Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

Committee Chair

Dawn R. Utley

Committee Member

Julie Fortune

Committee Member

Sandra Carpenter

Committee Member

James J. Swain

Committee Member

Sherri Messimer


Teams in the workplace--Management., Organizational behavior., Small groups., Management.


Groups are a ubiquitous element in organizational design. The performance gains achieved through the use of groups for creative ideation, complex problem solving, and even organizational control have been widely accepted as certainty when, of course, those groups are teams. As a result, untold resources are applied to groups in the workplace. In an attempt to make groups more team-like, emergent properties are fostered, and mutual accountability is stressed. These activities are assumed to create a team from a group of individuals, and subsequently, this team is expected to enhance performance. But is high performance ultimately limited to teams? Is it possible that high performance can be obtained by a simple work group? In order to accurately appraise the root of performance gains achieved by teams and to justify the resources expended in the pursuit of team building, researchers must understand if the group under examination is, in fact, a team. The Team versus Working Group (TvWG) self-assessment questionnaire is a valid, psychometrically sound instrument that can be used to identify those groups of engineers and scientists who are acting as teams and those who are acting as working groups. The instrument is based on twelve specific constructs of group characteristics. The TvWG can be used by researchers and managers alike to understand the underlying foundation of a group before determining how best to apply resources for intervention and performance assessment.



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