Seating Arrangements Effect Team Trust

â–¶ Assigned Seats: Research from the Kellogg School found that team efficiency doesn’t solely depend on the talent or output of individuals, but is also influenced by the seating arrangements of groups. Seating groups so all members can easily see each other fosters trust. Details of the study:

• As part of the study, three-person groups seated in rows were asked to complete a task using a shared instruction sheet and answer sheet to encourage collaboration. The participants were then isolated and asked to fill out a questionnaire about their relative contribution to the group, as well as the contributions of the other group members.

• The person seated in the middle routinely took an even one-third of the credit for the task while the two outside participants took more credit (about 45%).

• Outside members tended to undervalue contributions made by the other outside member, believing that this person contributed less than one-third, but they appropriately valued the contributions of the middle member.

• Middle members appropriately valued the contributions of both outside members.

• These results suggested that an inability to see other group members was a major driver of credit judgments.

Source: Kellogg School