For most people in work organizations, the organization as a whole is a relatively abstract entity. Their day-to-day work experience is shaped far more by their own work group, team, department, or work unit, than by the organization as a whole. The work group is their direct social environment at work and the most important social influence on how they experience their work. Moreover, organizations are increasingly structuring work to be group- or team-based, where groups and teams rather than individuals are responsible for production and performance. This requires people to work in close cooperation with their fellow group members and makes coordination, cooperation, and communication between group members critical elements of task performance. Obviously, then, understanding how work groups function, what causes specific group ...

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