The effects of job complexity and autonomy on cohesiveness in collectivistic and individualistic work groups: a cross-cultural analysis



Increased job complexity and autonomy have often been associated with improved performance in work groups. This study examines the mediating effect of group cohesiveness. The moderating effects of individualism/collectivism on the relationship between job characteristics (both complexity and autonomy) and cohesiveness are also tested. The sample consists of 381 teams drawn from the Hong Kong and U.S. branches of an international bank. The findings indicate that an increase in job complexity and/or task autonomy will increase group cohesiveness, which subsequently translates to better performance. The positive effects of job complexity and autonomy on group cohesiveness are also found to be more prominent for individualistic rather than collectivistic work groups. The theoretical implications of the results and the limitations of the study are also discussed. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.