Groups at Work: Theory and Research

Groups at Work: Theory and Research

Groups at Work: Theory and Research

Groups at Work: Theory and Research

Synopsis

This book has two purposes. First, it is fundamentally about groups at work, both as they attempt to accomplish their goals and as they operate in organizational settings. Second, it draws together group researchers from social psychological and organizational studies. Each chapter focuses on a central issue regarding groups as they work and examines that issue by drawing from both social psychological and organizational research. Thus, this book centers on the convergence and divergence of these two fields.

Excerpt

Why do we find groups at once so tantalizing and yet, so disturbing? This paradoxical perspective on groups is perhaps due to our recognition of their potential to amplify the range of individual achievement. On the one hand, groups enthrall us for they allow us to aspire far greater heights than any individual might attain. Conversely, groups trouble us for they are responsible for some of our greatest devastation.

Explaining how and why these outcomes occur has long been a fascinating, yet thorny topic for social and organizational researchers. Understanding how groups function, why they work and how they work in organizational settings are crucial topics that have profound implications for both the design of groups and the fundamental research on groups. Interestingly, however, perspectives on groups arising from organizational and social psychological research all too frequently develop almost independently.

As such, this book has two purposes. First, it is most fundamentally about groups at work. It is about groups both as they attempt to accomplish their goals (whatever those goals might be) and as they operate in organizational settings. To that end, the book meets its second goal by drawing together group researchers from social psychological and organizational studies. Each chapter focuses on a central issue regarding groups as they work and examines that issue by drawing, where possible, from both social psychological and organizational research. Thus, the book at once centers on the convergence and divergence of these two fields.

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