Influence of Gender on Group Process
From our data, gender seems to influence the group process. Generally, females avoided direct conflict in communication as seen from Team C. When women perform a task, they try to foster cooperation and connection within the group. As a result, members of an all-female learning group tend to reserve their opinions and agree readily to group norms to complete the task to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. In contrast, males contended with each other for the better argument as seen in Teams A and B. Males are more likely to elaborate on the pros and cons of alternative points and stick to their own stand unless being persuaded by strong evidence (Herring, 1996). The male groups also tended to question group norms rather than agree to it. Therefore, males are less likely to conform than females (p3).
At the same time, we see more competition for leadership in male groups than female groups. In male groups there was a struggle for leadership, especially in Team A. Moreover, in male groups, the leader emerged as the member who was convinced about his points and intent on seeing his point through, besides active participation and being responsible for compiling the project, compared to the female group. In the female group, the “leader” functioned more of a facilitator. Thus,
males are more associated with leader emergence than females (p4).