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Cohesion and Solidarity in Consistent and Inconsistent Status Structures

Cayce Jamil (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)

Advances in Group Processes

ISBN: 978-1-83797-477-1, eISBN: 978-1-83797-476-4

Publication date: 14 December 2023



This study examines whether there are unintended consequences that emerge from status interventions in task groups in relation to cohesion and solidarity. Past theorists have argued that inconsistent status structures produce weaker levels of cohesion and solidarity in comparison to consistent status structures.


Data come from an online experiment involving mixed-sex dyads interacting in one of three conditions. Participants individually completed an ambiguous problem-solving task and then worked together over Zoom audio to form a group decision. In the three conditions, participants were either given no performance feedback before the problem-solving task or were informed the male or the female participant performed better on a pretest related to the task. The conversations were recorded and analyzed using measures related to paraverbal synchronization and accommodation.


In terms of self-reported cohesion, there appeared to be a difference, albeit a weak one, in only the inconsistent-status condition, with female participants reporting higher levels of cohesion in comparison to males. However, in terms of solidarity, there was no significant difference between the conditions.


Although inconsistent status structures were associated with weaker perceptions of cohesion, it did not appear to impact solidarity like theorists have suggested. Status structures do not appear to impact group solidarity.


The nature of group membership in conjunction with status consistency/inconsistency may produce the significant differences in solidarity that theorists have suggested.

Originality/value of paper

To date, there has been little empirical examination of how status consistency affects cohesion and solidarity. Relatedly, the current study advances the research on vocal accommodation by analyzing status and solidarity simultaneously.



Jamil, C. (2023), "Cohesion and Solidarity in Consistent and Inconsistent Status Structures", Kalkhoff, W., Thye, S.R. and Lawler, E.J. (Ed.) Advances in Group Processes (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 40), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 161-184.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024 Cayce Jamil. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited