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Title: Leadership status congruency and cohesion in outdoor adventure groups
Authors: Ritchie, Stephen
Eys, Mark
Oddson, Bruce
Little, Jim
Slade, Heather
Keywords: status congruency;cohesion;outdoor adventure programming;status
Issue Date: Aug-2008
Citation: Journal of Experiential Education August 2008 vol. 31 no. 1 78-94
Abstract: The general purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between status congruency and group cohesion in an outdoor expedition setting. Specifically, three aspects of status congruency were assessed in relation to group cohesion in four adventure canoe groups. These groups were participating in two week expeditions in the northern areas of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The participants were 32 upper year undergraduate students enrolled in a central Canadian university (Mage = 8 22.41 + 2.43 years). Results indicated that (a) individuals who ranked themselves higher in the group’s status hierarchy compared to where their peers ranked them had decreased attractions to social aspects of the group; (b) perceptions of group cohesion were greater when individuals occupying formal leadership positions were higher in the group’s status ranking (i.e., greater congruency between formal and informal status hierarchies); and (c) individuals who were members of groups that had some level of consensus regarding status rankings perceived their groups to be more cohesive than those who were members of a group that had no consensus.
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