In organizations, judgments made by groups benefit from having the input of a wide range of perspectives, but in many cases, judgment outcomes do not reflect them equally. Research on social influence has long established that individual members who hold opinions that deviate from those of their other group members have less influence on a group's judgments. However, to what extent is this relationship conditional on the presence of internal social ties among group members (or lack thereof)? With results from a lab experiment and a field experiment, we show that more social ties among group members weaken the influence of individual members with deviant opinions on the group's judgment. In the lab experiment, we examine judgments of abstract art, comparing groups of subjects who are 1) strangers, 2) friends, and 3) strangers among whom we introduced affective social ties. In the field experiment, we analyze judgments of wines based on blind tastings, comparing groups of participants with different levels of social interconnectedness. Our work contributes to research on both group judgments and social networks, providing new insight into the role of social ties in shaping interpersonal influence in collective judgment outcomes.
Iyengar, Sheena. "The Ties That B(l)ind: How Social Connectedness Diminishes Individual Influence in Group Judgments." Columbia Business School, 2016.
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