Effects of openness, problem solving, and blaming on learning: an experiment in China.

Research paper by Dean D Tjosvold, Haifa F HF Sun, Paulina P Wan

Indexed on: 13 Dec '05Published on: 13 Dec '05Published in: The Journal of social psychology


Researchers have considered interdependence and interaction among individuals and groups as critical for promoting learning in organizations. In an experiment with 80 participants in China, the present authors found that (a) open discussion compared with avoiding discussion and (b) problem solving compared with blaming stimulated the exploration, integration, and adoption of alternative ideas in addition to strengthening interpersonal relationships. The results also indicated the possibility that openness and problem solving have these effects by developing a perceived cooperative interdependence that encourages people to believe that incorporating alternative ideas can help them succeed. Avoidance and blaming, on the other hand, seemed to result in a competitive struggle to see who could impose their ideas on the other, leaving people committed to their original thinking.