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Interpersonal Compatibility And Workgroup Performance
Published 1975 · Psychology
Schutz hypothesized in his theory of interpersonal relations that more interpersonally compatible groups will exhibit greater productivity. Until recently, this proposition has remained largely untested for workgroups. The present study examined 22 teams of systems analysts working at the corporate headquarters of a large oil company. Interpersonal compatibility was measured by using Schuitz's standard instrument, and productivity measurements utilized paired comparisons. Ranks on the compatibility and productivity measures of paired teams were then compared. The hypothesis was not supported; in fact, the data strongly suggest the opposite notion, that more incompatible groups are likely to be judged as more productive. Reciprocal and interchange incompatibilities were found to be particularly associated with the higher-rated groups. This result suggests that moderate tension within groups, not interpersonal harmony, leads to productivity; however, task interdependence could be an important moderating variable and should be incorporated into future studies.