Group Mean Differences within an Enterprise

– Maurice Dubras

A special unit was set up four years ago to undertake two tasks. The prime was to explore entire new technology for future development and use and, secondarily, to assist in the solving of some current and especially taxing production problems.

A number of small groups were formed, each with specific but interrelated tasks to further this enterprise. KAI was used at the formation of the teams, on the occasion when the team may have been reformed and at a time just before the conference. The means of the groups varied, as did their means when events developed that changed the nature of the job. Changes in staff KAI means tended to reflect these changes.

UNIT 2000 was the prime unit concerned with the task of devising new technologies. It did, however, have periods when this task became particularly predominate (Unit 2000/2 and later when delivery of projects to other became more needed, Unit 2000/3). As expected, throughout, this unit had the highest innovative group mean within this project.

Entrepreneurial Business Unit had four separate groups, set up at different times. The prime task was to take developing technical ideas and solutions to more advanced resolution stage up to the small batch production (trial) stage taking in such consideration issues relating to marketing and costs. The teams are listed in order of the stage at which they reached just before the conference report: with A at the earliest stage and D the only one embarking on small batch production. Turnover had occurred at a low rate through this time; it is interesting to note that the most advanced group had (by now) the higher adaptive mean.

Business Development Group was the largest of the groups made up of small teams concerned with very varied problems that had more of a management element – how matters might be done.

Environmental Scan Group was in the process of re-defining (not for the first time) its “strategic direction”. Its general purpose was to search whatever source seemed promising to detect possible future trends in technical development or consumer needs and translate these observations and guesses into recommended future action for the main organisation. Their task was generally agreed as being innovative in nature with a requirement to making practical suggestions.

Executive Management Committee was a group that helped co-ordinate all the others. By the time of the conference, it had evolved into two sub-sets; one (the larger) more adaptive (mean 95) and the smaller group more innovative (mean 118) headed by its leader neatly poised in between at 108.

Electrical Assembly Group was one of two production-orientated groups, only one of which was at managerial level, aimed at advancing likely products towards completion and had a history of internal conflict and difficulties with other groups. Talks relating to A-I theory were generally thought to have been of value in helping them resolve these problems. This team has the widest internal variety of any other group in its diversities, in KAI score as well as gender, ethnic origin, educational background, skill level, and age.

Payroll Unit was the second of these “production-orientated groups. It was included within the groups not only because of its service to the other teams but to act as reference point for the study of team development and cohesion that was being undertaken. Like the other team in this group, it had wide internal diversity except for KAI, for the majority scored between 76 and 97 with the boss at 104 and one clerk at 123. Even within this group, they agreed that an understanding of style differences (and its implication to the management of other differences) “added significantly to group cohesiveness” as the manager reported.

Below is the full table with sub-scores added. These were closely in accord to those calculated as expected from the total scores. Standards deviations are given underneath in brackets.


Group N Mean SO E R Range

Unit 2000/1 8 116.5 52.3 18.5 45.8 103 – 134
(8.9) (6.6) (4.4) (4.5)

Unit 2000/2 8 126.9 53.6 24.3 49.0 109 – 146
(11.2) (6.8) (6.1) (4.8)

Unit 2000/3 10 116.7 50.0 21.0 46.8 94 – 145
(13.9) (6.6) (4.5) (7.1)

Entrepreneurial Unit A 5 115.8 47.8 25.8 42.3 88 – 134
(13.3) (7.4) (5.4) (6.3)

B 4 119.3 51.8 20.5 47.0 108 – 130
(9.0) (8.5) (3.4) (3.1)

C 5 111.4 48.6 20,6 42.2 88 – 133
(17.0) (5.9) (6.4) (8.2)

D 5 107.8 49.6 19.4 18.8 97 – 116
(6.4) (6.8) (5.2) (7.1)

Bus. Dev. Group 42 114.2 49.8 21.3 43.1 88 – 134
(13.3) (7.4) (5.4) (6.3)

Environmental 9 116.8 49.9 21.0 45.6 83 – 146
Scan Group (18.0) (6.1) (7.1) (7.6)

Executive Management 11 108.4 46.3 22.0 40.1 94 – 128
Committee (13.0) (6.9) (4.1) (4.3)

Electrical Assembly Group 11 94.9 44.5 17.2 33.3 78 – 113
(9.4) (6.9) (4.6) (6.0)

Payroll 12 92.1 43.8 16.9 31.4 76 – 123
(11.9) (5.0) (3.9) (6.2)


1982