The effects of numerical and logical group size on computer-mediated idea generation

Joseph S. Valacich, Bradley C. Wheeler, Brian E. Mennecke, Renee Wachter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A laboratory experiment investigated the effects of numerical group size and logical group size (i.e., group heterogeneity in regard to task demands) on the performance of groups addressing an idea generation task while using computer-mediated communication. Six different numerical group sizes were studied, which ranged from 5 to 10 members. Logical size was manipulated by varying the amount of task-relevant information given to a particular group member. Larger logical group sizes (heterogeneous groups) were induced by distributing unique task-relevant information among group members; smaller logical group sizes (homogeneous groups) were induced by providing all task information to all members. A significant main effect for numerical group size showed that larger groups outperformed smaller groups. Numerical group size interacted with logical group size resulting in greater performance gains for increased numerical group size within heterogeneous groups. Average contributions per group member diminished with increased numerical group size for homogeneous groups and increased for heterogeneous groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-329
Number of pages12
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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