chapter  5
30 Pages

Using Social Justice to Build Effective Work Groups

WithRussell Cropanzano, Marshall Schminke

What does a business mean when it says that it wants “effective” work groups? Generally speaking, it seems that effectiveness has at least two parts. First, its members must hold together as a unit, and second, the work group should effectively perform some necessary tasks. The first challenge is that of maintenance. All other things being equal, a harmonious group has a better chance at maintenance than one that is riddled with conflict. The second challenge is that of performance. A variety of things can impact performance, including the skills of members, suitability of the social structure (e.g., does it allow for the free flow of necessary information), and sequential dependencies with other groups. Although we do not deny the importance of these factors, we emphasize that individuals are likely to be motivated on behalf of the organization when the organization is motivated on behalf of them. As we discuss, organizations can build group effectiveness by meeting these twin challenges.1