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Group Cohesiveness

The term cohesiveness derives from the Latin word cohaesus, which means “to cleave or stick together.” This may be the one aspect of cohesiveness on which all scholars agree. However, as is the case with many theoretical constructs, it is difficult to reach consensus about the nature of cohesiveness (or cohesion) and its proper measurement.

First scientifically and operationally defined by Leon Festinger and his colleagues in 1950, the scientific concept of cohesiveness has been marked by debate. Indeed, in a 1985 publication, Stuart Drescher and his colleagues suggested that the definition and empirical understanding of cohesion lack both clarity and consistency. And after examining the history of research on cohesion, Peter Mudrack concluded in a 1989 publication that it has been “dominated by confusion, inconsistency, ...

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