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Continued from chapter-4c:

4.8.5 FIRO-Strength Groups of Managers

The results of the classification test for the three groups presented in Table 4.8.5 are extremely high and the first function itself explains over 94 per cent of the variance. These results lend a strong support not only to the discriminant function used for this table, but, by virtue of that, also to the functions worked out for all the other groups in this study. This high-hit discriminant function reveals that managers of high, medium and low interpersonal orientation are really different on just three aspects of interpersonal behaviour, namely, PEO, PRI and WRC -- as against the ANOVA information given by Table 4.5.4, which presented significant F-ratios for all the twelve FIRO variables. On the basis of the discriminant results in Table 4.8.5, the following statement may be made about the characteristic interpersonal orientations of the managers: One's being open with others (PEO), others' ready inclusion of one into their midst (PRI) and one's willingness to listen to, learn from or be influenced by others (WRC) are the critical elements that seem to set apart high interpersonal managers from managers who are low on interpersonal orientation. The least Lamda value in Table 4.8.5 for Openness indicates its paramount criticality.

Table 4.8.5: Summary of Discriminant FIRO for FIRO-Strength of Managers

          Low grp.  Medium    High      Function   Function  Wilks'    Signi.    
.......... grp      grp.      grp.      Coeff.     Coeff.    Lamda               
...........Mean     Mean      Mean      fcn 1      fcn 2                         
...........n = 17   n = 191   n = 45                                             

PEO       2.76      3.65      5.93      .10        .57       .24613    .0000     
PRI       2.41      3.80      7.58      -.13       .98       .27898    .0000     
WRC       2.94      2.87      4.84      .22        .59       .25822    .0000
Centroids: FIRO-Low = -3.48895; FIRO-Med.= -.38641; FIRO-High= 2.95815
Canonical Discriminant Functions
  Fcn     Eigen-   %  of    Cumu    Canonical  After    Wilks'  Chisquar    DF     Signi.   
          value   Variance    %        Corr     Fcn     Lambda     e                        

                                                 0      .2461   348.374     8       .0000   
   1*     2.5169   94.19    94.19     .8460      1      .8656    35.863     3       .0000   
   2*     .1553     5.81    100.00    .3666
Classification Results
 Actual Group      No. of         Predicted       Predicted      Predicted    
                    Cases        Membership      Membership      Membership   
..................................Low            Medium           High      

FIRO-Low mgrs.       17          15 (88.2%)       2 (11.8%)       0 (0.0%)

FIRO-Med.mgrs.       191          1 (0.5%)       187 (97.9%)      3 (1.6%)

FIRO-High mgrs.       45           0 (0.0%)        5 (11.1%)      40 (88.9%)
Percentage of cases correctly classified: 95.65% 

4.8.6 Male and Female Students

With regard to their interpersonal orientations, the male and female students are seen to be different in seven aspects: PEC, WEI, WEO, PRI, PRO, WRC and WRO. Of these, WEI,WRO, PEC and PRI seem to be the relatively dominant discriminants. The boys want to socialise more than the girls want to and they exercise more control on others than the girls do. The girls seem to typically want more openness from others than the boys want. One might sound a caution against drawing these inferences, by pointing out that the hit-ratio is rather poor for the girls. True; and yet, seen against the virtually flawless classification of the boys (99.6%), the interpretations may be well warranted on a comparative basis.

Table 4.8.6: Summary of Discriminant FIRO for Males & Females

             Boys Mean    Girls Mean   Function      Wilks'       Signi.       
.............n = 276      n = 46       Coeff.        Lamda                     

PEC          3.50         2.76         .56297        .90429       .0000        
WEI          6.04         5.26         .64465        .93748       .0000        
WEO          4.61         4.52         .30936        .87361       .0000        
PRI          3.58         4.46         -.51829       .88425       .0000        
PRO          5.00         6.33         -.34800       .96624       .0009        
WRC          2.43         1.67         .17627        .87032       .0000        
WRO          6.07         7.33         -.56488       .91531       .0000
Group Centroids: Boys = .15709; Girls = -.94257 
Classification Results
   Actual Group       No. of Cases         Predicted          Predicted      
Membership          Membership     
                                         Boy Students       Girl Students    

Boy Students              276         275                         1          
                                      99.6%                      0.4%        

Girl Students              46         40                          6          
                                      87.0%                     13.0%        

Percentage of cases correctly classified: 87.27%

4.8.7 FIRO-Strength Groups of Students

Management students with high, medium and low overall interpersonal orientations are distinguishable in their interpersonal behaviour, particularly in the areas of their PEC, WEC, PRC, WRI and WRO. Like the results of Table 4.8.5, the discriminant results of Table 4.8.7 also show an excellent hit ratio (96%) and the first function explains over 95 per cent of the variance. The managers and the management students of the sample turn out to be really different as regards what constitutes their respective FIRO strengths. The highly interpersonal manager, as was noted in Table 4.8.5, is highly open (PEO), is readily included by others (PRI), and would like to be moderately influenced by others (WRC). The highly interpersonal management student, in contrast, is typified by a moderate subjugation to control from others (PRC), a high display of power over others (PEC), coupled with a desire to do it even more (WEC), a thirst for inclusion by others (WRI) and an intense yearning for openness from others (WRO).

Although the discriminant analyses produced classification ratios of >50% for the academically poor and good students as well as for the students of North and South Indian origin, their results are not presented in tables here, for none of the Lamda values was significant even at .05 level. The results showed PEO and WEO to be discriminating between the poor and good students, but PEO at p<.17 and WEO at p<.25; the north-south students were discriminated only on WEC, but at p<.07.

Table 4.8.7: Summary of Discriminant FIRO for FIRO-Strength of Students

          Low grp.  Medium    High      Fn.        Fn.       Wilks'    Signi.    
          mean      grp.      grp.      Coeff.     Coeff.    Lamda               
          n = 33    mean      mean      Fn.1       Fn.2                          
                    n = 234   n = 55                                             

PEC       1.42      3.00      6.29      -.11       -.65      .28790    .0000     
WEC       2.33      6.02      7.91      .03        .51       .28126    .0000     
PRC       3.55      4.68      4.71      -.22       .12       .27251    .0000     
WRI       1.88      6.25      8.15      -.23       .63       .29521    .0000     
WRO       4.03      6.09      8.25      -.22       -.18      .27543    .0000     

Centroids: FIRO-Low = -3.21409; FIRO-Med.= -.17862; FIRO-High= 2.68840

Canonical Discriminant Functions
  Fcn     Eigen-    % of    Cumu %  Canonical  After    Wilks'  Chisquar    DF     Signi.   
          value   Variance             Corr     Fcn     Lambda     e                        

                                                 0      .2695   414.347     14      .0000   
   1*     2.3382   95.44    95.44     .8369      1      .8996    33.432     6       .0000   
   2*     .1116     4.56    100.00    .3168                                                 

Classification Results
Actual Group   No. of          Predicted       Predicted       Predicted      
               Cases           Low             Medium          High           

FIRO-Low       33              31 (93.9%)      2 (6.1%)        0 (0.0%)       
FIRO-Medium    234             3 (1.3%)        224 (95.7%)     7 (3.0%)       
FIRO-High      55              0 (0.0%)        1 (1.8%)        54 (98.2%)     

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Percentage of cases correctly classified: 95.96% ________________________________________________

4.9.0 A Peek at Compatibility of Groups

In addition to identifying the fundamental needs of interpersonal relations, the FIRO theory also proposes a postulate of compatibility. The postulate states that the better the goodness of fit between the need configuration of two or more individuals, the more likely it is that the individuals will attain the goal of their relationship. Although not part of the objectives of the present study, a test of this postulate was attempted in a small way, out of additional curiosity.

4.9.1 A Measure of Compatibility

The difference between the mean sum of expressed scores in a group and the mean sum of the group's wanted-received scores was treated as a measure of the members' compatibility in the group. The logic for doing so is that what is sought after (the sum of WR scores) in a group would be met by the group to the degree it is available (the mean sum of PE & WE scores) from the members of the group. The lower the difference score, therefore, the greater would be the compatibility of the members within a group. The compatibility score, so derived, was compared with two other measures: group performance and member satisfaction, both of which can reasonably be assumed to be goals any group would aspire for.

4.9.2 Measures of Performance and Satisfaction

Twenty groups of students, with membership ranging from 3 to 5, were included in the analysis, whose group assignment grades were available and could be used as a measure of group performance. The formation of these groups and the grades for their assignments were independent of the present study. Each of these students was then asked to rate his satisfaction of working in his particular group on a five-point scale, where 1 meant very low satisfaction and 5, very high satisfaction. The mean satisfaction score of the members of a given group was used as the measure of satisfaction for the group.

4.9.3 Compatibility, Performance and Satisfaction

First, to examine how the three measures of group compatibility, group performance and mean satisfaction of group members were associated with one another, Pearson's correlational analysis was run. Table 4.9.1 shows that the desired-available difference score significantly correlated with satisfaction of the group members (r = -.59; p<.01). Since smaller scores referred to greater compatibility, the negative sign of the coefficient, in fact, indicates a positive correlation between the compatibility of the members' FIRO and the satisfaction the members derived from working in the group. The FIRO postulate of compatibility would have expected at least two of the coefficients (the difference score with performance and with satisfaction) to be significant, but the result showed that only satisfaction of working with the group correlated significantly with compatibility. A test of difference of means for the high and low compatibility groups also showed that the two groups differed only on satisfaction and not on performance (Table 4.9.2).

Table 4.9.1: Correlation Coefficients of Compatibility Groups

                   Difference         Group               Satisfaction       
Score              Performance         Score              

Difference Score   --                 .2614               -.5915*
Group Performance                     --                  .1145 
Satisfaction                                              --                 

N = 20; * = p<.01

Table 4.9.2: Means, SDs and t-Ratios of Compatibility Groups

                   Low                High                t-Ratio            
Compatibility      Compatibility       df: 18             

Difference Score   3.67               0.69                -6.03***           
                   (1.43)             (0.62)                                 
Group Performance  3.90               3.80                -0.12              
                   (1.66)             (2.04)                                 
Satisfaction       3.20               4.08                2.31*              
Score              (0.70)             (0.98)                                 

* = p<.05; *** = p<.001. Values in parentheses are Standard Deviations 

While several studies have confirmed the predicted relationship between compatibility and criteria such as task performance (Eisenthal, 1961; Schutz, 1958), student achievement (Hutcherson, 1963) and learning climate (Powers, 1965), a study by Underwood and Krafft (1973) reported lack of evidence to support the postulate of FIRO compatibility, for it found no significant relationships among interpersonal compatibility, productivity and satisfaction. The results of the present study do not fully vindicate the compatibility postulate, either. They do, however, show that greater satisfaction accompanies greater compatibility (r at p<.01 and t at p<.05)). As for performance, higher overall FIRO compatibility did not seem to enhance it; nor did lower compatibility on FIRO needs reduce performance, indicating that performance may require more than just interpersonal compatibility. While competence would certainly be a relevant variable, the perceived stakes of a grade of 20% weight, in the context studied here, may not have been salient enough for the students to drive themselves harder than was comfortable, in the final semester of their studies. Compatibility, besides enhancing the worthwhile goal of personal satisfaction among colleagues, could be a facilitative factor in performance, but competence and motivation would be necessary. While competence, in a context such as studied here, could be assured, motivation could not be prevented from being volatile.

Although the overall compatibility (the difference between the expressed and the desired scores on Inclusion, Control and Openness together) did not, as seen above, differentiate high and low performing groups, the Openness dimension of FIRO did. The groups that had a smaller difference score between expressed openness (EO) and desired openness (WRO) achieved higher performance than groups that had a higher difference (lower compatibility) on that FIRO dimension; with 20 degrees of freedom, the t-ratio was significant at p<.05. Thus, the "Openness compatibility" among group members seems to enhance group performance.

That wraps up our detailed discussion of the results of the study. The next chapter will summarise the findings, discuss some of the implications they may have, spell out the limitations of the present study and point to directions that future studies of the phenomenon can take.

Go to: chapter-5, chapter-4a, chapter-4b, chapter-4c, table of contents.