Relational Abundance Survey Results and Findings — as of May 11, 2015

by Sheri Chaney Jones, Vibrancy steward, President of Measurement Resources, author of Impact & Excellence (Jossey-Bass 2014) and Jim Ritchie-Dunham

Overview

Over 2,700 responses to the Relational Abundance Survey suggest that where people experience high vibrancy, they also tend to find highly effective groups and collaborative leadership. The data also show that where people describe an experience of high vibrancy, they describe a high level of vibrancy experienced in all five primary relationships – to the self, other, group, nature (creative process), and spirit (creative source).

Technical Summary

Vibrancy’s steward for statistical analysis and experimental design, Sheri Chaney Jones, analyzed 2,773 responses to the Relational Abundance survey. Her analysis shows that:

  • Significant correlations were found between all facets of relational abundance, group effectiveness, and leader quality. These findings suggest that it is important to focus on all five aspects of relational abundance (self, other, group, nature, spirit) and not one single aspect alone. None of the correlations exceed .8, suggesting that multicollinearity is not a problem in these analyses.
  • The five aspects of relational abundance explain 42% of the variation in group effectiveness ratings, meaning that relational abundance alone drives a significant portion of group effectiveness.
  • In addition to the facets of relational abundance, leadership quality is also found to be a predictor of group effectiveness. When leadership quality is added into a regression model with relationship to self, group, and spirit (creative source), they explain 55% of the variance of group effectiveness.

Background

Surveys were collected from 615 group members in over 18 countries representing a variety of groups. This dataset does not include data from a global network that adds 74 countries to the database. The sample was comprised of 46% males and 54% females. The majority of participants had some level of post-secondary education and were thinking about a group related to their employment. Most participants were regular participating members. Table 1 displays the characteristics of the survey respondents.

Table 1. Survey Participants Characteristics
Gender Role with Organization
Male 32% Leader or primary organizer 19%
Female 27% Regular participating member 36%
Missing 41% Occasional participating member 7%
Uncategorized/unknown 38%
Highest Education Level Group Type
Primary school .3% Work group where paid 38%
Some high school .8% Church group 1%
High school graduate 2% Community, civic group 7%
Some college 6% Sports team .7%
College graduate 33% Family 4%
Advanced degree 27% Other 9%
Missing/Unclassified 32% Missing 40%
Group Size Years Group Existed
Less than 10 24% Less than 1 7%
10 to 50 39% 1-3 15%
51 to 100 10% 4-7 12%
101 to 1000 10% More than 7 44%
Over 1000 5% Missing 22%
Missing 11%
Years Involved
Less than 1 16% 4-7 17%
1-3 28% More than 7 27%
Missing 14%

Five Facets of Relational Abundance

Group members who participated in this survey responded to five different facets of relational abundance: group experiences related to the self, experiences with other individuals in the group, experiences of the whole group, the process of innovation in the group, and the source of creativity in the group. Group members rated the extent to which they agreed with statements on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 indicating favorable agreement with positive statements about the group. Results of data analyzed show that all measured facets of relational abundance were positive, with the means of all scores above the mid-point response of 3.0 (see Table 2). Although the majority of participants indicated experiencing favorable levels of all facets of relational abundance, Figure 1 shows that there were survey participants who experienced neutral and unfavorable levels. Responses to source of creativity received the lowest means score compared to the other responses.

Table 2. Relational Abundance Descriptive Statistics
N Min Max Mean Std. Dev.
Self 2773 1.00 5.00 3.96 0.91
Other 2767 1.00 5.00 3.91 0.79
Group 2763 1.00 5.00 3.98 0.82
Creative Process 581 1.00 5.00 3.91 1.01
Creative Source 2687 1.00 5.00 3.52 0.93

Fig 1 050115a

Relational Abundance and Sample Characteristics

Overall, the trends in the facets of relational abundance were consistent across survey demographics and differences in levels of relational abundance were not found between groups. Three exceptions were found in the analysis. First, education level was positively correlated with self, other and group facets of relational abundance. Participants with higher educational levels reported more favorable ratings of these facets compared to those with lower levels of education. This could be the result of many things, such as more choice in work environments or the groups they chose to describe.

In addition, a significant negative relationship was found between all relational abundance facets and group size. The smaller the group, the more likely participants were to rate higher levels of vibrancy experienced. Additionally, the length of time the group has been established is also negatively correlated to all relational abundance facets. The more time a group has been in existence, the less favorable ratings of relational abundance were reported. Although these differences exist, the average overall ratings for both large groups and greater longevity are still favorable.

Leadership Quality

In addition to relational abundance, participants were asked about their leadership structure and their perception of leadership quality in the group. Nearly half of the participants (49%) reported that they have a designated leader of their group, another 40% reported that leadership is shared, 6% indicated leadership rotates and another 5% indicated there is some other type of leadership model.

Similar to relational abundance, on average, participants rated their leadership quality and group well-being favorably. These constructs were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale where 1 = almost never true and 5 = almost always true. In addition to these questions, participants were asked to give an overall rating of the quality of leadership where 1=extremely poor and 5=exceptional. Table 3 highlights the ratings for group well-being, leadership quality, and overall leadership ratings. Figure 2 displays the variance of these three constructs.

Table 3. Leadership Quality Descriptive Statistics
N Min Max Mean Std. Dev.
Group Wellbeing 2789 1.00 5.00 3.98 0.75
Leadership Quality 2878 1.00 5.00 3.81 0.99
Overall Leadership Rating 2901 1.00 5.00 3.69 0.95

Fig 2 050115a

Group Effectiveness

Results of the overall group effectiveness measure show that respondents have favorable attitudes toward their group’s effectiveness. 66% of respondents rated their group as either “Excellent” or “Above Average” at meeting its purpose, with only 7% characterizing their group’s performance as “Extremely Poor” or “Below Average.” The average group effectiveness rating was 3.79 with a 0.87 standard deviation. Figure 3 highlights this relationship.

Fig 3 050115a

Relational Abundance and Group Effectiveness

Significant correlations were found between all facets of relational abundance, group effectiveness, and leader quality. These findings suggest that it is important to focus on all aspects of relational abundance and not one single facet. All correlations are displayed in Table 4. None of the correlations exceed .8, suggesting that multicollinearity is not a problem in these analyses.

Correlations

Table 4: Correlations
Group Well-Being Leader Quality Overall Leader Rating Self Other Group Nature (Creative Process) Spirit (Creative Source) Group Effectiveness
Leader Quality Pearson Correlation .517 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 2747 2878
Overall Leader Rating Pearson Correlation .448 .721 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000
N 2766 2864 2901
Self Pearson Correlation .445 .705 .565 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000
N 2637 2741 2763 2773
Other Pearson Correlation .447 .724 .514 .719 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000
N 2632 2735 2757 2763 2767
Group Pearson Correlation .490 .741 .595 .750 .750 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000
N 2628 2730 2753 2759 2758 2763
Nature (Creative Process) Pearson Correlation .421 .670 .528 .688 .667 .726 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000
N 2489 2583 2603 2599 2596 2596 2603
Spirit (Creative Source) Pearson Correlation .349 .660 .516 .622 .629 .652 .701 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000
N 2565 2662 2685 2683 2682 2680 2556 2687
Group Effectiveness Pearson Correlation .445 .593 .679 .545 .497 .606 .535 .540 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000
N 1781 1760 1781 1773 1772 1771 1764 1754 1781

Predictors of Group Effectiveness

The five facets of relational abundance do not all have the same power to influence group effectiveness. Results of a regression analysis show that three of the five facets – relationship to the group, the creative source, and relationship to the self – were significant predictors of group effectiveness (see Figure 4). Of these three, the group facet was the strongest predictor. Combined, these facets explain 42% of the variation in group effectiveness ratings, meaning that relational abundance alone drives a significant portion of group effectiveness.

Fig 4 050115a

Leadership Quality, Relational Abundance, and Group Effectiveness

In addition to the facets of relational abundance, leadership quality is also found to be a predictor of group effectiveness. When leadership quality is added into a regression model with relationship to the group, creative source, and relationship to the self, they explain 53% of the variance of group effectiveness (see Figure 5). Regression results reveal that leadership quality neither moderates nor mediates the relationship between relational abundance facets and group effectiveness. When leadership quality is added to the equation, relationship to self no longer contributes significant variance beyond what the other facets explain, suggesting that leadership quality may partially mediate the relationship to self.

Fig 5 050115a

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