ERIC Number: ED103291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Nov
Suppose We Took Groups Seriously...
Leavitt, Harold J.
The idea of using groups, rather than individuals, as the basic building blocks for an organization is suggested in this paper. Although this idea is not new in theory, it is new in practice. To design an organization from scratch around groups appears to violate the American value of individualism. Groups, however, have advantages over individuals by providing support in time of crisis, being more innovative, making better decisions, gaining commitment of members, controlling individual members, and providing identity in a large organization. To design an organization around groups, one would follow the same procedure as with individuals in hiring, training, paying, promoting, designing jobs, and firing. Possible disadvantages that need to be considered include the increase in negotiation time, the need for better arbitration mechanisms, escape hatches for individuals, the possibility of alienating creative highly individualistic people, the competitive conflict between groups, the leadership of the group, and the possibility that groups will become so cohesive they will be closed to new input. Yet the advantages in potential increased productivity offset the inherent disadvantages. (Author/DE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Prepared for Western Electrics Symposium on the Hawthorne Studies (Chicago, Illinois, November 1974)