The Things We Don't Know About Work Groups

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 196–197. Reviews the book, Groups at Work by Alvin Zander (1977). This is a little book intended to stimulate a lot of research. The author's objective is to generate interest among small group researchers in problems experienced by managers and administrators in their day-to-day work lives. The focus is on “unresolved issues” in the study of work groups in organizational settings. The first five chapters are the strongest While the second half of the book deals with important issues, it is not as well written nor does it share the same high quality of conceptualization found earlier. The chapter on “Choosing Difficult Goals” is probably the book's strongest. There are also chapters on recruiting and removing organizational members, secrecy in organizations, group motivation and performance, coping with new regulations, and establishing harmony in work groups. The contribution of this book lies in its urging of social scientists to leave their familiar programs of research, extend their horizons, and tackle problems grounded in practicalities of work group life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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