active representational system by stating that patterns of posture, voice tone, and breathing accompany the use of each system The basis .` or the relation of eye movements to representational systems rests on asset motions about laterality of brain function and use of language, in particular, the postulate that the speech center for right-handed people is located in the left cerebral hemisphere. This rationale is present in all of the NLP source books. The implication is that standard NLP analysis applies primarily or exclusively to right-handed people. This presumption was Reemphasized by Bandler, who told the subcommittee that the handedness requirement was no longer considered a restriction on the generality of the NLP model. The basis for the shift in reliance on hemispheric specificity was not theoretical, but pragmatic. Bandler stated that NLP was a system based on modeling, not theory. Any aspects that worked were retained; those that seemed incorrect, such as the limitation to right-handed individuals, were dropped. NLP is a system for modeling a person's behavior and thought processes in relation to a specific topic or behavior. As such it has two main focuses, one more highly developed than the other. The focus receiving most attention has been the marketing of NLP as a set of techniques for interpersonal competence, with respect to influence, and as a psycho- therapeutic system or adjunct. This use of NLP requires that the practitioner do a very restricted and limited sort of modeling: the tracking of a target individual's representational systems on a continuing basis

SOCIAL PRoCESSES 141 and the use of controlled language and cues to modify and shape the target's thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Within the NLP system, this function can be carried out by persons who have passed the two lower levels of certified NLP training, Practitioner and Master Practitioner. NLP can also be used as a modeling system for the development of training protocols, although it is neither marketed nor frequently used in this manner. Presumably, persons trained at the highest NLP level, Trainers, would be able to analyze in NLP terms an expert performing a task, such as shooting a rifle, in terms of the sequence of representational systems and anchors used by the expert (see Appendix D for terms). The NLP sequence description could then be used as a template for instruction of beginners. Internal Consistency of NLP The proponents of NLP do not put forward their procedures as scientific theory, nor do they regard their models of processing systems as a variety of cognitive psychology. Rather, they claim they have developed an empirical working model of the behaviors that accompany subjective experiences. They do present both scientific support for the bases of their assertions and some quasi-experimental evidence for some of the stated relationships. The scientific underpinnings are presented in most detailed fashion in the Roots of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Dilts, 19831. A careful reading of these materials reveals the following: 1. Many of the theories cited as congruent with NLP are metaphors that have little impact or acceptance in the scientific literature. Pribram's theory of the holographic brain and John's description of the statistical brain (Dilts, 1983:42, 48J have not been the basis for modern neuroscientific theorizing. 2. There is no direct support cited for the NLP-postulated relation between eye gaze direction and representational system. 3. The experiments presented in support of NLP, presuming to dem- onstrate a relation between NLP and EEG, are at best case studies and demonstrations. Even a controlled experiment that showed consistent EEG patterns related to specific eye movements or instructions to visualize would reveal nothing about representational patterns or the structure of subjective experiences. It would merely demonstrate that certain instruc- tions or volitional patterns of action produce consistent brain waves. 4. The underpinnings of NLP are not a set of findings and propositions arranged so that they imply the NLP statements of structure; instead, they are a series of concatenated anecdotes and facts that lead to no

42 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE particular conclusion. The fact that there are different types of neurons or that the brain is organized hierarchically in no way implies that one who is right-handed looks up and to the left when recalling visual images. 5. The descriptions of basic biological processes are filled with minor but significant errors. For example, a synapse is defined as a dendrite- dendrite connection rather than as a dendrite-axon connection (Dilts, 1983:7~. 6. The biological and psychological references are dated. There is no mention of neurotransmission in describing brain organization, and the cognitive psychology cited omits the last 20 years of work in this area. In brief, the NLP system of eye, posture, tone, and language patterns as indexing representational patterns is not derived or derivable from known scientific work. Furthermore, there is no internal evidence or documentation to support the system. If one were to randomly match the six labels and six patterns described in Figure 1, the internal evidence would be as applicable to the 719 possible other patterns as it is to the NLP alternative. Research on NLP Most of the studies testing one or another aspect of NLP have been concerned with the accuracy of the concept of representational systems, particularly the adequacy of the behaviors postulated to accompany each type. There are approximately 20 such studies, reviewed both in the published literature (Sharpley, 1984) and in papers prepared for the committee by Harris and Rosenthal and by Dean G. Pruitt, Jennifer Crocker, and Deborah Hanes (Appendix B). Individually and as a group these studies fail to provide an empirical base of support for NLP assumptions for several reasons: 1. Many of the studies are concerned with testing whether influence attempts that match the PRS are more effective than those that do not match. Sharpley's (1984) meta-analysis of these studies and Harris and Rosenthal's discussion of this meta-analysis conclude that there is no effect. Since the emphasis on the Preferred Representational System (as distinguished from the representational system currently in use) has been reduced in importance in recent NLP literature and explicitly disavowed in informal communication, the relevance of this negative finding is diminished. 2. There is no support for the claim that the indexes of representational systems are mutually consistent. Studies have failed to find significant correlations between eye movements, choice of predicates, and self- reports, all of which are postulated to be keyed to the representational systems (e.g., Gumm, Walker, and Day, 1982~. Some studies have used

SOCIAL PROCESSES 143 predicate matching as an influence technique (thereby selecting it as the primary index of representational system). None has been found that matches predicates to eye positions. Existing predicate-matching studies do not support the hypothesis that predicate matching increases influence (Sharpley, 19841. 3. The general effectiveness of matching strategies discussed by Pruitt, Crocker, and Hanes refers to matches of rewards and punishments between two bargainers. Rewards in this context are reciprocal conces- sions; punishments refer to a failure to reciprocate another's concessions or a retraction of concessions made earlier. The matching discussed in NLP refers to the sensory modalities used in predicates in conversations between people not necessarily engaged in bargaining a different domain of concern (see, for example, Mercier and Johnson, 1984~. They may not be interpreted as either rewards or punishments. 4. Studies of the effectiveness of NLP are limited in a number of ways. The dependent measure used in most studies is client-counselor empathy, as measured on a paper-and-pencil scale (e.g., Hammer, 19831. This is not a satisfactory index of the therapeutic effectiveness of the counselor. One can find a counselor very empathetic but nonetheless ineffective in modifying behaviors or feelings. There are no studies comparing the effectiveness of NLP as an influence technique with other interpersonal influence techniques. None of the studies testing aspects of NLP has used NLP-certified Trainers as counselors, therapists, or eye movement monitors; thus studies that fail to support NLP are subject to the criticism that, if properly trained people had been used, the results would have been more positive. Ignoring where the burden of proof lies, the fact remains that the experimental evidence fails to provide support for NLP. 5. There are no studies in the scientific literature on NLP as a way of modeling experts for training purposes. NLP could be used as a technique for systematically coding expert behavior as a sequence of processing steps, such as "recalls visual image, expresses emotion, constructs audio image," and so on. Two informal studies have attempted to use the NLP coding of expert marksmen in order to construct a template, or training procedure to instruct beginners. One modeled experts shooting .45 caliber pistols and compared an NLP-derived motor learning sequence with conventional instruction. The design of the study was experimentally flawed, and no valid conclusions can be drawn from it. The other study derived a model of rifle shooting from an NLP analysis of expert shooters and created a training program for Army recruits based on it. A comparison of the NLP-derived regimen with a traditional training regimen yielded no differences. Overall, there is little or no empirical evidence to date to support either NLP assumptions or NLP effectiveness. Different critics may attach

44 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE different values to the quality of these studies, but the fact remains that none supports the effectiveness of NLP in improving influence or skilled motor performance. Current Status of NLP NLP is a widely known technique that is marketed by a number of individuals and firms. Other programs of communication improvement, advertised to organizations and corporations, state that they are based on NLP or draw from NLP principles. Although no figures are available on the number of seminars, workshops, and training institutes offering instruction in NLP, there is anecdotal evidence through advertisements and brochures that many such sessions are offered each year. The committee was unable to discover the formal proprietary status of NLP. This status is not discussed in the NLP materials available to us. The information we have was given to us by NLP practitioners employed by the Army. Although it exists in many variations and forms, NLP has been referred to as a single system. Our reference is to the common elements of the training, whether or not these elements are part of a legally protected system. Different people who have received NLP training will probably have been exposed to different variants of the system: we assume that within broad limits their training has been comparable. Because many of the NLP materials are proprietary, they are not available in the scientific literature or on the open market. As a consequence, changes or revisions in the system or its procedures are not part of the public record. We have received subjective, informal reports from people who have received NLP training. Some reports are negative with respect to the efficacy and usefulness of NLP, but the majority are from satisfied trainees who believe that NLP has improved their communication skills and made them more effective in exercising interpersonal influence. While subjective feelings of change are not necessarily a reliable guide to program efficacy, they do suggest that the NLP system may be effective in increasing self-confidence in its trainees. This gain in self-confidence is characteristic of many training programs and is not a reliable guide to increased performance. The committee has not located acceptable studies evaluating the ability of NLP to achieve either of its two major objectives. The closest we have found to a study of its primary objective, improving interpersonal influence (Hammer, 1983), uses client ratings of therapist empathy as a dependent variable. Such judgments may or may not be indicative of therapists' effectiveness, but they constitute at best a rather indirect approach to evaluation of NLP as an influence technique. For the

SOCIAL PROCESSES 145 secondary objective, using NLP as an expert modeling system, only two studies have been located, both unpublished, one so far unwritten. Even if the NLP model were consistent with other motor performance knowl- edge, many general questions would remain. How many experts should be sampled to construct a model? How can an NLP-constructed model be validated? Under what circumstances is the use of the model disruptive and distracting? The lack of evaluation is not apt to be easily remedied. For one thing, the proprietors, purveyors, and practitioners of NLP are not experimen- talists and are not interested in conducting such studies. More important, at least for the influence or therapeutic aspect of NLP, a successful evaluation is a major enterprise. It can be equivalent to a clinical trial, in which an extended time frame is required before a judgment on effectiveness can be reached how long a time is an unsettled question. For example, descriptions of NLP (Structure of Magic) claim that it is an effective technique for the treatment of phobias, bringing about change in as little as 20 minutes. There are no studies testing this claim, but any evaluation of it would be faced with many difficult choices regarding criteria for success and testing for relapse. There are not enough examples of motor performance models constructed through the use of NLP techniques to provide a phenomenon to be evaluated. In any case, if such an evaluation produces a negative outcome, the evaluator would have to distinguish between failure of the NLP technique to produce an adequate model and a situation in which the use of an expert model, however accurate, is inappropriate for the task and training conditions. Unintended Consequences of NLP To recapitulate, the evidence for a scientific basis of NLP or of validation for its construct is generally weak and negative. There is the logical possibility that NLP may be effective for reasons other than those proffered by its developers; no studies that test this possibility exist. If NLP were effective as an influence and communication protocol, it would be for reasons other than those advanced by its proponents. For example, someone trained in NLP who conscientiously practices it in interaction with another person is engaging in a series of behaviors with the following characteristics. The NLP practitioner is maintaining eye contact and is giving complete attention to the other person; is coding the verbal output of the other person in an overt, analytic manner; is monitoring his or her own verbal output (censoring it and recoding it as a prelude to an attempted predicate, or representational system, match); and is letting the other person's choice of topics and metaphors structure the conver

46 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE sation, reacting to them rather than initiating new directions in the interchange. It is not known whether the NLP practitioner's monitoring of his or her own behaviors is itself disruptive. Some people trained to maintain eye contact as a communication skill can appear to be manipulative; others, attending to the system's procedures during ordinary conversation, may seem to be distracted. In brief, it is not known whether attending to a set of procedures such as NLP while engaged in conversation enhances or detracts from the ostensible influence goals of the conver- sation. The attentional, coding, and organizing behaviors described above are a plausible alternative to the NLP model of representational systems and matching. A course in NLP may well train people to be better commu- nicators and influencers than they were before the course, but people trained in the basic principles of attention and organization might do even better than those with NLP. A proper study of this issue would require at least three groups: a group with NLP training, a group with training in its effective components (listening, attending, self-monitoring), and a control group without either the NLP regimen or its components. Before such a study could be designed, a number of subsidiary questions would have to be answered. Is the size of the effect of practical significance? Which variant of NLP is to be employed? Does the choice make any difference? Are there any structured communication training programs that can be used in contrast to NLP? What is the effectiveness of NLP relative to these other programs? What standards should be used for assessing communicator effectiveness? of NLP as a Modeling System The use of NLP as a modeling tool raises another set of issues. One important issue is the delineation of the conditions under which it is desirable and useful to use a model of expert behavior to instruct beginners. Many skills are built from the ground up, with early training concentrated on simple units that are later combined into more complex behaviors. Even an accurate model of an expert's behavior might be of no use, or perhaps disruptive or discouraging to a trainee. A person learning to play the violin may reach an intermediate or advanced level and still not benefit from a model of the playing of a virtuoso. Similarly, a beginner may be disrupted by modeling a nonvirtuosic expert's playing. Questions regarding the circumstances in which an expert's performance will be beneficial for training and what level of expertise to match to the trainee's level of proficiency have not been thoroughly explored. Given that there are circumstances under which such a training

SOCIAL PROCESSES 147 procedure is appropriate, how are the expert's behaviors to be decoded, and how is the training template to be constructed? NLP provides a set of algorithms for both tasks. Without evaluations we do not know if the products obtained are optimal or even accurate, but at least they are obtainable. NLP practitioners have not raised the issue or explored the question of whether its expert models are valid. They have not addressed the need for model validation at all. The process of using NLP to construct models is described in general terms in some of the training materials. For example, if the goal is to teach someone to pilot an airplane, experienced aviators could be placed in a simulator and asked to perform a task, such as flying the plane to a simulated target. The NLP practitioner could encode the pilots' perform- ance, that is, what representational systems were used at what point in the procedures, when anchoring occurred, and so on. The encoding of this information in NLP terms and symbols could provide the protocol for instructing fledgling pilots in the simulator, providing directions on when to visualize the target, when to concentrate on muscular feel, when to listen for engine sound changes, and so on. There are, however, several obstacles to this process. First, there is no guarantee that such a model will accurately describe the salient features of what the expert is doing. Second, even if it is an accurate description, there is no guarantee that the model is optimal: a similar but different model may do a better job of describing the expert's behavior. Third, even if the model works, there is no guarantee that the training template generated from the expert protocol is useful or optimal. NLP is a protocol for modeling certain types of behaviors. There may be other ways to describe these behaviors, but the committee has no knowledge of any system for deprogramming experts that can be taught as an algorithm. The strengths and weaknesses of NLP as a method of constructing expert systems for teaching are unique; they cannot be judged in relative terms because there are no other methods with which they can be compared. At best, one could compare the full set of NLP procedures with partial sets containing only those aspects that prior knowledge would suggest make a difference. To the extent that NLP may eventually prove to be successful as an expert modeling system, the possibility exists that it may be cost-effective to employ. Consider the analogy to a software package for a microcomputer. If someone wants a particular filing system, he or she may find that none of the readily available commercial alternatives is exactly what is needed. Each of the packages is missing some of the features that would be desirable, yet each may be a better choice than programming, or paying to have programmed, a custom-designed filing system. The difficulties, expense, and time spent in developing a custom program may make it a

148 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE less useful option than working with the incomplete, or partially flawed, product that is ready and available on the shelf. When there is time for development and enough potential use for the completed product, the custom product may justify its higher cost in greater effectiveness and utility. In similar fashion, although there may be potential for custom- designed expert modeling systems, NLP provides a convenient, existing way of modeling. It could be argued that the convenience of a more or less codified system, combined with the absence of competitors, makes NLP a more attractive option than it might otherwise be. Given the lack of basic research support and the absence of evaluative studies, even this possibility does not seem likely. In sum, then, the absence of any evaluation of the effectiveness of NLP and the lack of any scientific basis for it constitute serious reservations against using it for expert modeling purposes, despite its uniqueness. The committee cannot recommend the employment of such an Invalidated technique. If NLP is used for the limited task of con- structing expert modeling systems for specific training programs, this should be done only if a program evaluation is incorporated into the implementation . Transfer of Technology Applying the findings of social influence to training raises the general question of converting basic science to technology. This has been an undeveloped area of social psychology. Models for the transfer of basic findings into applied programs for specific problems do exist. For example, the work of Varela (1971) on the application of social psychology to industrial consulting provides an interesting set of examples. Research to learn more about a process can always be recommended. The major question is one of priorities: What is the best area in which to invest scarce research funds The committee suggests that research funds are better spent on testing the effectiveness of combinations of known components and the issues of technology transfer in social science than on evaluation of techniques not substantiated by research. CONCLUSIONS We have examined some of the issues regarding the potential for using influence techniques as training procedures and as adjuncts to training, including the nature of formal attitude change programs in social psy- chology, and we have noted their relative lack of direct applicability to training. We scanned one particular set of procedures, organizational development, which is widely used in industrial and organizational

SOCIAL PROCESSES 149 settings, for its applicability to training. (These procedures are also discussed later in the section on group cohesion.) We noted that some nonacademic systems that have been privately developed and commer- cially marketed claim to use aspects of interpersonal influence as training procedures. One widely known technique, neurolinguistic programming, was examined in some detail. Two general questions were asked. First, does NLP work? There is insufficient information to provide a definitive answer to this question; all the evidence that does exist is either neutral or negative. Second, if aspects of NLP have potential merit, by what means do they achieve their results? The committee concluded that the potentially positive aspects are not unique to NLP and are not related to what is offered as a theoretical underpinning to an empirically developed set of procedures. Our examination of NLP did bring a number of issues to light and provides the basis for a set of recommendations: 1. There is a need for better ways of transferring social science research findings (in this instance, findings in social psychology) to applied programs. The work of Varela in constructing interventions from social psychological findings is a good model for the type of general research that would be more beneficial than repeated assessment of the possible effectiveness of procedures not substantiated by research. 2. When techniques are to be evaluated, pilot tests should be conducted to assess specific effectiveness in a training setting. 3. When new techniques are to be evaluated, the evaluations should be complemented by periodic reevaluations of existing and currently employed techniques. The same criteria of effectiveness should be used for both current and proposed techniques. 4. There should be a standard format through which vendors or proponents of new techniques provide whatever evidence there is for the efficacy or basis of their techniques. It could be similar to the U.S. Public Health Service's form for research grant proposals or a specified form for contract proposals in response to a federal request for proposals. Besides putting information on new techniques into comparable formats, it would ensure that the questions relevant to a fair and accurate evaluation are addressed and places the burden of proof for evidence of effectiveness on the proposers of the techniques. GROUP COHESION AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTS In this section we focus on a property of social units that social scientists label group cohesion; it refers to the effects of cohesion on larger social groupings, such as organizations. We consider this topic

150 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE from both a micro (small group) and a macro (organization) perspective. In effect, the overriding issue is: lIow does what happens at the micro level affect what happens at the macro level? This general issue leads in turn to the two specific questions that receive primary attention in this section: 1. How is group cohesion developed? 2. What are the consequences for an organization if group cohesion is developed? . The concept of group cohesion was developed in the 1940s at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later transferred to the University of Michigan (Zander, 19791. With respect to the definition of cohesion, one team of social scientists notes that it "has been defined variously as referring to morale, 'sticking together,' productivity, power, task involvement, feelings of belongingness, shared understanding of roles and good teamwork" (Schachter et al., 1951:1921. Nevertheless, a definition cited by Zander (1979) seems to be commonly, though not universally, accepted: "the desire of members to remain as members of a group." Zander goes on to point out, however, that (p. 433~: . . . current [social science] researchers accept this definition, but in the absence [as of 19791 of a reliable method for measuring cohesiveness in a natural setting, or a reliable procedure for creating it in the laboratory, one cannot be sure to what phenomena investigators are attending when they examine its origins or effects. This is an extremely important and pertinent observation for us. In this vein, it is important to stress that some people have broadened the concept by removing the restrictive term group and simply referring to cohesion. In such cases, presumably, the intention is to employ the essence of the concept without the implied requirement that it be limited to small groups. Thus, for example, Henderson, in his book on cohesion, cites the following definition, which he uses in considering the concept in the context of Army organizations (1985:41: ". . . the bonding together of members of an organization/unit in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, their unit, and the mission." This use of cohesion, it should be noted, allows the term to be applied to units of any size (the total organization or some unit within the organization, or both). Furthermore, it can encompass both lateral (member to peer group) and vertical (member to member above or member below) cohesion (or, in Army terminology, bonding). This concept of cohesion is broader than that used by social psychologists, but it is probably more relevant to

SOCIAL PRoCESSES 151 organizations comprising a number of different groups within an overall structure. It should be noted that in the military context this broadened use of the term cohesion is sometimes called military cohesion (Henderson, 1985:91. Military cohesion is typically defined to include acceptance of the organization's goals. When cohesion is defined in this manner, there can be no argument about its benefits, and it is easy to see why military cohesion is so universally accepted as a positive concept. This definition is, however, essentially circular and therefore not very useful it does not help us to understand how people come to accept the organization's goals in the first place. One other term used somewhat similarly in organizational contexts is organizational commitment. While it is a close relative, so to speak, of cohesion, it is not identical, because it has been used to refer explicitly to a member's relation to the encompassing social unit, namely, the organization. The relations among the three terms-group cohesion, organizational commitment, and cohesion (bonding)- might be summarized as follows: · Group cohesion refers to the member's relation to his or her immediate (small) unit. · Organizational commitment refers to the member's relation to the larger organization, which includes his or her own as well as other units. · Cohesion refers to the member's relation to both the immediate unit (peers and leaders) and the larger organization of which the immediate unit is a part. In this chapter, we employ all three terms but with a preference for the more restricted term group cohesion, because we believe that term, with its associated definition, is of most use for the analytical objectives of this project. Clearly, cohesion is a property of social units that has a great deal of relevance for any large organization, such as a corporation, a government agency, or a military organization. On the surface, at least, it is a property that would seem to have many advantages: lower member turnover, higher concern of individual members for the common good, greater willingness to pursue organizational goals, increased resistance to external attacks (of any type) on the organization, and the like. Many of these positive features of cohesion as they relate to the Army are extensively discussed in the book by Henderson (1985~. Likewise, books in the popular press relating to business firms (e.g., Peters and Waterman's In Search of Excellence) cite these and other advantages of efforts to generate high commitment to organizations. Such approaches to the topic

52 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE tend to assume that cohesion or organizational commitment is good, and that more of it is even better. There are also potential negative consequences of group cohesion, and these should be taken into account by any organization that contemplates promoting it. We reserve consideration of such consequences for a later section; for the moment it is important only to point out that not all effects are necessarily positive. In the sections that follow, we briefly review the scientific research literature as it relates to cohesion, especially group cohesion. We consider what steps organizations can take to develop cohesion and then analyze the potential consequences-both positive and negative-of cohesion if it is developed. We conclude with a discussion of application issues and several recommendations. EVIDENCE FROM BASIC RESEARCH Cohesion in Small Groups The literature pertaining to cohesion in small, face-to-face groups can be partitioned into two categories: the causes of cohesion and the consequences of cohesion. Causes of Group Cohesion. The available research literature points to three factors that have the potential for generating increased group cohesion: (1) strong interpersonal attraction among group members; (2) high performance of the group; and (3) high level of conflict with other groups. Although the evidence for the first factor is fairly consistent (for ex- ample, see the studies by Stokes, 1983; Terborg, Castore, and DeNinno, 1976), empirical support for the latter two factors is not clear-cut. For example, recent work by Landers et al. (1982J raises issues about the ade- quacy of the research designs of earlier studies purporting to show strong evidence of good group performance leading to increasing cohesion, even though this result seems to be widely accepted. With respect to whether conflict with "out" groups increases cohesion within a given group, Stein (1976) reviewed work from a number of social science disciplines and concluded that "there is a clear convergence in the literature . . . that suggests that external (to the group) conflict does increase internal cohesion under certain conditions." We have italicized these three words to emphasize the fact that such conditions for example, the ability of the group to cope effectively with the threat, consensus about the importance of the threat-may be crucial in many real-world situa

SOCIAL PROCESSES 153 lions. Indeed, the extent to which this particular conclusion (exter- nal conflict leads to greater internal cohesion) needs to be qualified by the consideration of various conditions has led a major researcher in this field to state: These are perennial questions Regarding the possible effects of modifying conditions] and it is not surprising that recent social psychological research [has] continued to find no more than piecemeal answers to them.... A good deal of useful data have been collected without achieving what would amount to a major theoretical breakthrough providing a new perspective on the old established functional relationship. (Taj~el, 1982: 16) Consequences of Group Cohesion. Research on the consequences of group cohesion has focused primarily on two areas: (l) conformity of individual members' beliefs to group norms; and (2) performance of the group. With regard to the first of these consequences, both laboratory and field studies tend to show that groups with higher levels of cohe- sion (as measured by some instrument that purports to measure it) tend to have greater conformity to some set of norms and are willing to take greater risks. With regard to group performance as a consequence, however, the findings are much less clear-cut and are particularly sensitive to the criterion problem, that is, the necessity to select, on an arbitrary basis, a measure or measures that constitute good performance. As a loose generalization, the research evidence appears to show that high group cohesion can be linked to either high or low group performance, depend- ing on what the group norms are (Berkowitz, 1954; Schachter et al., 1951; Seashore, 1954~. (The issue of causality is clearly relevant here: Does high group cohesion coupled with positive performance norms lead to increased group performance, or are the two variables merely corre- lated? Strong evidence for causality appears not to have been estab- lished to date.) Thus, the widely held, commonsense assumption that more cohesion inevitably results in better performance is not uniformly sup- ported by the available data. For example, one realm in which one might expect such a relationship to hold with great regularity is competitive sports. As Landers et al. (1982:170) have stated: "The relationship between social cohesion and sport participation has had an enduring fascination among coaches and researchers alike. They have often assumed that when players on a team display unity and 'stick together,' they will have a greater chance of team success." They go on to note: `'Unfortunately, this intuitively appealing assumption is not as

154 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE straightforward as it might appear. Although some evidence supports it, there is also research which fails to provide support." In summary, then, research findings on the consequences of high co- hesion in small groups fail to provide unequivocal evidence regarding causality, or even evidence that high cohesion is always associated with better group performance. Such findings do, however, indicate that the issue of performance norms (and how to affect them) is critical in determining the direction (positive or negative) of any association between the two variables. Cohesion in Organizations For our purposes, the literature based on studies carried out within organizational contexts can be categorized into three areas: organiza- tional development, organizational commitment, and organizational culture. Organizational Development Studies. For the past decade or so, many persons in the field of organizational development have talked about the concept of team building, usually referring to attempts to make intact work groups in organizations more effective at their particular tasks. Unfortunately, there have not been many solid, well-controlled research studies (as opposed to case studies of single organizational situations) dealing with the particular organiza- tional intervention of team building. The conclusions that Fried- lander and Brown came to about 15 years ago still appear to be valid (1974:32~329): The literature contains a number of case studies of group development activities from the vantage point of the consultant. But these case studies offer little more than the flavor of the experience.... The critical elements of the team-building process remain only partially explored.... It remains unclear . . . what mechanisms operate in successful team development activ- ities, or what critical conditions must be satisfied for successful generali- zation of [earnings outside the team, or what effects group development has on actual task performance. Organizational Commitment Studies. The field of organizational psychology (organizational behavior) has produced a large number of studies in recent years on issues concerning how individuals relate to the larger organization, not just their immediate work group. Some of this research has focused on individuals' commitment to the larger organization. The concept of organizational commitment is closely akin to group cohesion (Zander, for example, sees it as the

SOCIAL PROCESSES 155 same), but the research has not had the small group focus of the typi- cal social psychology study of cohesion. At the risk of over-generalizing, it can be stated that research to date appears to associate organizational commitment clearly with lower rates of member (usually employee) turnover but much less clearly with other measures of organizational performance. Furthermore, partly because most studies in this area have been of a correlational nature, there is little or no solid scientific evidence that attempts to increase organizational commitment have resulted in increased performance (Mowday, Porter, and Steers, 1982~. Organizational Culture Studies. The cultural dimension of or- ganizations has received attention recently. Schein (1985), for ex- ample, provides a framework for understanding the role played by culture in organizational settings. He conceptualizes it at progres- sively deeper levels, referred to as artifacts (e.g., technology, art), values (i.e., a sense of what ought to be), and basic assumptions (e.g., the nature of human relations). The deepest level, basic assumptions, is the foundation for a wide variety of group decisions. It can be understood only by probing the thinking and behavior of members within the organizational setting. Schein's analysis leads to insights about the functions of culture in organizations, how culture devel- ops, and how it changes. These insights in turn could provide the basis for intervention strategies, that is structured attempts to shape a "desired environment." Schein's approach is rooted in the proposition that culture is pervasive and therefore cannot be ignored. He and other organiza- tional scientists believe that the elusiveness of the concept is not a reason for ignoring its consequences. Culture is basic: it makes possible changes in policy and organizational design, which are (according to this view) only superficial aspects of culture. It affects a group's strategy, its structure, and the ways in which members relate to each other. A strong culture is purported to allow for organizational change without itself being changed. Elton's (1984) description of the traditions of the Army~s project COHORT illustrates the con- tention that strong cultures are more likely to be found in highly cohesive units. Whether culture can be manipulated effectively to produce cohesion or, more important, to enhance performance is an issue we consider below. Conclusions Strong empirical associations between cohesion (however defined in particular studies) and other relevant variables have not been

156 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE well established on a consistent basis. The many potential third vari- ables that could modify such relations appear to militate against the operation of reliable associations and make them highly contingent on other, uncontrolled factors. Thus, if associations or correlations be- tween cohesion and other key variables have not been produced on a regular basis, then generalized cause-effect relations obviously also have not been demonstrated. Taken together, the pattern of available evidence is not encouraging for organizations that might want to pro- mote and develop cohesion in order to improve desirable organizational outcomes. We cannot rule out the possibility that strong positive evidence re- garding cohesion (especially its effects) could be developed in the future. Therefore, organizations that believe that efforts to increase cohesion will ultimately be found to be effective must proceed largely on faith. In doing so, they should be aware of both the potential negative con- sequences as well as the hoped-for positive consequences. POTENTIAL APPROACHES TO DEVELOPING COHESION IN LARGE ORGANIZATIONS Before the consequences of cohesion can be considered, it is necessary to consider how this property of groups and organizations might be developed. In social science terms, we must first consider cohesion as a dependent variable: What variables, if changed, will result in greater cohesion? Implications from Research on Cohesion As noted earlier, social psychological research on small groups has focused on three factors that have the potential for increasing group cohesion. Such factors might be considered at least as starting points for thinking about how organizations could develop or build cohesion. Translated from the research sphere, the corresponding guidelines would be stated as follows: (1) increase members' attraction for each other; (2) increase the performance of the group, unit, or organization; and (3) heighten the salience of conflict or competition with other groups. Two questions immediately emerge in connection with such guidelines: (1) How feasible would they be to implement? (2) How effective would they be if implemented? We consider each of these in turn. Feasibility. The first guideline increasing members' attraction for each other is a possibility, but one that would not be particularly easy

SOCIAL PROCESSES 157 to achieve. One approach might be to group together individuals with similar values or other relevant characteristics. Another avenue might be for organizations to provide members with various types of information about each other in an effort to increase attraction or liking. The success of either of these two approaches would depend on a number of other factors that might not be easily controlled, such as the prior strength of attitudes of each member about other members (or categories of members) of the group. The second guideline, increasing the performance of the group in order to increase its cohesiveness, involves a clear paradox: if increased performance is the ultimate criterion, then increased cohesion could only come about as a result of performance rather than as a cause. Actually, of course, it is easier and perhaps more appropriate to think of a recurring reciprocal relation: that is, increased performance leads to increased cohesiveness, which in turn leads to increased performance. From a practical standpoint, the initial problem in implementing this guideline would be to decide where to enter this cycle. Which variable should be worked on first if both are low? By implication, increased cohesion, which will lead to increased performance, should be easier to generate if a social unit is already performing reasonably well. The third guideline, involving competition or conflict with external groups, might be implemented relatively easily in situations in which there is an easily identified other group. An obvious example is team sports: the criterion of performance is clear, the membership of one's own team is clear, and the identity of the competing group is clear. For many other types of organizational situations, however, it is much more difficult to identify the competitor. While a total organization (e.g., an automobile company, the army of a particular country, a university) may find it easy to identify external competitors, it is not so easy for particular units within an organization to identify their competitors. Often it is similar units within competing external organizations, but in many cases it is other units within their own organizations (e.g., another group of similar size, a larger unit, or even the total organization itself). The latter circumstances could occur, for example, where there is competition for scarce organizational resources. Thus, in any contexts other than the one of a single group against one or more clearly specified other groups, the use of this method to increase internal cohesion would involve a great deal of complexity, which could substantially increase costs. To put this another way, a given group often has multiple agendas, and it is not a simple matter to restrict their competitive energies to a single target. Effectiveness. The other critical issue for evaluating the potential usefulness of guidelines suggested by social psychological research on

158 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE small groups is their effectiveness in producing the intended results (i.e., increased cohesion). Earlier in this chapter we reviewed the available literature, which showed that the first guideline, increasing members' interpersonal attraction, would be effective if it could be implemented. The literature was not consistent regarding the other two guidelines, namely, increasing group performance and emphasizing conflict with "out" groups, indicating that those guidelines could not be counted on to produce reliable effects across a variety of situations. In other words, the effort expended to implement the approaches might not produce proportionate benefits. At the least, these research findings argue for modest expectations on the part of anyone attempting to develop more cohesion with either of these methods. To this point we have been discussing the utility of several guidelines emerging from small group social psychological research. However, this does not exhaust all possible approaches an organization might take to increase its cohesion and the cohesion of the units within it. One potentially powerful approach is to pay attention to the culture (shared ways of viewing the world) of the organization and its constituent parts. As discussed earlier, there has been considerable recent scholarly work in this area, and it is to this literature that we turn for other possible guidelines that organizations might follow to increase overall cohesion. Implications from Research on Organizational Culture Organizational culture views cohesion as a result of both structural and cultural factors. Its primary contribution is to add cultural variables as mediators between group structures and attitudes or performances. The same group structures may produce different outcomes, depending on cultural processes. These processes have implications for levels of cohesion and for the success of the Army's project COHORT. Some of these implications are developed in the paper prepared for the committee by Boaz Tamir and Gideon Kunda (Appendix B) and are summarized briefly below. Horizontal Cohesion. Structural integrity (no rotation of members) is a necessary but not sufficient condition for achieving horizontal cohesion (bonding between members at the same level in an organization). Differ- ences among members in basic assumptions would reduce group cohesion. A case in point is the often-cited racial tension among peers in the U.S. Army in Vietnam (see Moskos, 19751. Vertical Cohesion. Structural integrity of units can be dysfunctional for vertical cohesion (bonding between members and leaders). Cohorts

SOCIAL PROCESSES 159 can develop a subculture that rejects standard operating procedures, which call for management from the top down. This phenomenon is illustrated by Van Maanen's comparison (1983) of the Harvard and MIT graduate programs: the former program's cohort structure produces strong horizontal cohesion among students but weak vertical bonding between students and professors; the latter program emphasizes individual training and leads to strong vertical bonding but weak friendships among peers. Further implications can be drawn for promotion. It can be argued that strong internal cultures suppress initiative, encouraging loyalty to the unit rather than identification with, and aspiration to, the officer corps. Cultural Conflict. Demands for loyalty to the cohort unit can conflict with civilian values. Earlier socialization produces values that may not coincide with the unit's assumptions: examples are civilian legal principles of military subordination to the civil government, the larger ethical and moral foundations of the society, and identity as an individual and private citizen. The challenges of resocialization are considerable and may be made even more difficult by certain demographic elements. One of these elements is the large number of enlisted soldiers without alternative economic choices: the elite spirit fostered by the cohort system conflicts with a possible second-class spirit resulting from disappointment in the civilian marketplace. Each of these implications calls attention to the importance of cultural dimensions. Analyses of cohesion that concentrate only on structural factors are limited. So, too, are policies based on structural arrangements that overlook the development of subcultures. Those subcultures can serve to either increase or decrease a unit's overall cohesion, and the consequences may differ for horizontal and vertical bonding. POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF COHESION As we have mentioned several times above, cohesion can create either positive or negative consequences, or both. Positive Consequences The prevailing opinion of military decision makers and analysts, as well as many managers from industry, is that cohesion is highly functional for group and organizational performance. Elton (1984) makes this argument in support of the Army's project COHORT. He implies that those structural and cultural factors that enhance unit cohesion also enhance unit performance. (By cohesion he means primarily the bonding that occurs among members of the unit, i.e., horizontal bonding.)

/60 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE Henderson ( 1985) elaborates this argument in several directions. He claims that the heightened nationalism and self-worth that develop in cohesive units contribute to a better fighting unit. (FIis definition of cohesion emphasizes the bonding that occurs between group members and the leader, i.e., vertical bonding). Drawing on a sociological per- spective, he imputes certain consequences to cohesion, for example, low member turnover and more effort on behalf of the group. Perhaps the strongest recent statement of Army belief in the positive consequences of cohesion is contained in Technical Report No. 3 on ''The New Manning System Field Evaluation', by the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (1986~. This report states (p. 9 of the overview) that a panel of ''distinguished military officers" and several "civilian scholars'' . . . felt very strongly that the value of military cohesion for effective combat operations rests on historical experience, and need not be correlated with measures of garrison performance to command attention at the highest levels of the Army. The panel accepted as fact that military cohesion is an important inhibitor of psychological breakdown in battle. They emphasized the importance of this relationship above and beyond the research community~s ability to demonstrate relationships between cohesion and unit training performance. The research community is supportive to some degree regarding the potential of cohesiveness for generating positive impact. For example, the research discusses such consequences as willingness to perform tasks not required by a member's role, higher conformity to the organization's norms and rules, and a propensity for taking risks, including altruistic behavior on behalf of the group (e.g., Katz and Kahn, 1966; Campbell, 19754. These consequences are assumed to be and may well be- functional in the context of competitive intergroup or interorganizational relations. Most of the above arguments are considerably more speculative than conclusive. Several reasons can be given for treating them as hypotheses rather than proven conclusions. First, most treatments of the issue are not sufficiently analytic to separate consequences from indicators of cohesion. For example, are nationalistic attitudes (or commitment to the group) a consequence or a defining feature of cohesion? Second, the hypothesized relation between improved cohesion and better unit per- formance is assumed rather than tested. A distinction should be made between the use of case histories as sources of insight and the use of real or simulated exercises as a setting for testing hypotheses about the cohesion-performance relation. Third, there is a tendency to rely on single-factor explanations for group performance. An alternative approach would consider cohesion one of several factors influencing a variety of performances. Other group properties might include authority structures,

SOCIAL PROCESSES 161 concentration of members, and the nature of standard operating proce- dures. Effectiveness might be divided into parts such as efficiency, mobilization for action, and agreement on group goals. Fourth, the cohesion-performance relation is likely to be more complex than the simple assertion of positive effects would suggest (see, for example, the previously cited study by Landers et al., 1982, which highlights the possibility of reciprocal effects between these two variables). Despite the general lack of empirical support for arguments that increased cohesion results in positive consequences, some progress is being made. One important source of such factual evidence is the previously mentioned study of the Army's project COHORT being conducted by the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research. At the time this chapter was drafted, three technical reports on the COHORT project had been issued; these present the results of soldier surveys conducted as part of the New Manning System (EMS) field evaluation. Of particular interest are the COHORT-non-COHORT comparisons, which to date have been made on a series of questions pertaining to "soldier will," including confidence in the senior command, concerned leadership, sense of pride, unit social climate, and unit teamwork. The total scale used in the study has discriminated between COHORT and non-COHORT units "with some degree of confidence." This evidence suggested to the reports' authors that COHORT units have been successful in building cohesive and confident fighting units. Missing from the study, however, is a link to performance. Future research on project COHORT may provide evidence for the cohesion-performance relation. Such measures as proficiency in combat skills or crew performance would be appropriate, particularly if the analysis is focused on the level of groups. However, there are some unresolved problems to be addressed. One of these, for example, is practical: How does the Army view the relative importance of different training outcomes? Another is conceptual: Is there a theory about how COHORT units are supposed to affect soldier morale and group cohesion, which in turn affect training results and performance? Put differently, how are attitudes that distinguish between COHORT and non-COHORT units reflected in relevant performance variables? And, more generally, is group cohesion a useful concept for understanding this type of relation? There are some reasons to suggest that, in some circumstances, group cohesion may be dysfunctional for performance, and we now turn to those issues. Negative Consequences Although cohesion as a property of social units has the potential for creating a number of positive (i.e., organizationally valued) effects, it

162 ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE also has the potential for producing negative effects. We draw on an overview of the relevant literature by Porter, Lawler, and Hackman (1975) to summarize some of the possible dysfunctional consequences of attempts to increase cohesion. Ineffective Handling of Deviance. In highly cohesive groups there is always the danger that someone expressing opinions or exhibiting behavior that differs from the group's accepted wisdom will not be heard by the group. That poses no problem, of course, if the deviant opinion or action is without merit and would, if attended to, cause the group to misuse its available resources or otherwise engage in ineffective activity. However, if what is considered deviance actually represents a type of creativity that could be used by the group, early rejection would prevent this contribution from being used (Torrance, 19541. The issue here is that both '~good" and "bad" deviance may be more easily and firmly rejected by highly cohesive groups than by groups whose members have less fierce adherence to group norms. Groupthink. Somewhat related to the above is the danger that groups will fail to examine objectively any negative information (i.e., information the group would prefer not to hear), whether from inside or outside the group. The focus here is not on the source (whether a respected group member, a deviant, another group) but on the content of the information. Groupthink is a phenomenon (Janis, 1972) that has been sufficiently well described in a variety of scholarly and popular publications, so it is not necessary to examine it in detail here. The critical issue is that groupthink is more likely to develop in highly cohesive, closely knit groups or units than in those with lower cohesion, whose members are not as sensitive to the opinions of their fellows. Increased Impact of any Existing Negative Norms. Highly cohesive groups are no more likely than less cohesive groups to have negative norms (i.e., performance norms that run counter to those of the organi- zation of which they are a part); however, such research evidence as there is tends to conclude that if a group is cohesive and if it has such norms, then its performance will be even lower than that of less cohesive groups with similar negative norms. In other words, there is a greater probability of a reverberation effect that could work counter to the interests of the larger organization if the cohesive group is headed in the wrong (so to speak) direction. Thus, in instances of extreme stress, such as wartime fighting conditions, this kind of effect might be especially exaggerated in such groups.

SOCIAL PROCESSES 163 Increased Intergroup Conflict. A potential, but certainly not an inevitable, consequence of high intragroup cohesion is increased conflict with other groups. At the current stage of development of organizational science, it is not possible to predict with any degree of certainty the direction of impact (if any) of high intragroup cohesion on intergroup cohesion within the organization. Thus, there is little available evidence to support the notion that increases in cohesion within groups of an organization will automatically result in increased cohesion between groups in that organization. To our knowledge, there also appears to be little evidence that would definitely indicate the opposite. The point we make here is simply that such consequences have not been studied extensively, and it is possible that, under some circumstances, more small group cohesion might result in greater fragmentation of the larger organization. Such a possibility would suggest that organizations (as opposed to single groups operating relatively independently) might want to be alert to this potential danger in pursuing the development of high cohesion within groups or units. APPLICATION ISSUES In this section we briefly discuss three issues relating to the application of cohesion concepts in organizations: the knowledge base available to organizations to apply cohesion as a "technology"; the feasibility and costs of application; and the potential gains and losses from developing increased cohesion. Knowledge Base The first important issue regarding the possibilities of applying a cohesion approach to organizations concerns the degree to which we have an available knowledge base for such applications. Such a base would consist of two parts: what is known about cohesion itself and what is known about how to apply it. Over the past 40 years social scientists have developed a certain amount of basic information about the properties of cohesion that can be moderately useful to organizations. This information appears to be more adequate in understanding the causes of cohesion than it does in helping to predict the consequences. Research evidence on the latter is mixed in terms of the directions of the findings; it is also not substantial in terms of the number of well-controlled studies carried out in organizational settings. The available evidence concerning how to apply cohesion in organi

164 EN]lANClNG HUMAN PERFORMANCE zations is also limited. There are very few studies in the scientific literature of interventions to increase cohesion followed by careful measurement of the consequences (e.g., Tyerman and Spencer, 19831. It can be presumed that some approaches would be much more effective than others indeed, some approaches might even turn out to be counter- productive for the organization but to date there is scant evidence concerning the comparative efficacy of different methods of building cohesion in organizations. Thus, there is very little in the way of a knowledge base to guide organizations in how to go about creating cohesion that will have positive consequences. Feasibility and Costs A second major, indeed crucial, application issue concerns the feasibility and costs of attempting to build cohesion within organizations. At least four such implementation issues should be considered. At What Organizational Level Should Efforts Begin? The degree of cohesion perceived to exist at the top of the organization can have a powerful cascading effect on cohesion at lower levels. Thus, it might seem most effective to begin cohesion efforts in organizations at the topmost levels. However, by starting there, the process of developing cohesion throughout the organization might take so lone that it would ~ ~ ~ · ~ , ' , 1 1 1 1 _ _ ~ 41~ ~ - ~ _ ~ _ never reach the lower levels, which contain the bU1R 01 the organization- s members. A more direct approach to those members would be to start at the lower levels and work upward, to the extent that there are sufficient time and other resources. If initial efforts to build cohesion begin with the lowest (or at least lower) units in an organization, however, a question can be raised as to whether this will be effective if prior attention has not been given to cohesion in upper levels, the location of role models. Where Should the Bonding Be Focused? If cohesion is promoted as a group or unit attribute, this has considerable potential for creating . . .. greater nonbeing among members within the group as well as to the group's immediate leader. That is, concern about the group and the group's fate would be expected to increase. As we have previously stressed, however, greater bonding to the group or unit does not necessarily guarantee more commitment to the larger organization. But if commitment to the larger organization is stressed and unit cohesion is ignored or bypassed, any effects may be greatly attenuated, because so much organizational performance occurs at the group or unit level. How Much Time and Cost Are Required? Seldom discussed in the

SOCIAL PROCESSES 165 social science literature on cohesion is a consideration of the costs involved in building it. While there appear to be some potential positive consequences of cohesion, these could be outweighed by the costs required to produce them. In particular, the most critical costs may be what economists call opportunity costs; that is, if efforts are directed toward building group or organizational cohesion, other organizational activities would receive less attention. To gauge whether it is worthwhile to try to develop cohesion, an organization must also consider the comparative cost-benefit ratios for other types of desired outcomes. Increased cohesion may or may not fare well in such a comparison, depending on the needs of the organization and the particular circum- stances in which it finds itself. What Are the Most Cost-Effective Methods of Building Cohesion? As stated above, there is almost no scientifically reliable and valid evidence to guide organizations in building cohesion. At the present time, organi- zations either have to carry out their own experiments or simply use their best judgment. Potential Gains and Losses To summarize our discussion, many people believe that developing cohesion in organizations will produce favorable results, but evidence supporting this contention is weak at present. Persons advocating more cohesion in organizations believe it is intrinsically good. They also point to a number of benefits that would accrue if greater cohesion could be achieved. Such potential gains, in principle at least, appear to be attainable if an organization is willing to make the necessary investments of scarce resources (time, money, effort diverted from other activities). The size of such gains, however, is unknown and possibly could be smaller than anticipated. Furthermore, there are some potential unintended conse- quences that could turn out to be deleterious for the organization. Again, available research is virtually silent as to whether such negative outcomes would in fact occur. All of this suggests that the amount still to be learned about the development and consequences of cohesion in organizations far exceeds what is currently known. Additional rigorous and well- controlled research could prove to be useful in assessing the potential gains and losses from attempts by organizations to increase cohesion within them. SOURCES OF INFORMATION In addition to their own reviews of literature, the subcommittees on social processes received briefings on relevant projects and requested

166 the preparation of papers that treated a related subject in depth. The influence subcommittee learned about the practice of neurolinguistic programming by participating in a workshop and interviewing its devel- oper. It was also informed of the large literature on influence strategies, including both verbal and nonverbal communication, through a paper prepared by Pruitt, Crocker, and Hanes. The cohesion subcommittee members were briefed by the Army on projects designed to evaluate the COHORT system and benefited from a paper on the transmission of values in organizations prepared by Tamir and Kunda. The growing literature on organizational cultures proved to be particularly relevant to issues of group processes and performance. ENHANCING HUMAN PERFORMANCE

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In its evaluation, Enhancing Human Performance reviews the relevant materials, describes each technique, makes recommendations in some cases for further scientific research and investigation, and notes applications in military and industrial settings. The techniques address a wide range of goals, from enhancing classroom learning to improving creativity and motor skills.

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