Title: A Typology of Tasks (Excerpt)
Authors: McGrath, J.
Citation: Groups: Interaction and Performance. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1984, pp. 60-66.
Reprinted in: Baecker, R.M. Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, 1993, pp. 165-168.
Quadrant I (Generate) is divided into Generating Plans, which are of the problem solving variety, and Generating Ideas, which deal with creative thinking. Quadrant II (Choose) has Intellective tasks and Decision-Making tasks as its subtypes. Intellective tasks refer to solving tasks with a correct answer. Decision-Making tasks refer to dealing with tasks for which the answers are based on cultural norms or consensus.
The two subtasks in Quadrant III (Negotiate) are Cognitive Conflict tasks and Mixed-Motive tasks. The former refers to resolving conflicts of viewpoint where group members not only have different preferences, but different preference structures, meaning that members may interpret information differently or give different weights to different matters. The latter refers to resolving conflicts of interest and involves tasks such as bargaining and reward allocation.
Contests and Performances are the two subtasks in Quadrant IV (Choose). Contest refers to tasks in which the group is in competition with an opponent, while Performance refers to tasks that involve striving to meet standards of excellence.