CHAPTER 2When Teams, When Not?

People have strong feelings about groups—not just members who love or detest the experience of being in them, but also scholars who study them. In an essay titled “Suppose We Took Groups Seriously …,” management scholar Harold Leavitt once proposed that groups generate so many benefits that we should consider using them rather than individuals as the very building blocks of organizations. The contrary position is perhaps most succinctly expressed in the Finnish proverb Joukossa tyhmyys tiivistyy, which translates as “In a group stupidity condenses.” Psychologist Edwin Locke and his colleagues would concur. In a provocative article titled “The Importance of the Individual in an Age of Groupism,” they suggest that ...

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