RELATIONS BETWEEN WORK GROUP CHARACTERISTICS AND EFFECTIVENESS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DESIGNING EFFECTIVE WORK GROUPS

Authors


  • Paul R. Sackett acted as editor for this manuscript. Special thanks to the many operations managers and employees of Allstate Insurance Co. who participated in the study, and to Carol L. McClelland and the staff at Allstate Research and Planning Center for their support and guidance. Thanks to Richard A. Guzzo for his advice on conceptualizing the study within the literature. Thanks also to Kenneth P. DeMeuse, Patricia J. Holahan, John R. Hollenbeck, Karen May, Eduardo Salas, Larry J. Williams, and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael A. Campion, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310.

Abstract

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.

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