For years, group works during or after classroom has become an essential part of learning and has become an important tool in teaching. But the essence of motivation in learning and increasing satisfaction in knowledge gaining has always been a challenge for both professors and students. The present research work highlights the need for an understanding on the factors affecting the group processes towards achieving performance, specifically, on the effects of trust and the reciprocity in knowledge sharing during group work learning procedures.
Research has shown that teams with higher levels of trust have a propensity to be higher performers. Furthermore, many studies have discussed the significance of trust in facilitating knowledge sharing. If trust and knowledge sharing go hand in hand, it must be developed over time as a function of team progress. To achieve to this point, conscious trust building behaviors should be enhanced.
The present study describes the experience of the application of a tool in enhancing trust and reciprocity of knowledge sharing during group works, which encouraged over time, increases positive interactions, knowledge sharing, and trusted behavior among students affecting their group performance positively. As from the pedagogic aspects, this experience induces the processes of teaching and learning to become livelier than passive. Also, it facilitates the process of evaluation and to learn more on student behaviors affecting their motivation, learning, satisfaction, and above all performance.
Furthermore, as part of organizational behavior module, it is made sure that students learn the human behavioral aspect and get trained for their future business and organizational relationships. This can finally lead to a culture of trust based working environment both in academy as well as in business environments.
To achieve this aim, the following methodology was applied during different time periods of the course: first, as part of the module, human nature and importance of different attitudinal processes on the impact of behaviors and consequences were discussed. Next, in the very beginning of the course, the 62 students were randomly allotted to different teams of 3-5 members. They were instructed every week with a group work which was based on interdependency in solving problems. Second, after each group work, they were told to fill up a questionnaire on their perceptions of trust needed and trust received as well as on each team members’ knowledge sharing. They were instructed to take time to analyze each member of their group deeply and then fill up the questionnaire. Third, as they had analyzed their perceptions on each member, they had to openly talk with each of them in a healthy discussion on the improvements needed, strengths and weaknesses of each member’s role in their problem solving.
These steps were carried out every week. But for comparisons of the results, their responses of the beginning, middle, and end of the semester before the grades were alone considered. The results obtained and the feedback of students show that, they found this method to be particularly useful in managing their relationship with their team-mates and it improved drastically, their trust behaviors, communication, learning interactions, knowledge sharing, and team performance. Analogous results were found after correlating the three period team processes (trust behaviour & knowledge sharing) on their performances.