Group

Group processes and task effectiveness in a Soviet-American expedition team

A 12-person Soviet-American Bering Bridge expedition team was studied over the 61 days of their trek by dogsled and cross-country ski from the Chukotka region of Siberia, across the Bering Straits, to Alaska.  The group was instructed to complete a daily effectiveness measure each evening that assessed the perception of the emotional climate of the group and relationships to task effectiveness.  Members participated in a structured interview at the end of the expedition.  Perceived fairness of daily task assignments was negatively related to number of disagreements and how friendly other team members were.  The planned stops in villages along the way to promote international harmony enhanced the international objectives of the expedition but had a negative impact on group cohesiveness.  The ability of the group to meet its objectives despite frequent episodes promoting a negative emotional climate was discussed.