Five common themes were derived from the literature on effective work groups, and then characteristics representing the themes were related to effectivness criteria. Themes included job design, interdependence, composition, context, and process. They contained 19 group characteristics which were assessed by employees and managers. Effectiveness criteria included productivity, employee satisfaction, and manager judgments. Data were collected from 391 employees, 70 managers, and archival records for 80 work groups in a financial organization. Results showed that all three effectiveness criteria were predicted by the characteristics, and nearly all characteristics predicted some of the effectiveness criteria. The job design and process themes were slightly more predictive than the interdependence, composition, and context themes. Implications for designing effective work groups were discussed, and a 54-item measure of the 19 characteristics was presented for future research.