Individual Behavior and Group Achievement: A Theory: The Experimental Evidence

Individual Behavior and Group Achievement: A Theory: The Experimental Evidence

Individual Behavior and Group Achievement: A Theory: The Experimental Evidence

Individual Behavior and Group Achievement: A Theory: The Experimental Evidence

Excerpt

It is the purpose of this book to develop a theory of organization achievement. The theory is based on the assumption that the structure and operations of a group can be described in terms of the behaviors of its members in interaction. It is further assumed that the different aspects of group achievement represent transformations of member behavior into forms of value which differ from the input behaviors of the individuals who comprise the membership of the group. The reasonableness of these assumptions is subjected to careful consideration and analysis. The ability of the theory to account for research findings is examined in reference to a large body of experimental literature.

I was forced to undertake the task of theory building because of demands imposed by the research I am doing. Although the struggle for understanding in the sciences that study human social behavior is progressing at a very rapid rate, much of the work tends to be fragmented, dealing with small subsets of problems rather than with integrative theories. At the opposite extreme, the work on large theoretical systems is often defined in such broad terms as to make it immune to experimental test. There is a need for middle range theory that can be tested both in detail and as a total system. Such theory is essential to the design of integrated programs of research.

The proposed theory represents a system that is limited in scope. Although groups are influenced by the larger physical and social environments in which they operate, the theory attempts to explain only what happens inside the group. It represents a . . .

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